Goafest 2011: Soon, brain science will allow understanding of consumer mindset

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, Goa | In Advertising | April 11, 2011
The second session after lunch on the third day of the Knowledge Seminar at Goafest 2011, saw agencies taking a futuristic step by studying the human brain behaviour in order to understand the consumer mindset.

The second session after lunch on the third day of the Knowledge Seminar at Goafest 2011, held at Zuri White Sands, Goa, on April 9, saw agency heads focussing on the human brain and what's cooking inside -- the gateway to heaven for the marketers. With agencies now concentrating on studying human behaviour by understanding the functionality of the brain, the future will be about marketers understanding human mindset through brain science.

Opening the session, Robin Wight, president, Engine and WCRS, said, "In the future, brain science will evolutionise the marketing industry as it will open a new window, and marketers will be able to read and understand consumer behavioural pattern."

He added that the human brain has two minds. The cognitive mind drives the thinking and feeling system, and the genetic mind, which is the centre of reflex. Most of the time, marketers target the wrong mind, thus failing to gain consumer trust. The rate of failure for brands is very high, globally.

According to Wight, most of the time it is the autopilot mind, which makes the decision, "We don't control most of what our brain decides for us, as the brain wants to avoid risk."

He later explained that the brain saves its energy for most of the things in life that seldom has anything to do with marketing.

Citing the example of how ancestor ownership of brands build loyalty, Clark said, "Brands like Louis Vuitton, Levi's, Burberry and Lifebuoy have been present in the market for a long while now. So, children are exposed to the brands mostly used in their house, right from the start, thereby developing a strong loyalty towards the brand by the time they grow up."

Clark stressed on the fact that consumers do not like changing their minds and the change cannot be forced upon them -- for example, most people in India still refer to Mumbai by its old name, Bombay.

Wight alerted marketers and agencies by stating that brands need to maintain a balance between continuity and differentiation. He then gave the example of Volkswagen's Beetle ad, Orange, saying, "While these brands have been able to launch clutter-breaking campaigns every time, they have at the same time, maintained the continuity of their brand value."

He closed the session by emphasising on the fact that brands only exist because they help consumers in making a buying decision without using their brains too much. He said that unleashing the knowledge of the human brain will provide a great power in the hands of marketers.

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