This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

August 26, 2009

The Neuroscience of Marketing

A pioneering study on Neuromarketing will change forever the way marketers and advertisers promote their goods and services. The field of "Neuromarketing" provides a scientific basis on which to make sound advertising decisions, using research about what we know works. Conducted by Brand Futurist and Advertising Guru Martin Lindstrom, this study took three years and seven million dollars of his clients' money to complete. Some of us, who for years have believed the party lines that "sex sells" and "engendering fear turns people off", are in for a big surprise.

Examining over 2,000 subjects in the United States, England, Germany, Japan, and the Republic of China, and using some state-of-the-art machines, including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) technology, Lindstrom exposed his subjects to advertising messages then watched what happened within their brains. What he discovered was fascinating.

In fact, sex does not sell anything. Actually, it distracts consumers from the intended messages. So using members of the scantily clad men and women to sell products and services is not the best use of advertising dollars.

On the other hand, fear does sell. At least in the case of smoking and the warnings on packages of cigarettes, we humans are attracted to the source of our fear and are then stimulated by it to consume more.

So those ghastly pictures on cigarette packs in Canada, Thailand, Australia, Brazil----and soon the U.K. as well. are working. These gory, real-life, full- color photographs show graphic images of lung tumors, gangrenous feet and toes, and the open sores and disintegrating teeth caused by mouth and throat cancers. What Lindstrom found was the more disgusting the picture, the greater the stimulation of the part of the brain that causes craving of the offensive substance.

All of this ground-breaking material is found in Lindstrom's bestseller, "Buyology---Truth and Lies About Why We Buy". Originally published by Doubleday Business almost a year ago, the 256-page hardcover book is available in twelve languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, and Russian.

Expect more marketers to embrace Lindstrom's brilliant work and to build campaigns on what we now know works to stimulate consumers to buy.

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