The Eight Secrets of Neuromarketing Every Marketer Should Know
In the second part of a two-part blog, Ricky Chopra of Wake The Bear examines eight neuromarketing hacks that marketers could use to improve high street sales.
Marketers must understand that even though we like to believe we are making rational decisions about our purchases our unconscious mind is often acting under the influence of basic evolutionary programming. This is where the power of neuromarketing can help.
So, if retailers really want to unpack the neurological drivers of impulsive purchasing, they could and should use neuromarketing to stimulate high street spending. Here’s eight secrets that demonstrate how it could be done…
- The Power of Retail Therapy
People derive an enormous amount of pleasure from acquiring something new. The act of buying is an act of empowerment that may be felt all too rarely in other aspects of life.
However, negative emotions, like guilt and shame, also trigger impulsive buying. For highly stress-reactive people, the short-term gratification accompanying impulse buying would enhance their positive self-feelings and mood states. Moreover, for most people, impulse buying is viewed as a means of coping with stress. Shoppers in a negative mood indulge in impulse buying to waive off their unpleasant mood and people report feeling “better” following an impulse purchase.
Therefore, retailers should promote self-gifting as a means of escape from their negative emotional state. Cheer yourself up with a little retail therapy.
- Tapping into Individualism vs. Collectivism
Consumers buy products to express their individualism or collectivism.
Individuals who associate themselves with collective groups such as family, friends and co-workers are motivated to follow the norms and values of these groups. Retailers should leverage collectivism by calling out the must-have items of popular social groupings. Individuals who see them self as autonomous and independent are motivated by their preference and give priority to their personal goals and emphasis on rational relationship with others.
Individualists are very susceptible to loss aversion – our innate concern to avoid feeling bad in the future. They reason that it’s best to buy that must-have item that expresses their individualism now to avoid feel bad later if it sells out. Therefore, retailers need to ensure they don’t overstock their shelves and rails in store so Individualists conclude they may miss out of the don’t purchase now.
Neuromarketing research suggests that scarcity, the simple assumption that the product or deal won’t last forever, is enough to trigger our unconscious focus to switch to the fear we’ll miss out.
- Fantasy – less thinking, more desire to buy
Daydreams and fantasies promote a sudden and spontaneous desire to act because they give rise to emotions that bypass our logical and rational thought.
Therefore, retailers should construct in-store experiences that promote the formation of fantasies to initiate psychological states that reduce cognitive evaluation, so consumers disregard consumption consequences.
- Retail Surrender – Celebrate Being Out of Control
The fear of being out of control has been proven to give rise to impulse shopping.
Retailers should embrace the state of psychological disequilibrium by constructing communications that promote the virtues of losing control.
- Heuristics and our susceptibility to ‘value’
Most shopping tasks rely on ‘heuristics’, which are unconsciously held rules of thumb – that help us make quick decisions that we’ve learned generally work out well.
Imagine if you cross-referenced every item you bought during your weekly supermarket shop. The time taken to compare price, features and reviews would be so arduous, we may never fill our baskets. Our susceptibility to ‘value’ isn’t just a function of loss aversion; many of us have an innate desire to save. Our evolutionary drive to store food remains. In short, we find it hard to resist the idea that we need to save time or money.
Luxury Retailers should consider constructing a brand narrative that plays on statements like quality and style that never dates and as such saves one time and money as that’s one less thing to worry about. High Street retailers should consider packaging up products to include extras, giving consumers the impression that it must be good value, and it’s this gut feeling that enforces impulse purchase rather than researching any further.
- Problem Solving – let perception do the work
There are many instances where unplanned purchases are made in response to a need to solve a perceived problem.
To trigger impulsive, buying retailers should consider weaving into their sequential product stories, a narrative that focuses on the features of their product that solve everyday problems.
- Self-Absorption – enchant with the right environment
Absorption is a tendency to become immersed in self-involving experiences triggered by engaging external and imagined stimuli.
Highly absorptive persons are more likely to have unusual and unconventional thinking and can suspend disbelief. Triggering absorptive emotional responses requires engaging sights and sounds that enchant the shopper with vivid and compelling imaginings. These are so immersive they experience near altered states that influence the impulsive purchase of products.
Retailers should leverage the environmental and point of sale cues, including colours, smells, sounds and textures, to encourage self-absorbed people to shop impulsively.
- The Couples Effect – indulging in a little retail infidelity
Obviously, income has an impact on values, behaviour, and lifestyles. Research by Peter & Olson (1999) suggests there is a solid relationship between income level and impulse purchasing power.
Surprisingly they also uncovered a coloration with marital status and impulse purchasing. As the number of years married increases, this leads to increase quantity and variety of impulse purchases.
Therefore, retailers should consider targeting people in relationships and encourage them to indulge in a little retail infidelity.
Credit: The Drum