BRAINFLUENCE: 100 Ways To Persuade And Convince Consumers With Neuromarketing by ROGER DOOLEY

Imagine that you have a business or you work in a company and it’s up to you to drive sales up. You are neck and neck with your competition and you just can’t find a way to get the upper hand. Let’s spice things up and let’s say that if in the next  five too ten years you will not make a significant difference in your market share your company will go belly up (out of business). What would you do to boost your company/brand recognition and as a result boost your sales and take the lions share of the market? Would you continue to do what you did till now and hope the competition screws up, or that finally the consumers decide on their own that they like you better? Or would you pull up your sleeves and do some research? I say let’s do the research. But wait, somebody already did it. Now all that is left for you to do is to find what you could use and implement that into your business.

If you are looking for that little boost in your sales, brand/company recognition, or customer satisfaction I recommend you read Brainfluence written by Roger Dooley. In the book you will find 100 examples of how you can get that boost. The book is written so that it is easy to read, and is actually a summary of 100 “tricks” based on  marketing and neuromarketing reasearch done by professors, scientists and marketing specialists. You may have already read some “tricks” in The Branded Mind by Erik du PlessisThe Buying Brain by dr. A. K. Pradeep, and many more. But do not be afraid that you will have to read the same thing over again, because Dooley gives his own insights and adds new results to the “marketing tricks” that the authors before him did not published. It’s actually good to read about the same “tricks” from different perspectives, because it gives you more options on how to implement something you wanted to, but did not agree with the way of doing it as you read about it the first time. As you will read in my notes or later in the book some findings are really crazy, some are simple, but in the end research has shown, that these “tricks” can add to your business success. Even if you think they are really far-fetched or the outcome would be to little compared to the input, I would advise you to think long-term, and look at the big picture. Like the beginning of the book says, 95 percent of all thoughts, emotions, and learning occur before we are ever aware of them – subconsciously. So you see, people decide what to buy before they even know it. The trick is to help them decide towards your brand/company product or service without them even knowing you helped by pushing them in your direction. On the other hand most marketers have been and still are targeting to the rest 5 percent of the conscious mind of the consumer. So you see you still have a lot of room to get better and get the upper hand.

My notes from the book:

  • We all like to think there are good reasons for what we do and that our decisions result from a conscious, deliberative process. But researchers are constantly exposing new ways in which our subconscious drives our choices, often with minimal conscious involvement.
  • Neuromarketing is all about understanding how our brains work, regardless of the science used, and employing that understanding to improve both our marketing and our products.
  • 95% or our thoughts, emotions, and learning occur without our conscious awareness, according to Harvard marketing professor Gerald Zaltman
  • Bundling products or services minimizes pain (customers buying pain).
  • For many consumers, the credit card takes the pain out of purchasing. Pulling cash out of one’s wallet causes one to evaluate the purchase more carefully.
  • Selling products in a way that consumer sees the price increase with every bit of consumption causes the most pain.
  • If a higher anchor price can be established. Then offers involving lower prices will be attractive to consumers.
  • We have multiple studies showing that people enjoy a product more when they pay more for it. The pleasurable boost from a higher price occurs after purchase and consumption.
  • Be aware that discounting may actually reduce the quality of the customer experience.
  • Relativity is the key element in decoy marketing. Our brains aren’t good at judging absolute values, but they are always ready to compare values and benefits.
  • Research shows that having too many choices reduces sales, due to a sort of paralysis of analysis. Making choices tires the chooser’s brain and can make subsequent decision-making more difficult.
  • Choices are less daunting when the items are quite different and offer the consumer meaningful variation. Sales-killing choices are those that appear very similar and offer the consumer no shortcuts in making a decision.
  • The connection between our senses and our brain is direct. Marketers who build sensory features into their products, services, and marketing can appeal directly to the emotions and stored memories of their customers.
  • Smell is particularly potent in bypassing conscious thought and creating associations with memories and emotions. Smell can cause “involuntary memory”.
  • Scent can change the way we process information – a lemon aroma can make us more alert (this could be more helpful when introducing a new product).
  • Research shows you’ll remember the product better if it has a scent.
  • Our brains process first-time smells in a different way than familiar ones.
  • If a customer is consistently pleased by a product or service, that pleasurable experience will become attached to the brand. Conversely bad experience will also stick. Once these associations are established they will be difficult to change.
  • Even when your ads aren’t consciously noticed, your branding message is still having an impact. The key point for marketers is to keep your brand visible even when people don’t seem to be paying attention.
  • Brands don’t build themselves. It takes people.
  • The theory of social identity states that people have an inherent tendency to categorize themselves into groups.
  • Brands that can be positioned to put their customers into a group will find that their effort will be enhanced by their customer’s own need to belong.
  • When comparing brands don’t focus on the products. Focus on the people who use each product – who they are, what do they stand for,…
  • The way we perceive information can be affected dramatically by how simple or complex the font is. Readers of a simple font are more likely to make a commitment.
  • If you are selling a costly product, describing it using a hard-to-read font will suggest to the viewer that more effort went into creating that product.
  • If you want a reader to remember something making the reader’s brain work a little harder to read it can produce a more persistent memory. But don’t overdo it.
  • Our brains are wired to respond to baby faces, and even baby-like characteristics in adults. Babies are attention getters.
  • In advertising we will look at what the person we see in an ad is looking at. If they are looking at us we will simply look back at them and not really anywhere else. Make sure that the person in the ad is looking at what you want your audience to look at.
  • If men watch/view sexy images of women it makes them more impulsive and interested in immediate gratification. Being sexually aroused causes the male subject to be more focused on short-term gratification than on long-term logic.
  • A research showed that men find women with dilated pupils as more attractive.
  • Be carefull of using sex/sexy women in ads. They grab attention, but they can also reduce brand recall.
  • Loyalty is an amazingly potent tool when it can be established. Retaining a loyal customer is far cheaper than trying to convert new buyers. Even more important, a truly loyal customer can turn into a strong brand advocate and further extend your marketing reach.
  • Use counterfactual scenarios to boost loyalty, but don’t use it in a negative way, as it can quickly backfire and produce negative emotions.
  • Assuming your product or service is purchased frequently enough, offer your customers a loyalty program. In addition, keep your customers engaged by letting them monitor their progress and if possible reminding them about the program if they haven’t bought in a while.
  • If you want your customers to trust you, remind them that they can trust you. Also show them that you trust them.
  • Behavior research shows us that sometimes asking for one favor first can greatly increase probability of success with the second favor (which most people would otherwise not comply with).
  • Brain imaging studies show hot and cold stimuli light up and area of the brain related to trust and cooperation. Warm beverages affect not just our perceptions of other people but our own behavior as well.
  • Salespeople should be trained not just what to say, but when to say it – and when not to say anything at all.
  • We are drawn to stories about one person in crisis, but mass starvation or rampant disease barely engages us.
  • Researchers in the united kingdom found that the hippocampus, a small structure in our brain “predicts” what will happen next by automatically recalling an entire sequence of events in response to a single one. If you want to wake up your readers or listeners, substitute an unexpected word for the one their brains have already filled in.
  • When presenting data or facts use real numbers for impact (9 out of 10 customers rate our services as “excellent”). Your customers identify more closely with the statistics when they see numbers as people.
  • To engage potential customers, write a vivid story involving your product or brand. Include action, motion, dialogue, and other aspects that will activate different parts of your customers’ brains.
  • Statistics are simply less interesting and relevant to our brains than detailed anecdotes. Turning a testimonial into a personal anecdote will greatly increase its impact. Adding a name, a face and a story will play to the way our brains evolved and be more convincing and more memorable.
  • Give buyers a simple reason to buy your complex product.
  • Advertisers must strike a balance between repeating their message but also providing novel information to trigger the reward circuits in the brain.
  • A Standford university study shows that big potential rewards produce big responses, even if they are unlikely outcomes. In other words, our brain is very responsive to the size of the reward and far less sensitive to the probability of actually receiving that reward.
  • The customer’s real experience with the product will be shaped by his or her expectations and beliefs about the product.
  • Research continues to show that not only do men and women behave differently but they even use their brain differently. For example brain scan studies show that men and women viewing and emotional movie show different patterns of brain activation at the same points in the movie.
  • Men spend money to enhance their reputation (and their appeal to the opposite sex). Marketers who give a man a chance to buy something expensive in a visible way can expect an above-average rate of success. Bottom line, ensure visibility and public recognition for male clients.
  • When selling to male customer you should make a subtle appeal to his financial or authority status. Enable him to show off his beautiful “tail feathers”.
  • Male viewers are influenced by photos of attractive women, and their decisions skew toward the short-term and impulsive.
  • Clear (see through packaging) causes greater vulnerability to imaginary contamination.
  • Monitor where your customers post and engage them quickly and constructively. Don’t try to win an argument about who is right. Offer a simple but sincere apology, and state how the problem can be resolved with minimal customer pain. Not only do you have a chance to retain that customer, but you’ll have influenced many others as well.
  • Rude treatment is considered to be a revenge motivator. A sincere apology goes a long way toward defusing customer anger.
  • You have a greater chance of making a sale if you let your customers touch or hold your product. You can amplify the effect by helping customers imagine that they own the product.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a highly sought-after product, you may actually increase buyer commitment to your product by making the buying process a little more difficult.
  • Brands have damaged themselves when an emotional campaign failed to align with reality.
  • Emotional based marketing may be more difficult to create, but the statistics say it’s worth the effort. Our brain’s ability to process emotional input without cognitive processing, as well as the fact that our brain’s are more powerful at recording emotional stimuli should be a good enough reason to implement this concept.
  • If you are marketing to seniors keep it simple, because brain scans show a dramatic difference in the ability of older brains to suppress distracting information, which is a key factor in memory formation decline.
  • Use your customer’s imagination.
  • If you can help your customers imagine that they own the product, your chances of making a sale increase. Online you do this by asking leading questions in the product’s copy.
  • Based on eye-tracking research, where should the logo or brand identity be placed so that consumers actually see it, is the lower middle part of the pager or layout.
  • People form team allegiances very quickly and with very little prompting. Can you find some common ground with your customers?

If you want to know more what Roger Dooley is up to you can follow him on:




With every book I pick up I wonder if the book is worth my time and I have to say that Brainfluence was. When I was done with it I was like, wow… I can definitely use something out of this book. If you think about it, most of us are influenced by big or small companies who know these trick and use them on you and me. Getting into the subconscious of your consumers is the key to have an advantage over your competitor. How to do that check my note section of the post, or read the book. From a consumer’s point of view I recommend this book, as it will show you in a simple way how companies try to influence you unconsciously – where you are most vulnerable. In the book you will also read what is the best way to influence male or female consumers, how to influence senior consumers and more. The really cool part about the book was that it even included the “small stuff”, like where to put your logo, what types of font to use for which effect and more. One by one they add up and can make a real difference in the future of your business or your brand. In the end you decide which advice you will use and which not. For example even though research has shown that you should put your logo in middle bottom of your documents and pictures I choose to keep my logo on the “dead spot” of my pictures – which is the right lower corner, but on my blog I will put it in the middle bottom from now on.

Feel free to comment about the book. I would also appreciate your input about the post and the blog. If you have any suggestions what you found good, what you would like to see different, or simply any advice on what would you like to read as a review of a book let me know.

Thank you for your time. I hope you have found this post helpful. Talk to you in the comment section.


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