In the last few years, the marketing world has increasingly embraced the input of scientific investigation in measuring the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. During these scientific tests, they have literally read consumers’ minds by measuring brain activity, while the test subjects were watching several forms of advertising. As a result, they have come up with new and exciting ways of engaging consumers’ interest and influencing what they buy.
These marketing trends are the ones to watch for the near future.
Icons in Favor of Logos
In an increasingly saturated market, logos, bearing the company name, are losing their status as attention grabbers. Instead, simple icons will replace them. Consumers have become blind to logos, because there are too many of them fighting for our attention at the same time.
Icons, simple graphic pictures, are said to be more successful in evoking the powerful associations necessary to involve consumers emotionally. Tobacco company Philip Morris and fashion retailer Ralph Lauren have already successfully used logo-free advertising.
Sensory Branding™, a term coined by advertising consultant Martin Lindstrom, aims to stimulate interaction between all the senses, by mixing visuals with sounds and smells, therefore putting consumers in a buying mood and subconsciously creating brand loyalty.
Scientific tests, conducted for the research of Martin Lindstrom’s influential book ‘Buyology’, demonstrate that ‘smell and sound are substantially more potent than anyone had ever dreamed of’. It would seem that stimulating all the senses simultaneously is more effective in creating an emotional connection between a brand and the consumer, than visuals alone. Hence, the increasing use of scent in retail stores like Abercrombie & Fitch.
Product Placement instead of Commercials
The problems with commercials is in their format: they are recognizable as commercials, and as a result most consumers ‘switch off’ their attention, just like internet users have learned to ignore flashing banner ads on web pages.
Product placement in movies and television, however, has the potential to trigger consumers’ mirror neurons, areas of the brain responsible for imitating behavior. Imitating is an important evolutionary trait by which people learn, so integrating a product into an on-screen storyline stimulates the subconscious in such a way that it creates desire to own that product. The trick is to make the product a logical part of the story.
Consumers want to buy experiences. They want products to add something to their lives, or say something about them, whether they are aware of this or not. Myth creation is a powerful tool that taps into the religious or superstitious feelings of consumers.
Myth creation can take on several forms. It can be the artificial creation of a history, for example, the popular story of the underdog who struggled for recognition, but now owns a multimillion-dollar company. It can also be the invention of a ritual associated with a product. (Corona and lime anyone?) Whatever the form, myth somehow makes the product more valuable to the consumer by making them feel like they belong.
Thanks to a collaboration between marketing and science, marketers finally have a way of tapping into the consumers’ subconscious and influencing their buying decisions.Tags: branding, logos, marketing, product placement, science