The Buying Brain | A.K. Pradeep

Summary of: The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind
By: A.K. Pradeep


Imagine unlocking the secrets to understanding consumers’ subconscious minds and utilizing that knowledge to create more effective marketing strategies. The Buying Brain by A.K. Pradeep dives into the fascinating world of neuromarketing and sheds light on how people’s brain processes and emotions influence their purchasing decisions. The book explores the six emotions through which the brain filters information, the role of ‘Mirror Neurons,’ and the importance of catering to all five senses. Apart from understanding the consumer’s brain, the book also emphasizes the need to adapt marketing techniques to cater to different demographics such as women, mature brains, and ‘Mommies.’ By the end of this summary, you will gain valuable insights into neuromarketing, and how to leverage neuroscience in improving business, advertising, marketing, and product development.

The Untapped Potential of Neuromarketing

The subconscious processes 99.999% of the 11 million bits of information our senses encounter every second. Traditional market research methods such as surveys and focus groups do not reveal the underlying reasons behind our decisions, but neuromarketing offers a competitive edge by providing more accurate data. Neuroscience can improve a wide range of business sectors, from advertising to product development. Electroencephalography (EEG), the basic technology for neuromarketing, dates back to the 1920s and has since been improved by advances in technology. Neurological testing requires smaller sample sizes than traditional methods, and EEG sensors can be accurately placed to capture the minute electrical signals the brain emits during activity. By understanding how most of our brain’s work occurs below our awareness, companies can use neuromarketing to create products and messages that leverage the emerging sciences of the brain. This partnership between marketers and consumers has the potential to be revolutionary.

The Power of Emotional Marketing

The human brain processes incoming information through six emotions, including sadness, fear, anger, disgust, happiness, and surprise. Some scientists also add contempt to the list, while women’s brains are more emotional. The brain craves novelty, direct eye contact, and messages that appeal to pleasure/reward centers. In the 1990s, scientists discovered Mirror Neurons that allow humans to experience another person’s actions subconsciously with empathy. Marketers can create meaningful connections by mirroring consumer behavior. More than 70% of the body’s sense receptors are located in the eyes, with visual processing involving a quarter of the brain. Pleasant smells tap into memory and emotion centers, while taste works alongside smell. Sound creates deep associations, and touch is primal. By understanding the brain’s emotional responses, marketers can create successful campaigns that delight the senses and generate positive feelings towards products.

Understanding the Mature and Female Brain

The brain evolves throughout life, with the greatest changes happening during childhood and adolescence. It reaches its peak at around age 22 and continues to change slowly until age 60. Marketers must learn to understand the mature brain, which is less able to filter out distractions but better at managing emotions. Women, who control approximately 80% of discretionary income in the US, rely heavily on social networks and have highly empathetic brains. To gain female consumers’ trust, marketers should address their emotions, use honest messaging embedded in stories, and remain aware of the emotional needs of new moms.

The Science of Neurometrics

Discovering how neurometrics can predict commercial success and provide a comprehensive understanding of the consumer experience.

Neuroscientists have developed “Neurometrics” to measure brain activity by recording split-second fluctuations and patterns in response to stimuli in the areas of Attention, Emotional Engagement, and Memory. By applying these metrics, researchers can determine the Neurometrics in the areas of Purchase Intent/Persuasion, Novelty, and Awareness/Understanding/Comprehension.

The combination of Emotional Engagement and Memory produces a “predictor variable” that forecasts commercial success. Neurometrics for Attention and Memory combine to produce a Novelty measurement, and neuroscientists monitor this measurement as the newness wears off. The formula for Awareness/Understanding/Comprehension derives from a combination of the metrics for Attention and Emotional Engagement.

What makes neurometrics stand out is the difficulty in describing the emotions that one experiences when exposed to a stimulus. The collection of real-time, granular data that primary and derived brainwave measurements generate produces a summary neurometric for “Effectiveness”. Additionally, by using “Deep Subconscious Response” technology, researchers can calculate receptivity by measuring brain activity before and after a subject uses a product or views an ad.

Researchers measure brain activity throughout the consumer experience, analyzing the “Total Consumer Experience,” from seeing the package to thinking about the experience afterward. They also identify peaks they call “Neurological Iconic Signatures,” which are the “unique imprints on the subconscious” that result “when something causes a significant neurological response.” Neurometrics, therefore, offer a comprehensive understanding of the consumer experience and the potential for predicting commercial success.

The 7 Stages of Consumer Purchasing Journey

Marketers guide consumers through seven distinct stages in the purchasing journey: Awareness, Information, Inquiry, Purchase Consideration, Purchase, Enjoyment, and Advocacy. The first stage begins with consumers becoming familiar with the brand or offering. The subsequent stages lead consumers to gather more information and make a purchase decision. Finally, the journey continues with the customers forming an opinion of the product or service. The last stage is the ultimate goal; delighted customers recommend their purchase to others. Understanding this journey can help marketers align their marketing strategies with the consumer’s purchasing process.

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