Are We What We Buy? Entering a Conversation about Brand Marketing

Contemporary marketing has evolved over the years with the emergence of branding and neuromarketing. Such marketing is strikingly different from the old marketing trends whereby people used to purchase products based on their availability and cost. Modern day purchasing patterns have changed whereby people have continually opted to buy products and services based on the manner in which their brands are presented. As such, the decisions to purchase a product or not have not been informed by the conscious thought but stimulus embedded at deeper levels of the human brain. While people argued about the science behind neuromarketing, supporters have successfully address all the concerns. Branding and neuromarketing have influenced the purchase decision made by modern day consumers through knowledge of how mind psychology works and despite criticisms, it would continue to become mainstream.

According to Satel and Lilienfeld, marketing strategies have significantly changed to incorporate neuroscience. Although this technique is yet to revolutionize the entire marketing industry, these authors acknowledge that most marketers are increasingly incorporating strategies that determine the purchasing patterns and other features that influence their capacity to buy products, at the neurological levels. Neuroscience and related tools that help researchers get new insights regarding various aspects of brands and its perception are slowly getting into mainstream marketing. These techniques assess parameters such as the products the customers want, the things that attract them to buy such products, and the way companies can get consumers to buy products. Due to its perceived effectiveness, companies are enticed to study and apply it.

Based on the findings, it is true to argue that neuromarketing is a positive development for both businesses and their customers. Whereas corporations benefit by having to produce the products their consumers want, consumers are also relieved of the process of selecting products, which may not only be tedious but expensive. Although neuromarketing is perceived as landmark invention in the world of advertising, consumers need to be wary of the tricks applied by most marketers looking to “super-influence” them into purchasing products they would otherwise not be willing to purchase. According to Satel and Lilienfeld, the neuromarketing firms apply brain teasing techniques that blow out the mind of potential consumers who feel obliged to buy the said products. The authors also feel that neuromarketing is hyped since it capitalizes on the vulnerability of clients who are blown away by the thought of neuroscience in marketing.

Although Satel and Lilienfeld illustrate that only a few advertisers have integrated neuromarketing, the fact that big players in the market such as Google are adopting the corresponding techniques highlights the effectiveness of neuroscience in modern day marketing. However, few studies have been put forth to support such claims since companies are coy about sharing their advertising techniques. They won’t even tell anyone how to start a compare and contrast paragraph for free. According to Satel and Lilienfeld, Columbia University researchers discovered discrepancies uncertainties on the websites of companies that claimed to have used neuromarketing. It turned out that the companies used old techniques to examine consumer behavior. To counter this notion, various research iniatives had been implemented with the aim of studying how this new phenomenon works.

A major part of the emerging studies is related to the aspect of advertising that seems to invade the human brain through the brands. According to Klein and Byam, corporations began incorporating the idea of producing brands rather than products in the mid-1980s. Klein illustrates the wave of global companies that adopted branding up to date. For instance, Nike, Microsoft, and Intel are known for the image brought about by their brands rather than the products they sell. Just as neuromarketing, Klein and Byam illustrate the effects of branding on the lifestyle and purchasing trends of consumers. Advertisers of brandings used a technique of using advertisements to change the way people live. After that, they would be vulnerable to be convinced to purchase these very brands given that they changed their lifestyles. Lifestyle brands have since been prevalent. Brands conjure a feeling that may influence consumers at comforting and deeper levels just as neuromarketing.

It is arguable that branding has also invaded the human brain. This deduction stems from the fact that some people use the brands because they were born or they interact in environments in which the given lifestyle is prevalent. Branding has its drawbacks as illustrated by Klein and Byam in their piece. She presents a scenario in which a major player in the cigarette industry, Marlboro, which had a strong brand, collapsed owing to the exorbitant prices charged for the products in relation to other competing companies. Corporations can use branding to overcharge customers on products that would cost less. Klein and Byam describe the invasion of branding into the everyday life of ordinary customers. She perceives branding as a positive development that allows consumers to achieve the best feelings out of products pertinent to their day-to-day activities. For instance, Nike has leveraged the deep emotional connection consumers have with fitness and sports. Another company is Starbucks that has leveraged an emotional connection people have with their coffee. Consequently, a great brand creates an enhanced sense of purpose to the purchased product.

In conclusion, the neuromarketing and branding have invaded the human brain when it comes to their purchasing trends. These two techniques are a positive development in marketing as they improve the experience of customers as well as enhancing their satisfaction levels. As such, consumers are easily capable of acquiring the goods they desire. The products they purchase also enhance their emotions and feelings in their everyday endeavors, be it going for a jog or just taking coffee. Consumers should not fear neuromarketing and branding although should be cautious of the ones that are exploitative. The best forms are the ones that increase satisfaction levels without necessarily having to charge exorbitant costs in relation to competing brands.

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