How neuromarketing changes the way we shop
How neuromarketing changes the way we shop

"Only advertising, all advertising". How many times have we repeated this refrain while, wandering among the supermarket shelves, we have curbed the impulse to take the packet of biscuits with the most attractive packaging, perhaps with charming mills of the past, to head reluctantly towards the family pack and in anonymous packaging?

How many times have we grittedly answered “no, thanks” to the stoic demonstrator who offered us tempting squares of cheese to invite us to buy certain products?

Well, now we know that this is exactly the case: we held back for a precise reasoning and a firm act of will, while instinct would have led our hand towards the most attractive packages and promising morsels of cheese.

To confirm this are not simple studies, sometimes questionable and therefore refutable, but a true scientific instrument, objective and reliable: a helmet for instant electroencephalography complete with an "eye-tracker", a gaze movement tracker, able to provide the instant precious data on what happens in the brain when our gaze rests on cured packaging, on promotional labels and on various types of advertising references.

In a "brainmarketing" experiment conducted by the agri-food consultancy Agroter, of Forlì, together with BrainSigns, a spin-off of Sapienza of Rome, consumers were unleashed among the shelves of supermarkets equipped with a helmet and eye-tracker.

In this way, unconscious processes that intervene in our consumption decisions, the level of attention towards the most accurate packaging and the most advertised products were analyzed in an impartial way.

The conclusions of the experiment, which in some cases involved the presence of a real farmer at the entrance to the store, was that the rate of "neuronal interaction", that is, the level of attention, interest and commitment cognitive, it increases by four times when the producer is physically present in the supermarket for the presentation of the product.

In practice: reminding the consumer of the link between product and producer is good for you.

The attention rises three times when the eye rests on colored and winking packages rather than on the more spartan ones with anonymous packaging.

I buy fruit and vegetables
I buy fruit and vegetables

And more attention in many cases means greater propensity to buy. It is no coincidence that brain marketing promises to triple sales, especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables.

It means that despite all our good intentions and our stoic resolutions, nine times out of ten we will come out of the super with our beautiful package of cookies in hand, while continuing to repeat to ourselves that "it's just advertising", and wondering why, for the umpteenth time, we let ourselves be duped by drawings of hens and windmills.

But now, at least, we have the answer: all the fault of the neurons.

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