Developing unbiased measures of customer likes and dislikes

November 2, 2011

Companies around the world rely on various marketing strategies to make their brands more appealing to customers, and now, according to a study published in the online journal PLoS ONE, they may have an actual physiological method they can use to test their success.

Many rely on self-reporting by consumers, which can be biased and unreliable. To combat these shortcomings, the authors of the recent work, led by Peter Walla of University of Newcastle in Australia, showed that the brains' emotional and motivational reaction accurately reflect whether a study subject likes or dislikes a particular brand.

Strikingly, the brains' reaction is measured without requiring any explicit verbal responses. "Self-reported measures of emotion are cognitively polluted", says Dr. Walla, and based on these results, the authors suggest that companies may be able to improve their product development by introducing such measures.

Explore further: Israel gets local versions of eBay, PayPal

More information: Walla P, Brenner G, Koller M (2011) Objective Measures of Emotion Related to Brand Attitude: A New Way to Quantify Emotion-Related Aspects Relevant to Marketing. PLoS ONE 6(11): e26782. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026782

Related Stories

MRI shows brains respond better to name brands

November 28, 2006

Your brain may be determining what car you buy before you've even taken a test drive. A new study gauging the brain's response to product branding has found that strong brands elicit strong activity in our brains. The findings ...

A 'brand' new world: Attachment runs thicker than money

November 4, 2010

Can you forge an emotional bond with a brand so strong that, if forced to buy a competitor's product, you suffer separation anxiety? According to a new study from the USC Marshall School of Business, the answer is yes. In ...

When will a message of social responsibility backfire?

July 14, 2011

Consumers don't react positively to all messages of corporate social responsibility, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. The message needs to line up with consumers' mindsets and understanding of ...

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hush1
not rated yet Nov 02, 2011
"Self-reported measures of emotion are cognitively polluted" - Peter

The filters for 'pollution' are absolute.
Not.
The bias to sell is a bias, is it not?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.