The specificity of the action of mirror neurons explains why we often unwittingly imitate the behavior of other people. The mechanism of operation of mirror neurons explains why we smile when we see a joyful face or grimace when we see someone experiencing physical pain. Even when we just observe the actions of other people or read about them, we still mentally commit them.
Mirror neurons send special signals to the limbic system - that area of the brain where emotions are formed that allow us to feel ourselves in the place of another person. Thanks to the action of mirror neurons, we imitate the buying choice of other people. Therefore, when we see unusual headphones on other people, mirror neurons make us ourselves want the exact same accessories. So you thought that crocuses are just awful until you saw that every third walks in them.
Is it true that shopping makes people happier? From a scientific point of view, it is, at least for a short period. We owe this dose of happiness to dopamine, which evokes a feeling of well-deserved reward, pleasure and well-being. When we decide on the first purchase, brain cells begin to produce dopamine, our mood improves. Believe it or not, believe it, but this phenomenon is explained by the instinct of self-preservation.
We always think about how the next purchase will affect our social status, which, in turn, is associated with the reproductive function. Scientists were able to find that the frontal part of the cerebral cortex, or Broadman’s tenth field (PB10), is associated with the perception of himself as part of society; it activates when contemplating upscale goods, but when you see an old Ford Fairlane or a new set of wrenches, no. In other words, the value of various expensive things is justified only by how much they increase social status. Probably, we need these things only in order to attract the attention of the opposite sex and subsequently extend our race with this person.
Logos today are almost dead, and if not dead, then their lives are supported artificially. Many companies, like Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren or Philip Morris, have begun to actively use logo-less advertising and have succeeded. For example, Philip Morris offers bar owners financial support for using a special color scheme in their interiors, specially designed furniture, ashtrays, and tiles that resemble parts of the Marlboro logo.
Subliminal advertising is very effective. Since the images he perceives do not contain logos, buyers do not realize that they actually watched hidden ads. When the logo disappears from the space of the advertisement, the person’s consciousness loses its vigilance, while his subconscious mind still perceives the hidden information of the message.
"Dasani water? No, it is produced by Coca-Cola ... I heard that it is simple tap water with a big name ... I don’t want to drink commercial drinking water, I need special water ... But some kind of Iskidle water. Manufacturer - Denmark ... I have no idea what Iskidle means, but I know that Denmark is a country of fjords, snow and healthy people skiing in the mountains ... And the bottle itself is so transparent and looks like an icicle, like water from the purest mountain springs ... Iskidle: it sounds like “cold.” By the way, it’s expensive, but it’s probably worth it ... "This internal monologue pok The holder consists of a chain of somatic markers.
Our selection of products is based on associations acquired throughout life, both positive and negative. At the moment of choice, our brain recreates all the memories, emotions and facts from the past and instantly gives out "hot keys". Using them, we get information that ultimately dictates to us to put this or that product in the shopping basket. We are unconsciously guided only by the “bookmarks” that exist in our brains: the form of packaging of goods, childhood memories, price. Somatic markers are not just reflexes acquired in childhood and adolescence. Every day we have new markers that immediately replenish our pretty significant collection. In fact, without somatic markers, we will not be able to make decisions at all.
Advertising specialists for a long time attracted the attention of buyers only with the help of visual images. However, the efficiency and memorization of the image are enhanced several times if you act on other sensory organs of consumers. This strategy is called sensory branding. Advanced marketers made sure that each product had a fragrant accompaniment. British fashion designer Thomas Pink gained fame by filling his clothing stores with the smell of freshly washed cotton underwear. British Airways sprays the aroma of meadow herbs in the business class lounges so that passengers can feel as if on a walk, rather than in a stuffy plane. The cans of Nescafe coffee and peanut butter are specially designed so that when opening them, people can immediately smell the aroma of the product.
In fast-food restaurants, the seductive smell does not come at all from the hot grill, but from an aerosol can, code-named RTX9338PJS, which means "the scent of a freshly prepared bacon cheeseburger," which is sprayed through special pipes in the restaurant. In most supermarkets, the bakery department is located at the entrance to the store. Store managers are well aware that the smell of rolls provokes a sudden feeling of hunger among customers, and they, having forgotten about the shopping list, begin to put products in their basket that they did not plan to purchase at all. Consequently, the smell of fresh bread makes a profit, increasing sales of not only bakery products.
Consumers better remember that advertisement in which there is both a visual, and a sound row, in comparison with that which uses either a sound, or the image. In other words, reinforce the brand logo with a signature melody, and it will immediately become appealing to us, we will remember it longer. The idea of audio branding appeared in the 1950s. For example, a few decades ago, the company General Electric came up with its own corporate melody, which consists of three notes and has become a kind of sound logo of the company.
Kellogg's has been looking for its signature sound for many years and even turned to Danish scientists for help developing a signature crunch so that every child can hear the difference between Kellogg's breakfast cereal and non-cereal. Do you know that the sound of an opening jar of instant coffee and packaging of Pringles chips is not at all random, it is somewhat reminiscent of a lip smacking? And what about the proprietary tick-tick-tick sound that occurs when you scroll the wheel in your iPod, or about a characteristic sound that resembles a bell when turned on or off? Among McDonald's sounds, many recall the distinctive creaking sound of a straw poking through the plastic lid of a glass.
The power of rituals
Products and trademarks that we associate with traditions or omens simply stick to customers. In our chaotic world, we all want stability, so the habits associated with certain goods give us a sense of comfort. We want everything in our life to turn out predictably and well, and we hope that trademarks will help us in this. And even if we realize that buying a 547th magnet for a Hello Kitty refrigerator is simply ridiculous, we do it anyway, because by collecting we gain a sense of control over our lives. Scientists believe that the emergence of superstitions and rituals is associated with a person's need to control at least something in this troubled world.
So at the beginning of 2007, Brussels Airlines, in response to numerous customer complaints, had to replace 13 points on its logo with 14. If you are flying with Air France, KLM, Iberia or Continental airlines and want to reserve a seat in the 13th row, consider that you are out of luck: there is simply no such row there. In Asia, the number 4 is considered unlucky, so in any hotel in China you will not find the 4th or 44th floor. In Japan, the consensus is that Kit Kat waffle bar brings good luck. The words "Kit Kat" resemble the combination "Kitto-Katsu", which translates as "win without obstacles." There was a widespread belief among students: if you eat Kit Kat before the exam, you will get a good grade. That is why the Kit Kat brand has such high sales in the oversaturated Japanese market with similar products.
You can read more about this in Martin Lindstrom’s book Buyology.
Photo: Kevin Van Aelst
Illustrations: Natalya Osipova