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  • Writer's pictureSamradni

Brainfluence Book Summary: Psychological appeals that work in Marketing

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

I cannot possibly start this blog post without giving you guys an understanding of what is Neuromarketing.

And while I would definitely be working around a post to explain this in detail, here’s a short understanding of the same.

What is Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing involves the process of understanding how the brain of a consumer works, and at the same time understanding how your marketing efforts affect the same.

That being said, the technical side of understanding it, is quite complex.

Here you actually use two neuroscience techniques that can specifically pin point how consumers react to different parts of your marketing strategy.

Now, let’s talk about the book

The book focusses on ways in which a consumer’s psychological instincts, help them make a purchase decision in regards to your brand.

It makes you rethink, if you believe, that there is no connect between Marketing and Science.

In fact, it makes you believe that Marketing is Psychology!

Pause for a second and think about any of your purchases in the recent past, you clearly had a psychological motive in play.

Something like, I want to buy this dress, why though, because may be it will make me stand out from the crowd and garner more attention.

We have all been there, so lets not try to hide it.

The point being, that these are psychological traits that plays a major role in purchases.

The book covers 100 ways in which you can persuade your consumer to make a sale using Neuromarketing.

I would love to talk about all 100 here, since I feel they are all so very important!

But let’s just focus on the top 10 in my opinion

Brainfluence Takeaway #1: Minimum Pain, Maximum Sales

The pain here, refers to an ‘Ouch’ moment that a consumer experiences when they notice your brand being priced higher than the competition.

Consumers are price conscious, no denying that.

And especially in the new digital age when they have the liberty to compare prices, it becomes all the more easier to settle for a cheaper alternative.

But what happens when your product is priced much higher than the competition?

In a situation like this, you need ensure you explain your price hike to the consumers.

Let’s look at an example

My favourite beauty brand, The Body Shop

Now when Body Shop was first introduced in the market in India, it was clearly priced way higher than your other beauty products.

But the brand literally spelled out, why the extra charge.

They clearly spoke about the products being ‘cruelty free’ and not tested on animals.

Consumers like me, could totally relate to the brand and wouldn’t mind paying extra for the same.

Brainfluence Takeaway #2: Be Careful Where You Drop Your Anchor!

When a brand is introduced in a particular category, either of these things happen

1. The brand is lower priced in comparison to the competition

2. The brand is higher priced in comparison to the competition

In both these cases however, the USP must be highlighted, if it’s lower priced, well it better be a great offer.

If it’s higher priced, then give the consumer a clear reason as to why is this better!

Let’s look at an example

When Nirma was introduced in the market at a much lower price, it was a big blow to Surf Excel.

How did Surf retaliate? By making a clear distinction stating- Yes I’m pricey, but here’s why

Look at the commercial below

Brainfluence Takeaway #3: Try a “Not-So-Good” Decoy to Push Your Top Product

A decoy, almost always works.

And this has been mentioned in the book as well, how well it psychologically plays with your brain and makes you choose the product that the marketer wants.

I have already written an entire post on how a decoy works, you can read it here

Brainfluence Takeaway #4: Appeal to All Five Senses

Your marketing efforts need to appeal to all the five senses of your consumers.

Now the list of all the senses is not exhaustive, we have just 5.

Let’s look at these

Sight—logo, product design, color(s), typeface

Have a unique logo, something memorable that a consumer can instantly connect to. Also, your brand colours should be constant across, like when it comes to McDonald’s the colours yellow and red clearly create a connect

Sound—music, product sounds

Advertising jingles or music for a brand creates a great connect with the brand!

Taste—product taste, edible favors/gifts

Brands like Maggi are perfect examples in this case.

The Maggi masala has this peculiar taste which consumers are extremely fond of, and hence develops a great brand connect.

Smell—environmental aroma, product aroma

Johnson & Johnsons baby products have this instant connect with babies.

I am sure even mentioning this would’ve made an instant connect with the baby oil fragrance!

Touch—product surface

How does the product feel, we see these ads from Comfort fabric softener.

The communication itself attempts to show you how soft the fabric feels

Brainfluence Takeaway #5: Find and Keep Your Key Audio Branding Elements

Consistent use is the key to effective audio branding.

The iconic Titan tune is the best example in this case

For years together they have ensured that this particular audio branding element is constant.

It’s evolved ofcourse, but still constant

Have you seen their recent campaign? Here’s my analysis on the same

Brainfluence Takeaway #6: Use Scent to Be Memorable

Use a particular scent that reminds the consumers to come and purchase.

Classic example of this is in the case of Popcorn during movies, in theatre.

The vendors actually starts the preparation close to the interval, because they know the popcorn fragrance will entice you to come and buy.

Similarly, for all the coffee lovers, you can instantly connect to the coffee fragrance you encounter as soon as you enter Starbucks.

The fragrance of baking bread, cookie baking etc. all these are tactics that are used to make consumers purchase.

Brainfluence Takeaway #7: Make Your Customers Feel Like Members of a Group

Belongingness is a trait that humans have associated themselves with, for generations now.

The need to be a part of a group makes a consumer buy into things, which may not be necessary for him.

The best example for this is the Blackberry boys commercial!

Back in those days, owning a Blackberry was more like being a part of the cool gang.

Be it for college students or working professionals, before the introduction of WhatsApp, BBM ruled the world.

The commercial highlighted this need of belongingness so well

Watch the ad below

Brainfluence Takeaway #8: Baby Pictures Draw the Eye

The book mentions that there have been researches whereby it’s proven that including babies or baby pictures in your communication have a positive impact.

It’s also a great way to grab your consumers attention

But isn’t this specific to baby products?

Well not really, and I have a great example for you! Evian baby ads

Such great content, that it instantly makes you smile

Watch the ad below

Brainfluence Takeaway #9: Sexy Women Affect Male Decisions

This might not be something new, most of us are already aware of this.

But the book highlights about how research has proven this as well

One of the best example for this is the direct portrayal of women attraction in Axe ads

Remember the chocolate man?

Though the ad created a lot of controversy, the communication was still memorable.

Not just memorable, it helped the brand tremendously

Watch the ad below

Brainfluence Takeaway #10: Show Trust to Get Trust

This one is the most important I believe

And a lot of brands find it really difficult to get through this one

But what happens when a brand is on the verge of losing their consumers trust

The task becomes all the more difficult

But when Cadbury was facing the whole worm problem, they came up with a communication that truly redefined the form of portraying trust

Watch the ad below

While these are my top 10 learnings from the book, I totally recommend you guys to read the book in its entirety since there is so much more to explore !


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