The concept neuromarketing is a combination between neuroscience and marketing, i.e. the brain research and behavior in a marketing aspect. Neuromarketing concerns the field of researching, that is relevant for marketing promotion and branding/advertising , i.e. an individual’s decision-making processes (sensory marketing (sound, smell, touch), i.e. Abercrombie is a great example, due to their use of smell; Fragrance is already used in marketing today – by companies that do not use neuromarketing as far as we know i.e. the American brand “Abercrombie & Fitch” sprays perfume on all their clothes in their stores – it’s their own perfume, and the business can often be scented even before it can be seen. So already 4-5 stores away, you know that an Abercrombie & Fitch store is coming, and you are already unconsciously comparing what you are looking at with what you expect to find at Abercrombie & Fitch. Furthermore, they display muscular men in their ads and in stores, only for one purpose, boost sales of quality products – due to the physical dominant male employee have great impact on the male consumers “Men don’t buy beauty. They buy dominance.” ), consumer behavior, and trust. Neuromarketing uses different technics and they can show how the human brain responds to various stimuli from advertising and products. One could ask what it is that happens inside a person’s head when he or she is, for example, sees a McDonald’s advertising. Neuromarketing will then give the answer to this. As mentioned before, neuromarketing has to do with brain research in relation to one’s behavior in marketing (consumer behavior), therefore, this will lead us a short explanation of the brain’s consciousness and subconsciousness – to gain a better understanding of how i.e. sensory marketing, eye-tracking (fmri, is a tool for identifying the areas in
the brain gets increased blood supply when strong associations are triggered – this is socially used when looking at products), and phycological methods influences us when we buy. Since, our subconsciousness is what remembers specific details and neuromarketing strategy focuses on our subconsciousness to lead us directly to their wanted brand (i.e. Abercrombie, with the sensory marketing).
1.1.1 Consciousness and subconscious
A simple overview of the brain will be that we have two parts. We have what is called consciousness, and we have the subconscious. A more logical description would be that our consciousness is the more analytical part of the brain. I.e. when you sit and think, or when you are met with something on a daily basis, and then you know it from your everyday life, whether you use it or not – that is the analytical part.
Everything we learn, experience and senses are stored in the subconscious. We form our opinions, we get our beliefs, our attitudes, our beliefs, even our habits are put into the subconscious.
Since, neuromarketing techniques measures the brains response to a specific product or service, an understanding of the individual mind, their customers emotions and cognitive brain activity at the moment of purchasing a product or service. It will be our subconsciousness that have made an opinion and emotions towards for example; an iPhone instead of another smartphone brand. 90% of our buying decisions are made in our subconsciousness. The brain only uses 2 percent of its energy on conscious activity and is devoted that the rest is being processed in our subconscious. Pitches needs to reach our subconsciousness, because in that level of our brain we develop a personal interest in brands, products, and services – which drives us to buy and develop brand loyalty.
Dr. Pradeep says “By measuring brain waves, we are able to measure attention, emotion and memory, we basically compute the deep subconscious response to stimuli. Add all those electrical patterns together, he says, and “you find it represents the whispers of the brain.”
In this article , it is said that ads are whispering to the brain, and the neuromarketing strategy seems to be a very popular modern marketing strategy among the business now a days, in relation to the traditional marketing strategies – which neuromarketers says to be unreliable, because the participants can never express the unconscious impressions that whet their appetites for certain products. When researching a consumer’s brains behavior when buying, we get a highly more accurate result, which is one of the reasons that neuromarketing is a very useful strategy.
Another important aspect to cover when explaining the concept ´neuromarketing´, is dopamine, which is also one of neuromarketing’s strategies. It is actually one of the most important aspects when discussing marketing. It is key that your brand releases more dopamine (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that drives our actions: The release of small amounts of dopamine into the interior of the brain gives pleasure, large amounts of joy and it is the substance that controls the brain’s reward center.) when the consumer thinks of the brand than any other competing brand.
The abundance of dopamine you can get means that in the exact moment, the choice must be made, one is irresistible, and one ends up acting on his/her feelings. This will also lead us to the concept; “nice to have or need to have”. Due to that we just learned that the human brain in the cases of great abundance of dopamine is released, our brain act on one’s feelings.
1.2 The development of modern marketing
Marketing has gone through fundamental changes since the Great Industrial Revolution that took place around the 18th and 19th century, and these changes has four periods – production-oriented period (If the product and price is really good, then there is no need for special marketing strategies to implemented and automatic consumer response and only production of basic products), sales-oriented period (advertising was of top importance, effective sales promotion, producing the best possible product), customer-oriented period (understanding of the needs, wants, desires from the consumers, meet their specifications, satisfy the consumers wants) and lastly, social-oriented period (cares not only for the consumers’ needs and wants, but for consumer social welfare and consumer welfare, only produce products that are wanted, meet the individual consumers and social needs).
So, what is modern marketing? Modern marketing has transformed the traditional marketing principles to a process where we can more quickly adapt to changes. This approach is much more user-centered and is built for continuous learning. The fundamentals of the businesses have not changed, only the ways that they achieve this. Something that has rapidly developed is technology, it makes businesses easier to control, but on the other side, unfortunately also harder to manage. This is due to for example; Instagram shoppable post, they boost sales, but this also means to learn another platform constant trends and behavior. This might not be threat in itself upon traditional marketing strategies but considering the speed of the change that is happening, the traditional principles starts to break down. So, every time a new marketing strategy, tool, principle is implemented, we will already have developed one step further, and be one step behind the next development. Modern marketing has developed in that way, that the businesses must consistently create more creative advertising, promotion and branding – communicate with the customers, that the “user experience” is most important, focus on the feedback approach strategy, as well of brand consistency that keeps up with the trends and with their brand’s touchpoint.
Traditional marketing was focused on the competitive advantage or the value of the specific product(s) or the service, whereas that has drastically evolved till now. Furthermore, modern marketing is something entirely different from the old traditional marketing approaches (focused mostly on; price of the service or product, making the product/service available to the target group, the development of either the service or product), not enough that principles has transformed – modern marketing requires appropriately interaction and communication with the customers without any kinds of interferences. This is also called marketing communication , which is an integral part of the modern marketing strategies.
2 Make an analysis of one or more examples of the use of neuromarketing as a concrete part of branding/promotion. The analysis should include the historical context, i.e. time, place and target group(s).
2.1 Analyze of Coca Cola, their history
Coca-Cola has managed to create a strong brand through many years of concentrated and wise marketing. Coca-Cola was founded in 1892, the inventor of Coca-Cola was John Stith Pemberton. He was the war veteran and pharmacist from Atlanta. Coca-Cola has been using “product placement” since World War II. When America then entered World War II in 1941, former director Woodruff chose the soldiers should be able to have a Coca-Cola and for 5 cents no matter where they were in the world. Here, many were exposed to the drink for the first time, and when the war was won, Coca-Cola shared part of the victory. Here, the soft drink was spread internationally, and the positive associations that had been created for Coca-Cola connection with the victory over the Nazis lasted. Furthermore, Coca Cola was first introduced in 1935 in Denmark, but they first hit after World War II, when the sugar cation ceased, and as mentioned the soft drink was spread internationally due to the American soldiers drove around the world as our saviors with cigarettes, chocolate and a Coke in their hands.
Coca Cola has also ever since then used “product placement”, which also is seen in the popular American show “American idol”, where the judges drinks of cups labeled with the famous Coca Cola logo, which will increase the lust of the drink.
Furthermore, Coca-Cola has always managed to bring their products into major global events, such as “The Olympic Games”. In 1928, Coca-Cola sponsored the Olympic Games for the first time, and the company has done so since. There was also made their launch of “Taste the feeling” campaign in 2016, close to the Olympic games in Rio. The campaign “That’s gold” was an extension of this campaign. “Gold is a feeling everyone can taste” said Rodolfo Echeverria. “This creative draws a parallel between the gold moments these amazing athletes experience at the Olympics and the everyday moments of joy and uplift we all share with friends and family while drinking a Coca-Cola. From passing an exam, to getting your dad’s car keys for the first time, to celebrating a friend’s birthday — anything can be a gold moment as long as it’s spontaneous and authentic.” He said.
Coca Cola can use the AIDA model as a target for their marketing, and also see how the target group is affected. The company needs to select a phase that will especially affect the consumer, as the company cannot bring the consumer through the four phases. I will shortly analyze the Olympic campaign “That’s gold” by using the AIDA model.
In the first phase (attention), the perception of the consumer is weighted. Colors, images, text and media form are the important part of this phase before the consumer can be affected.
This is where the consumer becomes aware of the advertisement and then the product. In the Coca Cola advertisement, they use strong red and white colors that symbolize their product. Our look will therefore be with the three different types of Coca Cola, as it is located relatively centrally and is the largest in the picture.
In the second phase (interest), where the consumer is further interested is through the message and content of the advertisement. In this advertisement, it is the message / content that creates the additional interest when writing in the middle of the advertisement “” Taste the feeling “, as well as the little ones that symbolize the Olympic Games and the haste tag” That’s gold ”
In the third phase (desire), the company must make sure the consumer wants the product (desire). Here, needs satisfaction is weighted. From Maslow’s needs pyramid , the physical needs such as thirst / fluid will be satisfied. But in addition, the consumer will also seek security in the product they hopefully want at the moment. Thus, Coca Cola strengthens the target group’s physical needs and security needs.
In the fourth phase (action), it must be achieved for the company that the consumer buys the product. Therefore, through their advertising, they must advertise with information about the product. Coca Cola does this by displaying the product / company name through the advertisement, as well as the point of sale that is the Olympic Games in Rio. Thus, the advertising people can use this model to find the phase that the consumer is most affected by, and then prepare a communication form. So, through this model, you can see that colors, text and location are weighted high.
Furthermore, by bringing their products into major event, this has made the knowledge great. In addition, Coca-Cola relates to a sense of happiness and unity, according to groups, like family and close friends. Memory has a great influence in the way we perceive brands, both obviously and implicitly. The memory is a large network where each memory is connected to one another. The memory of the Coca-Cola brand, which is a semantic memory, can therefore be associated with other memories, such as, for example to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.
Similarly, the experience of the iconic Coca-Cola Santa Claus through youth can create profound connections in the brain between Coca-Cola and Christmas. These memories are either diminished or enhanced each time you have an experience with the brand, which makes their marketing very important.
2.2 “The Pepsi Challenge”, neuromarketing’s effect.
The Pepsi-Cola company decided to do a publicized experiment, this is known as the “Pepsi Challenge” which was in the 1980’s. In malls and supermarkets worldwide, there was hundreds of Pepsi set up tables and they handed out two unmarked cups, one contained Pepsi and the other, contained Coke. These cups were handed out to everyone who stopped up, women, men, and children. Afterword’s, the participants where asked which cup they preferred. Pepsi of coursed hoped that the results would be in their favor, so they could make a stand for themselves in Coca Cola’s long times domination. Pepsi ended up being pleased, due to over half of the votes were in their favor. The participants claimed to prefer the taste of Pepsi over Coca Cola. So, why is Coca Cola still the most popular and dominant brand? Pepsi should have crushed Coca Cola worldwide, but that was not the case. This challenge was a “Sip Test”, in these tests the subjects tends to prefer the sweeter product, which is Pepsi. According, to Gladwell he says that the reason that Pepsi did not prevail to lead the market, but prevailed in the sip test, is due that drinking an entire can of Pepsi, the possibility for blood sugar overkill is lurking.
But then in 2003, doctor Read Montague who is director of the Human Neuroimaging Lab , revised “The Pepsi challenge” again, by using an fMRI to study his participants. He asked them what they preferred, Coke or Pepsi or if they had no preferences. The results came back almost similar to the original Pepsi challenge, most voted for Pepsi and their brains did as well. What then is interesting was the second stage of the study, Dr. Montague chose to tell the participants whether it was Coke or Pepsi they should taste, where almost everyone said they preferred Coca Cola. But in the experiment, something happened, this activated another part of the brain – the brains responsible center, instead of before to the region of our brain that finds taste appealing. In this moment the doctor indicated that two areas one’s brain was in a war between rational and emotional thinking. It was the emotions that overrode the participants rational preference for Pepsi.
There are great many positive associations connected to Coca Cola, such as the colors (red), their logo which have never changed, the design of the bottle, as well as their own memories Coca Cola, their ads, etc. Everything that brings us emotional thoughts of the brands, will beat the natural preferences, for example the preference for Pepsi will be beaten by Coca Cola, because emotions are attached to the brand and the brain encodes things for value, in this case coke.
Coca Cola uses neuromarketing and have done for several years, for example by the associations about summer – we connect it to Coca Cola, because we have stored it in our subconscious and we connect emotions with the brand as well. This is why Coca Cola prevails as leader on the market, Coca Cola also has a lot of customer loyalty connected to their brand.
2.3 Coca Cola’s segmentation of their customers.
Market segmentation helps the companies with improving their products and services, and also understanding their consumers needs and characteristics. Coca Cola targets both genders, different age groups, lifestyles and ethnics. They use a “multi segment” marketing, which means that they have more than one market segment. Coca Cola use three, geographic, demographic and psychographics segmentation.
Coca Cola operates in various of geographic areas, among others, Europe, The Pacific, North America, Latin America, etc. Furthermore, Coca Cola has for years been the most popular soft drink and is so far sold in most countries. The couple years have the trend for society been a healthier lifestyle, which Coca Cola have followed, by making healthier alternatives such as Coca Cola life, Coca Cola Zero, etc. They have also made different target groups for the healthier alternatives to the classic Coke. For the Coca Cola zero, the targets would be teens that want to avoid the calories but still want the taste of Coke. Coca Cola Life also targets the ones that want to achieve better health, the different from Coca Cola Zero here is the low-calorie soft drink product is with the very similar taste for the original Coca Cola, but with 30% less sugar. Moreover, Coca Cola also have other products, such as “Minute Maide”, which targets kids from the age of 1 to 10 and from 40 and over. It also targets parents that wish for healthier drinks for their children.
The demographic segmentation has great importance for the company and that have divided the market into groups.
Age and gender:
Coca Cola has based their age segment from 15 to 25 and 40 plus and they target both genders as well. One of the main sectors of Coca Cola’s is that they mostly target young people, due to there is bigger need for energizing refreshments.
Coca Cola targets all income classes – they have also made different packaging based on different income levels. For example, a cheaper alternative is the bottle that also is returnable, whereas for people with a higher level of income – coke can be bought in cans.
This has much to say for Coca Cola, due to people has strong preferences, but Coca Cola has managed to keep up with the trends in our time. For example, people tend to seek healthier alternatives and Coca Cola then created healthier products to that specific class.
Specifically, for the physiographic segmentation, the buyers have also been divided into groups, based on their personality or lifestyle.
People have different lifestyles, attitudes and interest, which effects which goods the consumers buys. Coca Cola manage to produce products that fit to our time and they keep up with modern trends. They therefore present products that are suitable for everyone.
Coca Cola’s products has a brand personality so to speak, they make products that corresponds to the consumers personality, for example with “Share a coke” – their products were personalized with names.
2.4 Coca Cola’s target group.
Based on Coca Cola’s market segmentation, we gain understanding of that their target group is very wide, by it also satisfies many consumers different needs. Again, the example of adapting to the healthier trends, by creating alternatives that fits for those wanting a healthy lifestyle to the averages wanting the original product. Another factor is also that Coca Cola satisfies all ages, which is proven by most people in different consumers are also in different ages, and they all consume the product. As mentioned above, Coca Cola does primarily target youths through their ads, because Coca Cola is also represented with energy which fits the age group: youth. Moreover, they target older age groups as well, which proves their target group as being very wide.
2.5 Coca Cola’s product
The brand’s products have developed a lot through the years, but they have always maintained the same logo. Coca Cola uses sensory branding, which meaning was mentioned in previous sections, one thing that is essential for Coca Cola is they have always they product to be recognized. Besides the botte being easy to recognize, which thus amplifies the brand. Coca Cola have also made the bottle shapes like an hourglass, which could be associated with for example, the female body which is also very familiar to us, and that creates associations for one again.
The Coca Cola bottle is well considered, symmetry is preferred for most humans and that is the reasons for the horizontal placement of the label and the vertical stripes on the bottle itself. Furthermore, another well-known element from Coca Cola is the sound that appears when one opens the bottle, the sound is recognizable and therefore one can also create associations with the brand. It is important that the product separates itself from others in the stores, that is also the reason for that smell, visual, etc. plays a major factor. We are influenced to associate specific things with either quality or brands. As mentions when we connect emotions upon a brand, it creates attention whether you notice it or not, it is in our subconscious.
2.6 Coca Cola’s branding
Brand equity is a factor which is important for Coca Cola’s marketing, they have secured their brand which is due to marketing mix, which have a secured awareness for the product, reasonable prices and availability.
Brand loyalty is also another important factor and that is something Coca Cola have created from start of their business. One of the things that creates loyalty to the brand, is that Coca Cola has made deals with among others, different schools, where display themselves through other beverages, i.e. milk, juices, water and that also creates attention to their brand.
Coca Cola promotes themselves in various ways, for example, their many campaigns throughout the years. Their iconic Christmas advert, “Holidays are coming”, “Share a coke”, “Open Happiness”, “Taste the feeling”, “Super Bowl 2012 (with the famous coca cola polar bears)” these a just few out of many.
The “Share a coke” campaign was about “sharing”, they placed names instead of their logo on the bottles, so you could share with friends and family, this helps Coca Cola to bond with the consumers on an emotional level, with help from nostalgic marketing by this, nostalgic marketing takes on a sentimental experience, which also has a strong influence on the consumer’s purchasing decision and this also increases the desire to buy.
“Holidays are coming” , also referred to as the “Caravan ads” has been known worldwide since the 1990´s and become an essential part of Christmas, seeing the Coca Cola trucks roll over the screen – that is the beginning of the holidays and all the fun. We have for many years associated Christmas with Coca Cola, which logically do not make sense, since the cold soft drink belongs in the summer months – or at least that was we associated Coca Cola with in the beginning. Today, there is no day where a Coke could not fit in. Therefore, should Santa Claus of course also drink this delicious cold soft drink. In the ad, it also shown that Santa raises his Coca Cola bottle in the end of the ad, holding his holiday speech – as a symbol of now Christmas has begun, starting out with a Coke.
Santa Claus has been featured in the Coca Cola ads since the 1920’s and Coca Cola was also a participant of shaping Santa Claus as we know him today. Coca Cola ordered Haddon Sundblom to develop advertisement using Santa. He turned to different kinds of inspiration, i.e. St Nicholas, which description from a poem back from 1822, was a warm and friendly Santa. From there, the Santa Claus Coca Cola ads started, from 1931 to 1964, Santa was displayed in the ads delivering toys to children who wanted to greet him and reading letters while enjoying a cold Coke. This is also an example of Coca Cola creating a sentimental experience for the consumers, which will have a strong influence on their purchasing decision. Neuromarketing focuses on making positive associations upon a brand, not directly boost sales and we will automatically choose brands we know, the ones we can associate emotions to. I will later discuss the ethical perspective of this. Furthermore, these campaigns have been and are still very successful and have increased knowledge of the brand, Coca Cola. The “Holidays are coming” is no longer just an ad – “Christmas is a family season, and that’s what the spirit of the ‘Caravan’ ads is,” said Ted Ryan, Coca-Cola’s former chief archivist. “As soon as the physical trucks began to visit communities it made the ads resonate a little bit more,” he said.”
All these feelings is what Coca Cola has created through their branding for many years, and is reason why the study regarding preferences for either Pepsi or Coca Cola – that Coca Cola conquered, because even though Pepsi won the sip taste, Coca Cola has won everyone’s heart through their ads and being a part of the communities, that creates brand loyalty like no other brand can achieve.
This is neuromarketing, and this example shows how effective neuromarketing is and what it does to humans, by creating a product which always can be recognized, having history that goes all the back until the First World War (being historical), being a worldwide brand – no matter where you go, it is assumed that everyone will know the brand Coca Cola. They have not only created tons of campaigns, but they are part of major events, also Super Bowl which is watched all over the world -and greatest of all, being a part of a holiday like Christmas. Due to, Christmas has great importance worldwide and by having a mascot like Santa Claus creates a bond with their consumers.
This emphasizes that Coca Cola is not “just” a brand, it has many more feelings connected to it, it is a symbol of, for example, Christmas, friendships, joy, love, happiness, community and family.
3 Discuss neuromarketing as part of a company’s marketing strategy; is old wine on new bottles, or is the phenomena creating new opportunities or dilemmas? Include an ethical perspective.
3.1 Old wine on new bottles.
The phenomena “old wine on new bottles” is an old saying, and it means that an already existing idea or product is offered as if, it is a new product or makes them appear at modern innovations. The intention can also be keeping the products alive or make them attractive to audience that are unfamiliar with the brand.
The phenomena have created opportunities for business industries in general, not to mention, Coca Cola has created great many opportunities by using “old wine on new bottles”, they have been repackaging their products for many years – they kept track of how society developed and developed their product correspondingly. Coca Cola has always maintained their original taste and logo but have developed newer alternatives like Coca Cola Zero or Coca Cola Life, which has been put in a new bottle but still contain the original product as such – just with the regulation of less or zero calories and sugar. It can then be discussed whether it is new product or not, there are many parted meanings regarding the subject.
It can be discussed, that yes, Coca Cola Zero is new product, due to it was stated by Stuart Kronauge (business unit president, marketing) “… Introducing a new and improved recipe for one of our most popular no-calorie brands…” . Furthermore, it was also announced that it had an even better tasting recipe. But still it is a lot like Coca Cola and has the original taste, but it contains no sugar nor calories. Furthermore, the design of the packaging was also being updated, which could be seen as a new product as well, due to it is not the same as Coca Cola original.
On the other hand, it can be discussed, that no, Coca Cola Zero is not a new product, which can be reasoned by Coca Cola Zero falls under the category “Product Development” from Ansoff Matrix . Coca Cola is selling different product but to the same people and they only extend their products by producing new variants – which is not new products, but only a development of existing products. If Coca Cola chose a new market, for example food industry or clothing industry and created new products for that specific market, then would without doubt be a new product.
Even though, there can be reasoned for yes or no – then this will be a forever ongoing debate, but from a marketing aspect, then no – Coca Cola does not produce new products, they just develop new variants.
It can be argued that neuromarketing here takes advantage of the fact that the associations related to Coca Cola. By creating healthier alternative within their brand, it can be investigated that consumers will instinctively choose Coca Cola’s healthier alternatives because it is a brand we know and have feelings connected to. Along, with the factors of sensory neuromarketing which focus on our senses, including vision, where by seeing different colors, the human brain will connect this with emotions. Coca Cola has the known colors red and white, which could seem like random choice, but it is not. The color red brings the emotions such as: love, passion, strength and warmth and the color white bring: freshness and lightness. Which is what we associate with the brand and therefore by using the neuromarketing strategy this way, clears the way for competitors, as we are brand loyal and would prefer our well-known and loved brand rather than something new. Is this manipulating with the human’s mind and is it ethical correct to make one have so many emotions connected to a brand?
3.2 What is ethics and moral?
Morale is broadly the term for all notions of what is right and wrong, valuable and reprehensible in social – in life. Ethics means “manners” or “custom” it is about what we should do as individuals and as a society. Ethics are thus guiding for some of our actions.
Therefore, in this context, I think the concept of “manipulation” is essential, as one of the questions sounds that an ethical perspective of neuromarketing as part of a company’ marketing strategy must be included. I will therefore also get in on how neuromarketing is able to create a need that the consumer did not already have and the ethical perspective of this. Manipulation is defined as: “That a person affects someone in a dishonest way so that the affected unconsciously is led in a certain direction”. This hereby, can also be concluded that manipulation is an unethical, which draws us further to the question of whether neuromarketing is manipulative or not. Therefore, I have chosen to take baseline in an article from the New York Times, “Making ads that Whisper to the Brain”, due to it is regarding moral and ethical dilemmas in relation to neuromarketing.
3.3 Making ads that Whisper to the brain
The ad asks the question whether consumers should be worried that neruomarketing is turning us into robots that shops, without our own consent and knowledge. This has also raised the question among some consumers, that calls neuromarketing, “brandwashing”, which is mixture between brainwashing and branding. According to Mr. Chester “the government has traditionally not had to restrict advertising for adults, because we have a defense mechanism, which can distinguish between truth and untruth.”
This also led to that every individual has the ability to be skeptical towards marketing strategies, including neuromarketing.
Then Mr. Chester states;
“But if the advertising is now purposely designed to bypass those rational defenses, then the traditional legal defenses protecting advertising speech in the marketplace have to be questioned”
This statement illustrates the ethical problems that neuromarketing can cause, and it also highlights the fact that society has never faced a marketing strategy like this before. The ethical problem that occurs by the use of neuromarketing, is whether the consumers no longer are capable of making their own choices when purchasing products or services. Is that a use of manipulation? As mentioned earlier, there are many parted opinions whether neuromarketing manipulate the consumers of if it simply just is an advanced tool. In the book “Buyology”, Martin Lindstrøm also highlight his opinion, and that is neuromarketing is simply a tool.
While others have the opinion that even though new and advanced technology and strategies has been developed, that does not mean we should use them.
In the article, Dr. Pradeep state an example regarding if the consumers were persuaded to choose either toothpaste A or B, you would not really loose anything. But if the example was regarding politics, the choice between two presidents instead of toothpaste, the consequences could be massive. What if neuromarketing became a part of political campaigns, would we then really have our own opinion? It could further be discussed which consequences neuromarketing could create, if they were used in politics.
Moreover, the two mentioned opinions are very diverse, Dr. Pradeep states that if neuromarketing was used in propaganda or politics, it could have serious consequences, because we would be influenced in way, that consumers might not be able to fully make a choice based on their beliefs. On the other hand, Martin Lindstrøm sees the strategy as a tool, that is to no harm or manipulates the consumers – it is just an advanced tool that makes the ads more accurate to the consumers desires and needs.
Neuromarketing is now an invaluable tool for many businesses marketing strategies and have been through the last years. However, the strategy is also an expensive item for the companies, which probably means it is only larger companies that can benefit from the technology, for example Coca Cola – who have the resources to use i.e. the fmRI scanner – that is used to examine the reaction in the consumers brain and sensory marketing, including vision, smell, taste, touch. Neuromarketing focuses on the emotional regions, which makes our rational and natural way of thinking, become meaningless. For example, mentioned in section 1.1 Abercrombie draws benefits from sensory marketing, by their use of smell and vision, which would go against the marketing’s act, if the consumers was not made aware of the use of sensory branding – even still to base branding on consumers emotions – whether the consumer is aware or not, then the subconscious will be affected before we consciously make our purchasing decision.
I will therefore assume that neuromarketing is manipulative, which also makes it unethical due to the consumers are led unconsciously in a specific direction guided by the companies. I would believe that neuromarketing can help create a need that the consumers already have, but then it could just as easily create a new need that the consumers does not have. Either way, it is a general assumption that no one likes manipulation and even though we might not be consciously aware of changes in our buying behavior – it should be a general rule that every individual has the right to make their own choices, and not be manipulated to make purchase.
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