7 December 2022 1138 words, 5 min. read

Neuromarketing: definition, uses, and examples

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Neuromarketing includes a whole series of processes linking neurology and marketing activities. Its main ability is to translate brain signals into consumer behavior patterns. Thus, it has become essential to implement innovative advertising strategies. Major food companies such as Coca-Cola […]

Neuromarketing includes a whole series of processes linking neurology and marketing activities. Its main ability is to translate brain signals into consumer behavior patterns. Thus, it has become essential to implement innovative advertising strategies. Major food companies such as Coca-Cola or Lay’s are very fond of this marketing technique. What does it consist of? How does it respond to your brand’s marketing issues? Here are the 5 advantages of neuromarketing, as well as 3 examples of use to illustrate the benefits of this technique.

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Why use neuromarketing?

  • It allows for the detection of consumption patterns and, therefore, better reach consumers.
  • This is an optimal tactic to create innovative market penetration strategies.
  • It occasions an unparalleled personalization of the offer.
  • Accumulating information allows you to develop the customer experience with market research but also through neuromarketing.
  • There’s nothing like this marketing practice to increase your conversion rate.
  • Ultimately, neuroscience helps improve customer satisfaction.

Chapter 1

What is neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing provides some explanation of consumer preferences. The word was coined in the early 1990s by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman. According to Clive Thompson, this practice consists in “applying the methods of the neurology laboratory to the questions of the advertising world.”

Thus, this method allows us to understand better the different components of the marketing mix (i.e., the 7P marketing):

  • Product: the design to adopt, the packaging to favor, and so on.
  • Price: what price will satisfy consumers?
  • Promotion: the language elements favored by its marketing target, but also the visual details to adopt
  • Place: which distribution policy to favor to reach consumers better?
  • People: we then touch on the themes of relational marketing, e.g., the transmission of the brand’s values to its customers
  • Process: using neurology to establish better strategies for sales processes
  • Physical Evidence: for example, assessing the impact of tangible elements on a prospect who is about to make a purchase

In short, neuromarketing judges different elements, such as reaction time or the localization of neural activity.

Therefore, neuromarketing aims at understanding how the brain processes marketing information. This practice has developed strongly since the 1990s. As we will see in our case studies, major brands such as Coca-Cola are leaders in this field. Indeed, the company quickly undertook efforts to assess the neurological impact of its marketing processes. However, mixed with marketing, neurology raises questions about consumers’ freedoms. Indeed, these neurosciences disrupt their free will and right to privacy (Wilson R.M. et al., 2008).

Chapter 2

Neuromarketing: 5 advantages

Here’s how neuromarketing helps to understand consumer thought patterns better. This marketing tactic is based on innovation and provides a clearer view of the industry. It follows the marketing funnel in all its lineage.

Identify consumer habits

As mentioned, this technique is an open door to understanding common behavioral patterns. The cause-and-effect relationship of the stimuli sent to the audience makes it possible to exploit consumer data. The next logical step is to design optimized campaigns for your customers! Moreover, the resulting models can be adapted to several product lines.

consumer habits neuromarketing

Thanks to neuromarketing, brands better understand their customers’ expectations

Developing a new approach to the industry

Neuromarketing is an opportunity to implement new marketing tactics. Market research and literature reviews are given an additional boost. This information analyzes the effect of the elements of your campaigns to gain fresh insights on several levels:

  • Attract the consumer’s attention
  • Convey your brand values to them
  • And create an emotional connection with them.

Proposing a more personalized offer

The brand image is enhanced by neuromarketing, provided it is well carried out. This is an ideal way to speak the same language as your target audience. It focuses your communication on the real needs of the industry. Think about it: being aware of what influences the perception of your brand leads to a better marketing response!

Improve the customer experience

Improve your user experience with neuromarketing. Take advantage of it to better know your customers and understand their thoughts and wants. This marketing tactic applied to the customer experience leads to more benefits for your brand and the end customer. For example, comparing consumer behaviors with A/B testing is essential to good website design.

customer experience neuromarketing

Neurology provides much information for marketers to improve the customer experience.

Optimize your conversion rate

Finally, turn your prospects into customers more often, thanks to neuromarketing. Neuromarketing is a powerful tool for consolidating your sales outlet marketing efforts. This marketing practice helps to understand the actual customer experience. This way, it is easier to detect the key places to promote the purchase of a product. For example, this may involve changing the layout of your storefront. Whatever the case, the objective remains the same: to attract more attention and improve the attractiveness of the sales outlet.

Chapter 3

3 examples of neuromarketing applications

The use of neuroscience applied to marketing is familiar to the biggest companies in the world. Indeed, we research here the cases of 3 behemoths of the food and technology industries: Lay’s, Apple, and Coca-Cola.

Lay’s and neuromarketing it’s all about packaging

The potato chip manufacturer started from the following observation: the female public is more complicated to convince than its male counterpart. For this reason, the brand believes that women are less inclined to snack between meals. Therefore, Lay’s has opted for a modification of its packaging. From now on, “healthy” colors adorn their packaging. By touching on values related to bodily health, the brand reached a segment of the industry that had previously eluded it.

At Apple, contact with the product is paramount

Apple Stores are invitations to product testing. Their smartphones, tablets, and computers are central to the customer experience in the physical sales outlet. This choice is the result of extensive consumer research. Apple, a global marketing reference, has used neuromarketing to link consumers more and more to its technological innovations.

The American company is a master at tapping into buying motivations. For this reason, it is constantly interested in any notion related to experiential marketing.

Coca-Cola uses neuromarketing to take down the competition

Soliciting pleasant memories is a huge argument for boosting your brand’s sales. However, research conducted by Samuel McClure shows that associative memory significantly impacts consumers’ decisions. Coca-Cola faces competition from Pepsi, a brand proposing a similar offer to its own. The experiment is simple: two identical soft drinks, except for the container. Ultimately, the stimuli caused by the Coca-Cola glass won out over the Pepsi glass. Consumers preferred to drink from the Coca-Cola container. What is the moral of this story?


Posted in Innovation.

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