Mapping the consumer mind discovering the true drivers of behaviour through neuroscience

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Mapping the consumer mind: discovering the true drivers of behavior through Neuroscience

By Dr Aaron Reid

Presented at Merlien Institute's Qualitative Consumer Research & Insights, 7 & 8 April 2011, Malta

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Mapping the consumer mind discovering the true drivers of behaviour through neuroscience

  1. 1. Mapping the consumer mind: discovering the true drivers of behaviorthrough Neuroscience Aaron Reid, Ph.D. Sentient Decision Science, Inc., USA
  2. 2. This AfternoonI. Are consumers rational?II. The trouble with traditional quantitative methodsIII. Methods for tapping the consumer subconsciousIV. Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual?I. Into the boardroom: combining qualitative insight with subconscious measures to predict real sales results 2
  3. 3. I: Are consumers rational?
  4. 4. I: Are consumers rational? Emotional reactions are immediate (Gladwell, 2008) and more accurately predict product market sales (Reid & Graiko, 2010). WHY MEASURE THE SUBCONSCIOUS? Psychologists estimate that 95% of human thought occurs below conscious awareness (Bargh & Chartand, 1999). 4 4
  5. 5. I: Are consumers rational? Apple’s emotional appeal 5
  6. 6. I: Are consumers rational? iPad dominates the emotional excitement index 6
  7. 7. I: Are consumers rational? Consumers have no conscious recollection Be, be the charming type.Take off your gloves and show what they hide.I’ll let you try, if you close your eyes, I’ll have an answer for your (ass)! There goes my love, there goes my love, there goes my love, love, love, love, love! Made some thing ”Pack up your bags.” ”LOL! They were there but I up don’t remember one.” ”Where is the time.” 68% ”Ride your life.” ”Something about an answer for your wife.” ”something about a ”jazz up your life” simple life” Corre ct Recal 7 7
  8. 8. I: Are consumers rational? The Illusion of Reason Based Choice 8
  9. 9. I: Are consumers rational? Do we really know why we do what we do? 9
  10. 10. I: Are consumers rational? Question: How effective is this drug I took? (Ariely, 2008) Consumers who took a drug that cost 50 cents per pill reported greater pain relief than consumers who took a drug that cost one cent per pill, even though each drug was a sugar (placebo) pill. Answer: it depends on how much I paid for it. 10
  11. 11. I: Are consumers rational?Question: how likely are you to pay for a brand name drug? (Zaltman, 2003) Consumers explicitly say there is no difference between generic and brand name drugs – but are more likely to buy brand name drugs when their symptoms are severe. Answer: it depends on how sick you are. 11 11
  12. 12. I: Are consumers rational?Question: how much is 5 minutes of my time worth? (Zaltman, 2003) People will drive 5 minutes to a store across town to save $5 on a $20 pen, but won’t drive 5 minutes across town to save $5 on a $600 suit. Answer: it depends on whether I’m buying a pen or a suit. 12
  13. 13. I: Are consumers rational? Question: How happy are you with your life? (Schwartz & Clore, 1983) Self-reported overall life satisfaction 13 13
  14. 14. I: Are consumers rational? Question: Why Am I So Happy? (Dimberg & Ohman, 1996) People who were unaware that they were primed with a smiling face (for 100ms) reported greater feelings of well being. Answer: I have no idea. 14 14
  15. 15. I: Are consumers rational?Question: How did you get into this profession? (Pelham et al., 2002) People named Dennis or Denise are more likely to become dentists than people with other names. Answer: I thought I was goal oriented... 15 15
  16. 16. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods
  17. 17. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods.The can’t or won’t say problem: A turning point for Market Research If consumers can’t tell us why they do what they do – how accurate are explicitly stated importance questions? If consumers won’t tell us how they really feel – can we trust traditional quantitative research? 17 17
  18. 18. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. The power of self-identification with a brand Chrysler : Eminem 18
  19. 19. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Imported from Detroit: “that’s who we are”; “that’s our story”; “it’s about where it’s from” 19
  20. 20. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Chrysler boosts subconscious in-group associations of the self and success Self-identification with the Brand Subconscious Brand Associations Explicit Subconscious Success 20
  21. 21. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Does the in-group manipulation drive preference for the brand? Subconscious Associations Preference for brand of the Self with brand 21
  22. 22. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. VW’s Vader: Using the force of subconscious self-identity to boost your family brand 22
  23. 23. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Men care about inspiring wonder and what Mom thinks about it… VW : Vader 23
  24. 24. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Is the connection made with the brand? VW : Vader 24
  25. 25. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. VW boosts subconscious in-group associations of family among men Self-identification with the Brand Subconscious Brand Associations Explicit Subconscious Family 25
  26. 26. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Are there any explicit reasons to buy? VW : Vader 26
  27. 27. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Does the subconscious connection related to family drive preference for the brand? Subconscious Associations Preference for brand with brand 27
  28. 28. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. Explicit measures struggle to reveal what consumers can’t or won’t tell us I consider Cheetos to be “me” (it reflects who I consider myself to be).If explicit measures struggle to capture self-identification with a brand badge as outwardly facing as a car, will they really capture meaningful differences Can you imagine in brand status for a CPG or B2B admitting to identifying with a brand? snack food? 28
  29. 29. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. If consumers can’t tell us why they do what they do – how accurate are explicitly stated importance questions? Please rate how important the following characteristics are to you when evaluating a presidential candidate? Not at all Not that Somewhat Extremely Very important important important important important Conviction ✓ Honesty ✓ Optimism ✓ Intelligence ✓ Uniqueness ✓ Likability ✓ Physical ✓ Attractiveness 29 29
  30. 30. II: The trouble with traditional quantitative methods. If consumers won’t tell us how they really feel – can we trust traditional research? Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Strongly Somewhat Neither Agree Somewhat Strongly Agree Disagree Disagree nor Disagree Agree Apple is Cool ✓ Apple is ✓ Expensive Coke is Global ✓ Pepsi is Young ✓ Pepsi is Sexy ✓ Dove is High ✓ Status Cheetos reflect a part of my ✓ Identity 30 30
  31. 31. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious
  32. 32. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Behavioral Science is the future of market research Behavioral Science Behavioral Cultural Neuroscience Psychology Sociology Economics Anthropology 32
  33. 33. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Skin Conductance Response (SCR) The larger diamond is only 27% bigger but it Skin conductance response (SCR) is a evokes 175% more emotional arousal. psychophysiological method for measuring degree of arousal. 1.05 CT peak .46 –Some of the advantages of SCR include: – Emotional data not on self-report – Gauge emotional response to concepts – More natural participant environment – Less expensive than fMRI and EEG –Some of the disadvantages of SCR include: peak .18 .83 CT – Labor Intensive – Time consuming data collection – Extensive data analysis time – More expensive than response time Reid, A. & González-Vallejo, C. (2009). Emotion as a tradeable quantity. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 22, 62-90 33 33
  34. 34. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) fMRI measures blood flow in the brain. Brain scans show which areas of the brain are most active when processing a stimulus (e.g. exposure to a brand, advertisement, new product, sensory sample etc.). Some of the advantages of fMRI include: – Brain scan data is hard to argue with – Functional Localization – Definitive emotional data – Heat maps show level of activity across brain –Some of the disadvantages of fMRI include: – Not yet broadly available to businesses – Unnatural environment for participants – Time consuming to collect data – Less representative – Time consuming to analyze data – More expensive 34 34
  35. 35. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Electroenchephalography (EEG) EEG measures electrical brain wave activity across the entire brain region to show which areas of the brain are most active when processing a stimulus. –Some of the advantages of EEG include: – Brain wave activity is very convincing – Test arousal and boredom – Approach/Avoidance Emotion (frontal Lobes) – Source Localization Advances – Less expensive than fMRI –Some of the disadvantages of EEG include: – Time consuming (one at a time participation) – Less representative – Time consuming to analyze – More expensive 35 35
  36. 36. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Priming techniques are used to activate neural networks Gawronski & Bodenhausen (2006) Psychological Bulletin Associative and Propositional Processes in Evaluation: An Integrative Review of Implicit and Explicit Attitude Change 36 36
  37. 37. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Cognitive Priming Activates Subconscious Associations conservative my style put together 37 37
  38. 38. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Priming Activates Subconscious Associations edgy my style urban 38 38
  39. 39. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Priming Activates Subconscious Associations conservative my style put together 39 39
  40. 40. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Priming Activates Subconscious Associations edgy my style urban 40 40
  41. 41. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Tapping the subconscious automatic reaction to product Not My Style My Style me***** themstyle my style Out-group my me***** them ***** 41 41
  42. 42. III: Methods for tapping the consumer subconscious. Visceral reaction to the product is revealed – is this all we need to predict sales? oh god no! omg yeah! 42 42
  43. 43. IV: Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual?
  44. 44. IV: Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual? A brain, is a brain, is a brain? Differences between Male & Female Brains Differences in aging brains Differences across target consumers? 44 44
  45. 45. IV: Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual? What characteristics define your target market? What do they value? 45
  46. 46. IV: Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual? Ethnography and projective techniques reveal the why’s behind the target profile
  47. 47. IV: Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual? Getting to know the customer: the best insights are read between the lines.
  48. 48. IV: Does the rise of consumer Neuroscience mark the end of qual? In-situ observation: environmental cues to value profiles
  49. 49. V: Into the boardroom: combining qualitative insight withsubconscious measures to predict real sales results
  50. 50. V: Into the boardroom… Integrating across multiple methods – steps to success I. Ethnography and projective deep dives to explore core consumer values, emotional motivations, storylines. II. Establish key values of target market & measure in subconscious study.IV. Use their preferences to forecast marketsuccess of brand, advertising, product, etc. III. Isolate consumers who score highest on subconscious values. 50
  51. 51. V: Into the boardroom… Subconscious forecasts market success. Actual Market Sales Performance Subconscious Market Predictions
  52. 52. V: Into the boardroom… Subconscious measures more accurately predict market sales (Reid & Graiko, 2010) 100 Traditional Measures 94 Accuracy in Predicting Market Sales Subconscious Measures 90 85 86 80 70 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 General Consumer Targeted Consumer based on Qual
  53. 53. Thank You!Follow us on Twitter: @SentientInsightRead our blog: www.sentientinsight.com www.sentientdecisionscience.com
  54. 54. Presented at the International conference onQualitative Consumer Research & Insights 7 & 8 April 2011, Malta For more information Please visit: http://www.merlien.org

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