The Latest Neuromarketing Insights

The Latest Neuromarketing Insights made actionable

Every month we’re searching through 100’s of scientific articles, so you don’t have to.

Why Chaotic Shelves Make Your Customers Run Away

Why Chaotic Shelves Make Your Customers Run Away

Going to a liquor store or standing in front of a shelf in the supermarket might sometimes be a little overwhelming. All products are screaming for your attention and it might be hard to pick the right product from the different designs and product sizes. 

Marketeers are trying to persuade you as a customer to buy their products by creating attractive and appealing packages. Although package attractiveness is an important aspect of consumer evaluations, recent research has shown that this is not the only important aspect of decision-making. The perceived size of a product also plays a crucial role in the decision process, especially when consumers face a product assortment containing many different sizes. 


How does it work? 

Imagine that you are going to buy a product. You are probably scanning the shelves for the product that you are looking for. By doing this, a lot of different visual cues are coming your way, affecting your perception of both the products and the product environment. 


In chaotic surroundings, like when the shelf is too overwhelming, your attention will be drawn away from the focal products. This negatively influences the ease of processing information, leading to more negative reactions concerning your perception of attractiveness and pleasure related to the products. And this is not the only effect. Since your attention weakens and your processing fluency is getting worse, you will be less likely to proceed to purchase, cannibalizing  revenue. 


Let’s test

Does this neuromarketing principle sound complex? Let’s try to make it more tangible. Take a look at the picture below. Also having trouble paying attention to the bottles? You’re definitely not the only one.


High disorder


When comparing the chaotic picture of wines to the picture below, you will probably feel more comfortable making a decision while looking at the sorted bottles of wines. A clean environment does not only keep your attention towards the products but also prevents you from shifting your attention to competitor products.




Products appearing smaller

This research not only showed that product-focused attention is higher in orderly situations but also demonstrates another negative side-effect of overwhelming situations. 

When our attention is pulled away in chaotic situations, the product appears to be smaller. We use different aspects of our surroundings to make size judgements. But if our attention weakens, it is harder to make those judgements, affecting the perceived size of products. And in our desire for large products, this could potentially be harmful to sales. Who doesn’t want as much value for their money as possible? “Large” products boost value perception, which in turn leads to a higher purchase intention. A win-win situation for both customer and seller.


Take home points:

  • Make sure attention is not drifting away: Create advertisements or product displays that are orderly. 
  • When a large number of perceived products is key, downsize the visual complexity of the surroundings.

The Reason Why Sex Sells: It Makes You Feel Dirty

The Reason Why Sex Sells: It Makes You Feel Dirty

Sex in advertising campaigns can go both ways. On the one hand, it is an attention grabber. Being able to capture a consumer’s attention in this overly crowded world is potentially one of the best qualities an advertisement can have. Additionally, watching a sexual advertisement is a positive and rewarding experience.

On the other hand, sex can disgust people. Imagine watching tv with your friends, colleagues or family. All of a sudden, a naked woman is promoting the newest fragrance by some brand. You go red and avert your eyes. Seeing such a sexual image makes you feel dirty. How and why does sex sell, when it can bring about such different feelings in consumers?

Why You Would Never Buy The Clothes That Make You The Most Happy

Why You Would Never Buy The Clothes That Make You The Most Happy

If you need to buy a running T-shirt, which one would you choose? One with a solid, neutral color or one with a bright, colorful pattern?  Which choice will give you more satisfaction one year later?

Research has found that our buying decisions are often inconsistent with what we prefer in the long run. Most people tend to choose T-shirts with a simple design and a neutral color, believing they would be happier with their choices later.  However, in reality, people experience more long-lasting satisfaction with bolder, attention-catching designs and colors.

1000 Grams, 1 Kilogram or 20 pieces of Chocolate - Which One Sells Best?

1000 Grams, 1 Kilogram or 20 pieces of Chocolate - Which One Sells Best?

A box of chocolates weighs 500 grams. The hotel is only a 400 meter walk away from the center. The mansion is over 6,000-square-foot big. From weight to size or distance; customers are constantly exposed to quantitative information in their decision making.

However, as it turns out, our brain is awful at processing this quantitative information. We prefer information to be more discrete and sparking the imagination, say a box of 10 chocolates, a hotel that’s only a 5-minute walk away from the center, or a mansion of 10 bedrooms…

This finding applies to other quantitative information as well and has intriguing implications for nudging consumer behavior both for marketeers as well as public policy makers.

IKEA effect: Why We Appreciate Self-Build Furniture

IKEA effect: Why We Appreciate Self-Build Furniture

By letting customers build their own products, IKEA is able to sell their furniture for low prices since construction is one of the most costly aspects of furniture. Additionally, their customers have a higher liking for the IKEA products, because they have to build it themselves. This sounds contra-intuitive: We like it when others cook for us or clean for us, so why would we prefer to construct a table ourselves?

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