With the advancement of technology and understanding the consumer psychology of brands, has gained importance over the in the last few years in the academic and the corporate world. Here we have highlighted the relation between a consumer and the market brands and the various influential factors affecting it.
In this age of Neuromarketing, consumers are overburdened with information about different products being offered at different ‘sales’ points or ‘special deals.’ Many retailing firms use `price’ as a major differentiating factor to set themselves apart from others, but with the excess of differently priced products in the market, it may not help much if the consumers are unable to assimilate and recall the information.
Stepping into the consumer's neuroscience domain, there has been varied ongoing debates on whether physical attractiveness is important for a product or study on the biological behaviour of consumers are more to make a brand impact on the product.
In the past, consumers had confined themselves to some of the typical brands, trusted them. But now with the rise in brand population and varieties it has become difficult for consumers to judge and be loyal to their all time favourites. Manufacturers and retailers are investing huge looking for new avenues to capture the consumer mind with various product outlook or store arrangements. But success has been minimal. Hence researchers have distinctively made efforts to introduce consumer neuroscience to undermine consumer behaviour. These neurophysiological tools like eye tracking, skin conductance, electroencephalography (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) have changed the forms of research and identification of customer mindset.
With access to only 50 bits out of 11 million bits of information that a consumer receives at a given point of time it becomes very critical to perceive which brand represents, attends and gets influenced in a consumer’s brain. Hence, brand identification, the first stage of consumer involvement is a significant process. For example, if a case arises with a choice between drinking normal water or fizzy drink (a new information) then a consumer's choice is likely to depend on his/ her own level of thirst (a biological need) and what his/ her friend chooses to drink (an external, emotional state). Here the consumer needs are combined with information on internal need (i,e thirst level) and external states (i,e location, social context) that drive attention.
The second stage of a brand choice is attention. There are various components which signifies each scenario of attention in a consumer’s mind.
i) Choice from the visual input like colors, luminance, orientation, size, shape, movement etc.
ii) Also attention happens to some initial eye movements occurred when consumers are exposed to marketing information for eg. The first four eye-movements are made within the initial 2.5 s of exposure. There are some high level factors which are also responsible for gaining automatic, preferential way of attention. These include faces, text, and individual names.
In a lot of scenarios, eye movements are useful in evaluating the effectiveness of brand names. Through research it has been found that consumers spends more than 200 micro second examining unlike brand names compared to regular brand names. Hence, eye-tracking is a useful tool for determining the extent to which consumers look for different brand names occurrence.
To come to a conclusion, Representation and attention are quite complex processes that influence all successive steps in brand decision context. Whether theoretical or methodological, insights from neuroscience will allow consumer researchers for understanding attention, preference and its effects on the branding choices and their behavior. Although there has been very less research in the area of consumer neuroscience but it is the prospective future for 21st century researchers and consumer product companies to look out for higher consumer base applying neuroscience research.