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Lindstrom, M. (2009). YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT (But Do You know Why?).
Men's Health (10544836)
24(10), 36-42. Retrieved from EBSCO
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TECH GUIDE 2010: YOUR BRAIN ON BRANDS
YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT (But Do You know Why?)
Walk into a big-box tech retailer and your brain becomes the enemy. It works in a passive-
aggressive state, making you impulsive, emotional, and judgmental. Here's how to tame your
subconscious mind so you're always buying tech on your terms
Most of us think we know why we prefer one brand over another. But the truth is, we don't. The
majority of the time, our brains are on autopilot, flooded with subconscious cultural biases rooted
in our tradition and upbringing. While we shop, our brains assert a powerful but hidden influence
over the choices we make and the products we ultimately buy. It turns out most of the time, we're
just along for the ride. It's no wonder manufacturers spent billions last year researching how we
make buying decisions. They also bombarded us with messages about more than 47,000 new
products. And how could we ignore them? Adults see more than 52,000 TV ads a year, it's been
estimated. At that rate, an 18-year-old will have seen more than 2.5 million commercials by the
time he's 66. The cerebral clutter is simply too much to overcome. This may be why many
estimate that 70 percent or more of new products fail within their first couple of years.
It's clear that neither marketers nor consumers themselves know exactly what makes us tick.
That's why I launched Project Buyology, a $7 million, 3-year study of what really goes on in our
brains when we buy. With 200 researchers involved, Buyology was 25 times larger than any
"neuro-marketing" study ever attempted. We scanned and measured the brains of 2,081
volunteers from the United States, England, Germany, Japan, and China, using some of the most
advanced brain-scanning techniques available, including functional magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI). We wanted to learn three things: how branding and marketing messages work on the
brain, how people react to stimuli at a level far deeper than conscious thought, and finally, how
our subconscious mind controls our behavior.