Entice shoppers with neuro-marketing cues

From exciting the brain with senses to stimulating surprises, Influence Marketing's Martin Rydlo and Dr. Trina Ghauri suggest cutting through the clutter with these insights.

By Martin Rydlo and Trina Ghauri

Influence Marketing partner Martin Rydlo teamed up with Dr. Trina Ghauri, a consultant with !nlight, human brand consulting boutique, who has extensive experience in subconscious communication, human insights and strategy development, to simplify how neural messages affect the shopper at different points along the path to purchase.

In a world of swirling data coming at us from all directions, our brains have learned to adapt by tuning out the majority of stimuli. This is bad news for companies looking to inspire purchase of their latest innovation. We’ve moved from having to compete with other brands to having to capture attention and interest.

So what is it that makes today’s shoppers tick and how can we engage them long enough to make our pitch (which is often mere seconds)?

We look to the brain itself and speak its language.

Enter neuro-marketing. Here, we’ve simplified a complex field into three key factors to consider when launching into the marketplace.

Excite the brain: engaging a variety of senses creates a lasting impact

Creating an experience for people that can incorporate as many senses as possible heightens the neurons firing in the brain, thus becoming more memorable. Consider your last trip to the movies. Before you arrived, you might have had zero intention of purchasing popcorn and perhaps even made the decision that you were going to resist. When you arrive at the theatre, the buttery smell of popcorn pumping in the air ignites a response from your brain. There is interest. As you get closer, the sound of the corn popping has the brain reminisce about the many times in your life when that sound meant good times with friends and family. Still, you resist and find yourself settled into your seat, until you see a happy bag of popcorn dancing across the screen. That’s it! The smell, sound and visuals have lit up your brain so intensely that the memory of taste becomes overwhelming. Next thing you know, you’re ordering a medium bag of yellow delight!

Surprise is stimulating: with so much content out there, an element of surprise truly stands out.

Remember the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty?” If you’re a woman, chances are you might even remember how it made you feel about yourself and your body. The break from companies using models was surprising and refreshing. The brand took it one step further to ensure lasting impact and created self-esteem programs for girls, which extended those feel-good emotions from a personal level to a sense of helping others.

Context is critical: offer a relatable application of the product, but don’t dictate  – let the shopper personalize it.

While shopping at Costco, our shopper walks past a sampling of plain cheese pizza. As she passes by, uninterested, (because hey, who wants boring cheese pizza?) she hears the demonstrator suggest dressing up the pizza base with juicy ingredients. Bing! A spark goes off in our shopper’s mind of her favourite fresh ingredients that she finds mouth-watering. Suddenly, what was of zero interest a minute ago has triggered the senses to the point where she can almost taste the deliciousness of a customized dinner creation. Here, the context (create your own) was suggested, yet there was space for our shopper to draw from her own tastes.

The brain looks for pathways it deems advantageous in relation to an individual’s drivers. Through its sorting process, it will look for past experiences and elements that speak to one’s values and beliefs; pain and problems; and indicators that demonstrate belonging and understanding. In our disconnected society, the latter may indeed be the most craved, therefore if we can move our shoppers on a deeply emotional level, they can become not only customers, but also expressive, loyal fans.

Using these three neuro factors in ways that have relevance for the consumer is what’s really going to make an impact. This involves exploring what’s taking place in their world from both a societal view, as well as an intimate personal perspective.

Ultimately, the aim is to have the shopper experience the following three states/feelings:

1- Woo me – A feeling of “thank you for doing this for me, you’ve made my life better, easier.

2- Wow me – Creating that remarkable experience that creates inspiring memories.

3- Win me over – What will you have for me next? Sustaining interest and engagement through social media and beyond.

Of course, how one effectively implements these factors will ultimately depend on the product, market and price point. So to pull it all together, this dynamic is what will create an impactful experience that will differ between categories, based on your target’s psychographics.

In today’s fast-paced world, people are feeling lost in the crowd, overwhelmed and invisible. If you can inspire the above thoughts and feelings, you will have a loyal fan and a brain wanting more.

Image via Shutterstock.

Martin Rydlo

Trina Ghauri






Martin Rydlo is a partner at Influence Marketing.

Dr. Trina Ghauri, is a consultant with !nLight, human brand consulting boutique.