We’ve all heard it before: “buy this car and have the luxury life you always wanted”. Usually, advertising sketches a utopia; an idealistic world. This form of marketing, where a certain product offers the key to the life you always wanted, is known as aspirational marketing.
This form of advertising builds on the principle of cognitive consistency theory, which claims that a fit between one’s self-concept and an identity-enhancing brand or product category leads to greater attraction.
Let’s start with a simple question: how many people do you know that actually enjoy the commercials that interrupt their favorite TV-show? Exactly, me neither.
For years, online marketers have been investigating what consumers will tolerate and how ads can deliver a strong message. One of the most desirable effects of an ad is brand recognition – this means whether customers recognize your brand and correctly associate it with the right product.
It’s one of the most intriguing questions in neuromarketing today: how can we predict people’s choices by having a peek into their brain activity?
Our brains are made up of many clusters of neurons, each devoted to specific – but often yet weakly understood – functions and processes. Scientists and marketers unite in pursuit of so-called ‘buying buttons’. These specific brain areas are particularly responsive towards alluring products, commercials or otherwise money-spinning marketing stimuli.
Imagine you receive some good news. An independent consumer panel has ranked your book as 7th best written, your shampoo smells the second best or the laptop you sell is ranked 37th on a list of hundred others.
Great news – isn’t it?
Smell. Isn’t it amazing how a dash of invisible scent molecules is able to transport you right back into a childhood visit to your grandparents? Or how the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread seems to lure you into that little bakery around the corner – despite your strict low-carb diet? And everyone recognizes that typical smell emanating from the box of your brand-new phone or television.