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The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind Hardcover – August 9, 2010

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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
If You Understand Brain Basics, You'll Sell More

As much as 95% of our decisions are made by the subconscious mind. As a result, the world's largest and most sophisticated companies are applying the latest advances in neuroscience to create brands, products, package designs, marketing campaigns, store environments, and much more, that are designed to appeal directly and powerfully to our brains.

The Buying Brain offers an in-depth exploration of how cutting-edge neuroscience is having an impact on how we make, buy, sell, and enjoy everything, and also probes deeper questions on how this new knowledge can enhance customers' lives. The Buying Brain gives you the key to
• Brain-friendly product concepts, design, prototypes, and formulation
• Highly effective packaging, pricing, advertising, and in-store marketing
• Building stronger brands that attract deeper consumer loyalty

A highly readable guide to some of today's most amazing scientific findings, The Buying Brain is your guide to the ultimate business frontier - the human brain.

Five Secrets of the Shopping Brain
Amazon-exclusive content from author A. K. Pradeep

Your brain -- and your customers’ – is 100,000 years old. Its basic skills and functions are the same ones it developed to survive on the plains of Africa so many millennia ago. As such, the “modern” brain is occasionally at odds with 21st century life.

As it navigates through that life, your brain is like an iceberg. Most of its decisions occur below the water line. Your conscious mind contributes to making only about 5% of your decisions. The subconscious mind makes the other 95%.

For most of our evolution, gathering food and fuel have been primary objectives. That’s partly why shopping is, at its heart, a primal activity. Here are some examples of how the subconscious mind functions when shopping.

1) Your brain gets scared in some stores. Your conscious mind doesn’t know it, of course, but your subconscious mind views sharp corners as a threat. Every time you push a shopping cart around the end of an aisle, your subconscious mind winces. The cringe dates back to the earliest days of the modern brain, when humans still roamed the Serenghetti. Think about it: you don’t see many sharp angles in nature. When your subconscious mind comes across straight lines and sharp angles, it’s hard-wired to perceive them as a threat and prompts you to avoid them. Smart retailers will learn to curve and soften their sharp corners better to invite the buying brain in.

2) Too much of one thing can make your brain go blind. “Repetition blindness” sets in when we see too many of the same objects. Think about a wall of toothpaste boxes, all approximately the same size and many sharing similar colors and graphics. Confronted with this much “sameness,” your brain looks for differences. When it can’t find enough variations, it blends everything together, becoming “blind” to the individual packages themselves. This is why we sometimes can’t see the trees for the forest. In a sea of sameness, smart manufacturers will find a way for their packaging to “pop” at the shelf.

3) Men and women are hard-wired to shop differently. Men shop by looking for targets; women shop by looking for landmarks. Women explore their territory; men make maps.

4) Origin is important. The brain likes to see the source of the product inside the package. It appreciates cows on milk cartons, for instance, and grapes on bottles of wine.

5) Faces and eye contact fascinate the brain. The brain needs to see faces to determine intent. Are you friend or foe? But the brain also prefers ambiguous expressions on faces. It likes to figure out the puzzle. What is s/he thinking or feeling? The Mona Lisa is a perfect example of the power of ambiguity. Closer to home, ambiguous faces on packaging and promotions are like magnets to the shopping brain.

From the Inside Flap

If you understand brain basics, you’ll sell more.

New discoveries in neuroscience are revolutionizing twenty-first-century life, and marketing is no exception. These insights into the human brain promise to reshape the way companies, brands, and products get noticed, get liked, and get bought. So how do you put these groundbreaking findings into practice at your company and gain the advantage over your competitors?

The Buying Brain gives you a one-stop playbook for understanding and applying the latest research using findings from sophisticated neuromarketing techniques. Covering everything from product development to packaging to point-of-sale marketing, this is the only guide you need to access today’s newest business frontier: the human brain.

Incorporating data derived from electro-encephalographic (EEG) brainwave studies, eye tracking, and cutting-edge, proprietary findings, The Buying Brain enables you to:

  • Understand and employ neuromarketing techniques, terms, and technologies to build your brand and your business

  • Reach consumers’ minds at the preconscious, precognitive level, where responses are unbiased and unfiltered

  • Engage the unique aspects of male and female brains

  • Effectively advertise and promote products at all points in the consumer journey

  • And much more

Neuroscience is taking marketing to a new level, pointing to a future where companies that properly neuromarket will reach and serve their customers more effectively than companies that don’t. Bring your marketing strategy and practice into the age of neuroscience with The Buying Brain, and start putting this powerful body of knowledge to work for you today.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470601779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470601778
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Pradeep, CEO, founded NeuroFocus in 2006. Now the company ranks as the world leader in the fast-growing neuromarketing research field, with numerous patents for its advanced technologies and a blue-chip client list representing Fortune 100 companies across dozens of categories. Before founding NeuroFocus, Dr. Pradeep was the founder and Managing Partner of Meridian Consulting, LLC a privately held California company specializing in governance consulting, and customizing and applying GE best practices to multiple industry sectors. He is also the founder of BoardVantage, a company formed in 2000 to provide web based corporate governance platforms for corporate boards of directors.

Prior to founding Meridian, Dr. Pradeep was at GE Corporate Research and Development where he worked extensively with the various global businesses of GE. While a scientist at GE, Dr. Pradeep worked on medical technologies, satellite navigation systems, and other classified technologies.

Dr. Pradeep holds many U.S. and international patents and has been published in numerous scientific journals. He is a speaker and panelist at numerous seminars and lectures on neuromarketing, as well as corporate issues of strategy and marketing, and is the author of "Governance Beyond Sarbanes Oxley - Five Easy Pieces", a guidebook for board members and senior corporate executives.

Dr. Pradeep holds a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Randall J. Lippincott on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought that I would get a much better lesson in neuromarketing then what I had already discovered in "Buyology". What I got were my graphic design classes presented back to me, with a few added words. There was really nothing new uncovered/discovered in this book that most seasoned marketers haven't known for decades (watch Bewitched!). However, if this book was simply validation of that stuff, then it did its part. I was very disappointed that this book didn't go where no other book on the subject had gone before. Coming from Pradeep (the self-proclaimed neuro-guru) it could have been his "Competitive Strategy". It is certainly not that at all, it is another everyone-can-be-a-marketer-even-neuroscientists book. I am sure there will be many that find this book interesting, fascinating even, (based on some of the other reviews), but trust me, you already know more than what you'll ever learn in this book. By the way Pradeep, you need to explore your pages 178-180 deeper, this is the rabbit hole!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By T.N. on August 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been following the emerging field of neuromarketing for a little while now, mostly through the great neuromarketing blog by Roger Dooley. I've struggled finding good books on neuromarketing, however. I picked up Buyology by Martin Lindstrom earlier this year but like others was disappointed. Most of his observations are common sense and I did not find that he offered anything new to the field.

Dr. Pradeep's book The Buying Brain, on the other hand, did. I found great new insights backed by neuroscience on topics such as the "Boomer brain" and the "Female brain" among others. The thing that I thought that was unique about this book is that it didn't just present neuroscience facts, rather Dr. Pradeep took an extra step and translated these known facts into concrete marketing practices. This is just the kind of book that I was looking for and I hope that others like it will follow. These kinds of pioneering books demonstrate to the world that neuromarketing is not just some cute fad but a legitimate (and improved!) form of market research that is here to stay.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By neuro on August 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this book. After all, Neurofocus is getting some traction with big corporations alongside a handful of other companies. Neurofocus is backed up by Nielsen and big names in the field of neuroscience- that helps. However, given this background, one would have expected a richer book. There's hardly anything new in this book as it relates to the brain or neuromarketing, instead the author relentlessly positions Neurofocus' approach as the best there is, as if other approaches were wrong. yes EEGs offer insight into how the brain responds to stimuli but the book offer zero validation that these responses are linked to changes in the market (sorry, but when he says "sales are up", well i can do nothing else but believe him). Brain responses and physical states which people are trying to link to psychological states- Neurofocus seems to take the shortcut of "because it lights up it means that..."- the example of the plastic spoon seems far fetched. If it were true, people wouldn't be using silver spoons and it only demonstrates that there may be a difference between how the brain reacts and what people do. Neurofocus certainly worked hard on developing approaches to replace "old methods" and the author proposes metrics in all fields from packaging to brand essence. Again, we can do nothing but read and believe, and i am sure companies like emsense have different ones, claiming the same power. If EEgs were that powerful to understand the mind of the consumer, i am sure Fmris wouldn't be so prominent in brain research. Somehow the author was trying hard to discredit everything else.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Chris on August 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was intrigued to read about this combination of neuroscience and marketing. Too often the sciences, the arts, business etc. become mutually exclusive and do not collaborate their findings. With neuromarketing, the most scientific advances are married with the best practices of consulting and marketing and are able to produce a much more effective alternative to traditional research. The Buying Brain went into great depth about how the two fields relate and how they work together to produce practical and actionable advice for companies. I look forward to more interactions between different fields in the future.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JMills on August 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a new mommy, I was riveted by the book's insight on how the mommy brain changes after giving birth. My brain made new neural connections after I had my baby? Who knew! As a marketing professional, I was shocked at how much I learned about speaking to the "female brain". I didn't expect a neuromarketing book to be a page turner but it's written so well that I found myself reading several chapters at a time. Great summer read for any mommy and for any marketing professional! Highly recommend.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chrisspy on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
the book describes the halo effect as customers buying a mid-range product because of a high-range product. The halo effect is actually wrongfully perceiving one person's trait based on another trait. That and a whole lot of other things like treating hypothesis and theories to be facts when they still need to be tested out and experimented further.
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