Not long ago a press release went out with the provocative title, “Brain Works Like Google, New Study Finds.” More specifically, the news release claimed that the study showed that our brains choose brands from our memories using predictable unconscious rules, much like Google ranks sites using an algorithm:
“Brand choice turns out to be a largely unconscious process,” says Tjaco Walvis, who led the one-and-a-half-year study. “But in that process, the brain behaves much like Google. It seems to use a set of rules called an algorithm to pick the brand from our memory that best and most reliably fits our functional and emotional needs at that particular moment. It behaves rationally, but in an unconscious way…”
Based on the study, Mr. Walvis concludes that the brain’s “algorithm” for brand choice has three elements.
Firstly, the brain selects the brand it has learned is best able to satisfy our biological and cultural goals. We unconsciously select the brand that is the most uniquely rewarding, based on its associations with our goals and the brain’s reward centers (e.g. the dopamine system).
Secondly, the brain selects the brand that has shown most frequently in the past that it is able to fulfill these needs. Coherent brands that repeat their promise are more likely to be chosen. Volvo, Coca-Cola and Disney are examples of coherent brands.
Thirdly, the brain selects the brand it has interacted with most intensely in the past. Brand participation creates numerous new connections in our brain, facilitating that brand’s retrieval. Nike Plus is an example of strong participation concept. [From Marketwire.]”
Given my dual interests of neuromarketing and search engine optimization (SEO), I can hardly avoid discussing this topic. The actual paper that the press release is based on was published by the Journal of Brand Management: Three laws of branding: Neuroscientific foundations of effective brand building. Tjaco Walvis is the sole author. Walvis’s paper is an attempt to survey a wide variety of neuroscience-based studies on branding and form some conclusions from the common themes uncovered by other researchers.
Thought provoking article continues @ http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com