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 marketing strategies 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.
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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