The Buying Brain: Secrets for selling to the subconscious mind by Dr. A. K. Pradeep

How much control do you have over your mind? A funny thing to ask isn’t it, but the issue is serious. Every day people and businesses invest a lot of money in researches to find out how they can influence people more subtle – you could even say secretly, and more effectively. They are doing the research because they want you to buy their products or services. So if they are gearing up,  coming “guns blazing”, why aren’t you doing everything in your power to protect yourself or in this case your mind? The research shows that with certain words, actions or mimics our brain can be influences to like something or someone more. Even shapes, colors, sound and smell affects our decision-making. So my suggestion to you is to learn a little bit about yourself – your mind, your subconscious, because the people selling to you are most definetly hungry for your attention, your money and they are going to do everything they can to get it. The interesting part about your brain is that it is changing all the time. And how it is changing is up to you, basically you could say that it matters what you feed your mind with and where your attention goes. But we are not here to talk about how the brain works from a strictly biological point of view. You can read more about that here, what we are going to talk about is a combination of neuroscience and marketing – yes you guessed it, we are going to talk about neuromarketing. So let’s take a look at my notes and we will continue from there.

My notes from the book:

  • The human brain differs in some respects – for example, between men and women, or young children and seniors.
  • What our brains actually perceive and recall is different from what we say we perceived and recalled when we’re asked. The process  of accessing that stored information and translating it into a physical response actually causes the brain to alter its original response (that is why interviews or questioners are not always accurate).
  • The subconscious level of the brain is where elements that are essential to marketing success such as initial product interest, purchase intent, and brand loyalty are formed, and where they reside.
  • Our brain is the most metabolically expensive organ to operate – representing only 3 percent of the body weight, yet requiring up to 20 percent of its energy.
  • The human brain is emotional at its very core. While women process messaging with more emotion than man, both genders must be engaged emotionally for a message to be remembered and acted upon.
  • Whenever possible, position your message or products in scenarios without clutter. If clutter is unavoidable in your crowded category, make sure your message, or image is clean and clear and use white space and simple direct messages.
  • The female brain is designed to multitask. With many more connections between her right and left hemisphere, than a typical male brain, the female brain juggles tasks, emotions, logical input, and to-do lists with ease.
  • Novelty is the single most effective factor in effectively capturing the brains attention.
  • The brain loves puzzles and humor.
  • Provide networking opportunities through your brand, product, or environment (especially for female consumers).
  • The connections (in the brain) that are active and generating electrical currents survive, whereas those neurons with little or no activity fade away. Thus the circuits of the adult brain are formed, at least in part by sculpting away incorrect or unused connections to leave only the correct ones (repetition is the key).
  • About one-fourth of the human brain is involved in visual processing. We understand our world mainly by looking at it.
  • When vision and sound are presented together, the brain places greater credibility and impact on the visual portion.
  • Smells are mainlined directly into our center for emotion and memory.
  • Older adults strive for emotional equilibrium, which in turn affects the ways their brains process information. They like to feel good about who they are and how far they’ve come.
  • Gloom and doom are not the way to reach and older audience, nor are portraits of a bleak future. Rather, focus messaging on the wit and wisdom of older consumers.
  • Another memory deficit that comes with aging is the tendency to consider familiar information to be true information.
  • Women filter rational messages through their emotions. They do not solve logical problems without emotional oversight.
  • Women are multitaskers and they like being acknowledged for their abilities.
  • When selling to men get straight to the point – what’s in it for them.
  • The male brain’s highest goal is autonomy, whereas the female brain’s highest goal is community.
  • In ratio women have slightly larger prefrontal cortexes than man. This helps allow them to control emotions during moments of peak anxiety.
  • Look for ways your brand or product can sponsor or promote opportunities for women to get together – either virtually or literally, where they can discuss, validate, and tie together all areas of their lives.
  • Emotional memories are paramount in her decision-making and in her relationships. She will remember with extreme accuracy whom she can count on, and whom she can’t. She is loyal and exclusive, and she may shut out other suitors unless you violate her trust. Keep this in mind when dealing with women.
  • The mirror neuron theory says that when you watch someone perform an action, you automatically simulate the action in your own brain.
  • Women have a much larger and more integrated mirror neuron system, which allows them of putting oneself in another’s shoes. Women also feel events that happen to others as if they were happening to them. Men also have a highly functioning mirror neuron system, they just focus more on repeating an action observed.
  • Women love to hear stories, they love to know how others feel, and when it’s appropriate and possible, they love to express their support.
  • When marketing to mothers feature moms using the product, and sharing the experience with other mothers.
  • Moms are 80 percent more likely to buy a product from a company that recognizes the multiple roles she plays in her life.
  • Mirror neurons operate in your subconscious. They absorb the culture experiences, feelings, and actions of those around you – and you are changed.
  • Emotional engagement and memory activation tend to increase purchasing.
  • When a consumer makes his purchase remind him again of the enjoyment and the pleasure he is about to derive from it. Doing so the consumer will feel more loyal and even thankful to the brand.
  • Effective advertising needs to stimulate not only the purchase of the product, but also provide cues as to how the product can be enjoyed once acquired.
  • The brands in our lives serve a vital human purpose: They give identity, meaning, and connectivity to our experiences and possessions.
  • When brands resonate with a consumers deep social, moral, or spiritual values, the propensity for brand advocacy increases across both real and virtual social networks. Values strengthen the connection of feelings to brands.
  • Emotions are means for the brain to recall large amounts of information. This means that complex purchases will be guided in large part by emotions.
  • When presenting or selling a product keep in mind that the product lives in an ecosystem dominated by people, places and feelings. Make sure your presentations or pitch covers all three areas before specifying the products characteristics.
  • The subconscious seems to assign superior value to an experience that combines a sense of exclusivity, on the one hand, with a sense of belonging on the other.
  • Neurologically we are designed to focus on faces.
  • Emotion-based messaging is best suited for large format video displays (since the face is more recognisable).
  • Fact-based messaging is more suited for smaller devices where consumers can retrieve and absorb data quickly and easy.
  • Communities fulfill deep emotional needs.
  • From the brains point of view error is attractive, engaging, and often irresistible. Finding ways to incorporate “Error” into advertising can help your messaging stand out amid the clutter.

Make funny and puzzling “errors” to stand out (source of the picture 15.4.2016)

As you see the human brain – the mind is still a mystery to us. With better technology and progress in the field of science we will learn more about ourselves and we will be able to control our actions, communication, our mindset, and more much better. We already see the difference in people with a positive mental attitude, they are more likely to succeed at their goals, and if they fail, they quickly pick themselves up and go after the next one. The point I’m trying to make and what I also got from the book, is that your brain develops in the direction where you put your focus and energy to. What you read, what you listen to, what you watch, it shapes your thinking, and you as a person. And if you did not think about the consequences your daily activities have on you and your future I hope you have started to think about it now. Because a lot of people are thinking about shaping your mind, and they probably want to do so for their benefit, not necessarily yours. So who should be shaping your thoughts, you or someone else?

The author emphasizes the role of the mother in today world. What you as a marketer need to be aware of is that mothers constantly search and share information about products and services they use. Women from the start of humanity got together and shared their knowledge and experiences, and today is no different, except that now they have a lot more ways to share their information then they had in the past. So it is very important to make a brand (or a product) which is accepted by mothers (and not a brand that is despised by them), and you can achieve that by being emotional, by enabling them to connect with each other and share their experiences, and try to organize live events, and live presentations, it will help you a lot. If you make ads, they must carry the message that your brand understand how much mothers do, and how much they contribute to their family and the whole community, and that you are with them by their side to try and make things just a little bit easier for them, because they deserve at least that. Also make sure that in the ad there is a mother with the product of your brand and is sharing it with another mother. And if you succeed in being accepted by the “mom” population you will get a supportive tribe that will promote your brand and defend it until the end. But if you for any reason betray their trust you can be sure your done and gone from the market because they (mothers) will do everything in their power to warn others of your wrongdoings. If you would launch a product / service / or a brand on which segment of the population would you focus the most and how?

Now a couple of words about the book. The author gives plenty of examples of experiments, tests and framework of the work they do at their research facilities, but he gives only a little bit of information about what they have discovered, saying that they can not share the information as it is owned by the companies that ordered and paid for the research (valid point). Many times he starts explaining how good their research is and how deep and accurate their reading of the brain signals and so on are, but like I mentioned, they do not reveal their findings. Or if they do, they share very little information about the results and a whole lot of information about their process. In doing so you get a feeling of bragging, like he is writing a lot about the methods they use and the frameworks they made, and the readings they can make, but very little of that will help you unless you intend to become their client. Thus making this book like a commercial and not as a resource for neuromarketing. Yes I got some information and suggestions about the mind and what to be aware of, but the book is or was not worth my time and the 230+ pages. Like I said you get to read a lot about their frameworks, sometimes almost half or more of the chapter. I got some interesting information, but I expected more – I read the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads before reading the book and I really thought I would get more out of it. I would like to recommend this book, but I can’t. To much pages for so little useful information – unless you are a company that is interested in their research and hiring them, then you should definetly read this book. If you are a marketer, or in sales, or someone who is interested in brand awareness or neuromarketing, then maybe you can skip this book. The choice is yours.

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.



Leave a Reply