New Research Reveals How We Process Brands And Products

by Medindia Content Team on  March 19, 2006 at 9:24 PM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
New Research Reveals How We Process Brands And Products
In a new study, researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard University use cutting-edge brain-scanning technology to explore how different regions of the brain are activated when we think about certain qualities of brands and products.

The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, is the first to use fMRI to assess consumer perceptions and has important implications for the use of metaphorical human-like traits in branding.

"[fMRI] allows one to gauge, for the first time, the degree to which the underlying thought processes are similar," write the researchers.

Subjects were given 450 adjectives such as "reliable," "sophisticated," and "cheerful," and scanned while indicating whether each word was applicable to themselves and someone else. The sample group was also scanned while making similar judgments about brands they know and use. The researchers discovered that even when the consumers were judging products on unmistakably human terms, they still used the part of the brain associated with inanimate objects.

"Although we may use similar vocabularies to describe people and products, we can't say that the same concepts are involved," explain the researchers. "Companies building brand images and icons should be wary of taking the legitimately useful metaphor of brand personality too literally, since it's now apparent that consumers themselves do not." Carolyn Yoon, Angela H. Gutchess, Fred Feinberg, and Thad A. Polk. "A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Neural Dissociations between Brand and Person Judgments" Journal of Consumer Research. June 2006.

Contact: Suzanne Wu
University of Chicago Press Journals

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All