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What is Neurobranding and When Do You Use it?

The most successful brands create indelible marks on your memory and emotional connections with you.

Take a huge brand such as Nike, for instance; you just know who they are, and what they do. It doesn’t require research or any form of fumbling through your memory banks – Nike is, simply, Nike.

The sportswear brand probably also makes you feel a certain way when you think about it, too.

The same goes for those smaller brands with which you fall in love. They successfully create a memory that lasts forever in your mind.

A marketer’s task is to first create that memory, and then associate it with qualities that make the brand or product valuable to its audience.

Neurobranding lies at the heart of this, but you’ve probably never heard of it! So, let’s dive in, shall we?


What is neuroscience?

Before we get onto neurobranding, let’s consider where it comes from.

At its most basic level, neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. It looks at the development, degeneration, health, and structure of this vital part of our being.

The human brain defines what we do and who we are, and it stores memories from which we can learn, develop, and grow.

It’s the neural pathways used to transmit information from the brain which neuroscientists are particularly interested in, and these play a massive role in neurobranding.


So, what’s neurobranding?

Originally developed as a concept in 1990, neurobranding (sometimes referred to as ‘neuromarketing’) focuses on the fact that 90% of thinking activity takes place at a subconscious level.

Imagine being able to tap into that subconscious as a marketer and impact on the brain activity that takes place within. That’s exactly what neurobranding is all about.

Humans are emotional creatures, and when we feel an emotion, we give it our full attention. Brands that are able to create an emotional connection with their audience are far more likely to grow and become more successful.


Mind games: Pepsi vs Coke

In 2004, neuroscientist Professor Read Montague scanned the brains of 67 people during a ‘Pepsi Challenge’.

The participants undertook a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi and were asked which they preferred. Professor Montague discovered that different parts of the brain would ‘light up’, depending on the type of drink being consumed.

In particular, the ventral putamen (a brain region associated with seeking reward) proved to be most accurate when people sipped their favourite brand of cola.

When the participants were told they were drinking Coke, however, three-quarters of them said it tasted better, and their brain activity changed. The lateral prefrontal cortex, which governs cognitive powers, came into effect, indicating that they were relating Coke to past memories.

This is neurobranding in action. It doesn’t rely on any form of trickery – it simply knows how to tap into human emotion.


How will neurobranding help my business?

Neurobranding helps you increase the effectiveness of your campaigns by using science to inject your brand into the minds of your audience.

It might sound a bit Big Brother like, but it really isn’t. Applying this form of science to your brand simply heightens the value of it within your customer’s mind.

More importantly, neurobranding ensures you don’t invest in costly, ineffective marketing campaigns. And that’s because the people who discover your brand leave that interaction with that all-important indelible mark on their memory.


Does it help with rebranding?


Rebranding is a tricky task, and one which can alienate huge swathes of your target market if you get it wrong.

By leaning on the principles of neuroscience, you can measure and test how people will feel when your business emerges with a fresh face. More importantly, you can predict how they’ll attach themselves to your new branding – or otherwise.

Remember, neurobranding is all about understanding how people respond to marketing campaigns and the way in which a brand presents itself. When a brand works in harmony with someone’s brain, the reaction is emotional, and there’s no greater way to build an engaged audience.

You’ve been hit with a lot of science in this blog post. But it’s science that really could help your brand. At Be Smart we love this stuff, and would love to chat it through with you in more detail if you’ve got any questions – just get in touch!


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