نام گذاری تجاری (برندینگ) مغز : بررسی انتقادی و چشم انداز
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1932||2012||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 18–36
The application of neuroscience to marketing, and in particular to the consumer psychology of brands, has gained popularity over the past decade in the academic and the corporate world. In this paper, we provide an overview of the current and previous research in this area and explain why researchers and practitioners alike are excited about applying neuroscience to the consumer psychology of brands. We identify critical issues of past research and discuss how to address these issues in future research. We conclude with our vision of the future potential of research at the intersection of neuroscience and consumer psychology.
The application of neuroscience to consumer psychology, and in particular to branding, has gained popularity over the past decade in academic research and business practice: in the last decade the number of publications in top marketing journals and Google references around this topic has grown exponentially and the same holds for the number of neuromarketing companies founded (see Fig. 1).The birth of the field of consumer neuroscience has generated wide-ranging, ongoing debates of whether this hybrid field benefits its parent disciplines (consumer psychology and neuroscience) and, within them, what forms these benefits might take (Ariely and Berns, 2010, Kenning and Plassmann, 2008, Lee et al., 2007 and Plassmann, Ambler, Braeutigam and Kenning, 2007). The goal of consumer neuroscience is to adapt methods and theories from neuroscience—combined with behavioral theories, models, and tested experimental designs from consumer psychology and related disciplines such as behavioral decision sciences—to develop a neuropsychologically sound theory to understand consumer behavior. To appreciate the value of combining neuroscience with consumer psychology, it is important to understand the broad range of insights available from neuroscience. Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system that seeks to understand the biological basis of behavior. This range of insights is too broad for the study of consumer psychology, which is why in the following paragraphs we briefly clarify which areas within neuroscience are the most relevant for consumer neuroscience. Neuroscience research ranges from studying single cells (cellular neuroscience) to studying how different brain areas or complex brain systems, such as the visual system, interact (systems neuroscience). Because of the complexity of consumer behavior, insights from systems neuroscience are crucial for consumer neuroscience, whereas those from cellular neuroscience currently are limited. Neuroscientists study species ranging from the primitive (such as sea snails, fruit flies, and leeches) to the complex (such as mammals and primates). Most consumer neuroscience studies investigate mental processes in human subjects, but a few selected studies also use non-human primates or small animals such as monkeys as subject populations.1 Another important distinction is between clinical and non-clinical research in neuroscience. Clinical research, known as neurology, studies how nervous system disorders, trauma, tumors and injuries affect cognition, emotion, and behavior in patients as compared to healthy subject populations. In general, consumer neuroscience studies consumer responses in healthy subject populations.2 A last critical distinction is between consumer neuroscience, which refers to academic research at the intersection of neuroscience and consumer psychology, and neuromarketing, which refers to practitioner and commercial interest in neurophysiological tools, such as eye tracking, skin conductance, electroencephalography (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to conduct company-specific market research. Neuromarketing has received considerable attention in the corporate world, and the growth of neuromarketing companies over the last decade has been impressive (see Fig. 1). The goal of this paper is to shed light on what neuroscience can bring to the table to advance our understanding of the consumer psychology of brands. In particular, we aim to provide an overview of the current state of research in this area, identify critical issues of past research and discuss how to address these issues in future research. We conclude with our vision of the future potential of research at the intersection of neuroscience and consumer psychology.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this last section of the paper we lay out our vision of future consumer neuroscience research and why we think academics and practitioners alike could and should be excited about this new field. Since we have already provided concrete future directions for branding research in our review of what is currently done, we conclude with a broader view on the new directions the field of consumer neuroscience could take to make a substantial contribution to consumer research and the psychology of branding. The application of neuroscience to consumer psychology, specifically to the psychology of branding, has an interesting potential for at least two reasons. First, it can be viewed as a new methodological tool, as a “magnifying glass” to observe mental processes without asking consumers directly for their thoughts, memories, evaluations, or decision-making strategies, and thus can provide access to otherwise hidden information (Ariely and Berns, 2010 and Plassmann et al., in press). Second, neuroscience can be viewed as a source of theory generation, supplementing traditional theories from psychology, marketing, and economics (Plassmann et al., in press). We explain both ideas in the following section. Neuroscience as a tool Neuroscience's potential as a tool stems from at least two ways it can contribute to a better understanding of the psychology underlying brands. First, combining advanced statistical models from computer science with neuroscience data makes it possible to predict behavior in a more accurate way than relying on traditional measures such as self-reports. Second, by combining different tools from the neuroscientific tool kit we can establish brain–behavior relationships that are meaningful for understanding the psychology underlying consumer choices. Predicting consumer choices Empirical studies in consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing employ neuroimaging tools as biomarkers to assess responses to marketing stimuli such as brands, advertisements, packaging and to predict consumer choices. For example, in a study by Knutson et al. (2007), subjects, while being scanned using fMRI, first saw the product (4 s), then were shown the price of the product (4 s), and finally made their choice (4 s). Subjects reported making their decision consciously only at the very end of each run (i.e., the last 4 s), yet analysis of the fMRI data showed the neural predictors of purchase at earlier time points. Notably, these activation changes could be traced from 8 to 12 s before the decision was made, and before subjects reported having made up their minds. However, the neural predictors did not demonstrate better predictive power than self-reports (pseudo-R2 was 0.528 when only self-reports were included and changed to 0.533 when neural predictors were added; note that pseudo-R2 was 0.105 based on neural predictors alone). Taken together, Knutson and colleagues could extract neural predictors at a time when subjects had not made up their minds yet, but these predictors were not fundamentally better at predicting purchase behavior than simply asking the subjects about their preferences. Another example is a recent study by Berns and Moore (2012) that used a small group of subjects' neural responses to music to predict subsequent market level impact in form of commercial success of the songs (using sales data for a period of three years after the experiment). Interestingly, subjective liking ratings of songs did not correlate with future sales data, but the neural response did (i.e., brain activation within the nucleus accumbens). New developments in neural pattern classification techniques and multivariate decoding analysis of fMRI data (Haynes & Rees, 2006) are very promising to increase the predictive power of neuroscientific tools in the years to come. A first study in the context of consumer behavior was done by Tusche, Bode, and Haynes (2010). In their study subjects were presented with images of different cars, and asked either to rate their liking of each car (high-attention group) or perform a visual fixation task (low-attention group). After the task, subjects rated their willingness to buy each car. Crucially, subjects were scanned using fMRI during the task, allowing the researchers to test whether neural activation could predict subsequent car choice. The fMRI data were analyzed using a multivariate analysis approach, in which data were fed into the analysis, showing brain regions between the high- and low-attention groups that predicted subsequent purchase intentions. The idea behind these techniques is as follows. Whole-brain neuroimaging data acquisition, such as fMRI, generates time series data from thousands of data points across the brain. While standard analyses of neuroimaging data employ large-scale univariate analyses by contrasting different experimental conditions, multivariate pattern classification techniques take advantage of information contained in multiple voxels distributed across space. They allow investigation of whether spatial patterns of brain activation contain stable information about different experimental conditions (e.g., purchase vs. no purchase). These approaches promise better predictions of decision-making behavior across domains, such as neural, physiological, and behavioral predictors of in-store purchase, unhealthy behaviors, and overspending. We believe that decoding of brain patterns using such sophisticated algorithms will be a turning point for consumer neuroscience research. Establishing brain–behavior relationships that are meaningful for consumer psychology Another potential way to apply methodologies from neuroscience to consumer behavior is to observe consumers' mental processes in real time. As discussed earlier, this is of particular importance when the underlying processes are difficult to investigate because they are below consumers' awareness or are difficult to verbalize and/or manipulate in a traditional experimental setting or survey. One example was provided by a recent study (Plassmann et al., 2008) that investigated whether marketing actions (i.e., changing the price of a wine) does alter taste processing (i.e., the wine actually tastes better) or cognitive processing because of rationalizing (i.e., the consumer thinks the wine tastes better). It is very difficult for consumers to verbalize whether the price changes how much they think they like the wine or how much they actually like the wine, although this difference is very important from a consumer psychology perspective. The authors could show that changing the price of an identical wine does actually change taste processing and more specifically that part of taste processing that encodes the pleasantness of the taste. This finding provides neuropsychological evidence for a placebo effect of marketing actions on positive experiences similar to placebo effects in the pain domain. Another approach is to use neuroscientific measures to validate behavioral measures. An example of this approach is a recent study (Dietvorst et al., 2009) that aimed at developing a sales force–specific Theory-of-Mind (ToM) scale in two steps. First, they developed a personality scale measuring salespeople's interpersonal-mentalizing skills, based on questionnaires. Second, they validated the questionnaire-based scale by comparing high- and low-scoring salespeople on the scale when they worked on interpersonal-mentalizing and control tasks while having their brains scanned using fMRI. Interestingly, they found that salespeople who scored high on their sales force-specific ToM scale also showed more activation in brain areas involved in ToM during the interpersonal-mentalizing tasks but not during the control tasks. It is important to note that the next level of research in this area needs to go beyond merely establishing associations between brain activity and a specific behavior. A review by Kable (2011) showed that 60% to 70% of empirical studies applying neuroscience to behavioral decision-making theories use only one method: fMRI. To establish a deeper understanding of the relationships between neuropsychological processes and behavior that can profoundly advance our understanding of consumer psychology, consumer neuroscientists need to expand the neuroscientific tool kit. The idea behind this is to show that (a) brain mechanisms are necessary for a specific consumer behavior (i.e., when brain activity is interrupted, behavior is impaired) and (b) brain mechanisms are sufficient for a specific consumer behavior (i.e., when brain activity is induced, behavioral effects occur; see Kable, 2011, for a more detailed discussion). Methods to test necessity include using patients who have a lesion in a specific brain area of interest, such as the vmPFC, and testing their behavior as compared to control populations. For example, it has been shown that focal brain lesions in this area make patients outperform healthy controls in financial performance tasks (Shiv, Loewenstein, & Bechara, 2005). Another way to study necessity is the application of techniques that “virtually lesion” healthy subjects by temporarily interrupting electromagnetic activity (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) or cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS)). A recent study by Camus et al. (2009) showed that the application of inhibitory TMS to subjects' dlPFC decreased subjects' predicted values in an economic auction. The toolkit to test sufficiency is much more limited and includes primarily a reversed version of transcranial direct current stimulation (anodal TDCS). For example, a study by Fregni et al. (2008) showed that stimulation of the lateral prefrontal cortex reduced craving in smokers. Beyond testing relationships between brain systems and behavior, another novel and exciting approach is to go one level deeper and test the relationships between specific neurotransmitters and behavior. Recent advances in our understanding of the role of neurotransmitters, and how they relate to processes underlying decision making, may lead to improved understanding of consumer psychology. Few studies, if any, have approached this from a consumer behavior perspective, but insights from studying decision-making on a neurotransmitter-level might serve as a source to generate new research ideas (see Ramsøy & Skov, 2010, for a review). Applying the same idea described above, the neuroscientific tool kit allows us to test associations, necessity, and sufficiency of neurotransmitters and specific consumer behavior (see Kable, 2011, for a more detailed discussion). Specific brain imaging techniques that allow tracking of changes in neurotransmitters (forms of Positron Emission Tomography (PET)) and the study of genetics allow researchers to make associations between neurotransmitters such as dopamine and a specific behavior such as gambling or other impulsive behaviors. Administration of pharmacological antagonists or depletion of a specific neurotransmitter (e.g., through dietary restrictions) allows researchers to test necessity. For example, a study by Crockett, Clark, Tabibnia, Lieberman, and Robbins (2008) found that serotonin depletion increased rejection of unfair offers in an ultimatum game. Along those lines, administration of pharmacological agonist or depletion of a specific neurotransmitter allows researchers to test specificity. For example, Kosfeld, Heinrichs, Zak, Fischbacher, and Fehr (2005) demonstrated that administration of oxytocin increased trust during economic exchange. Another example is a study by Schweighofer et al. (2008), who tested the effect of serotonin loading and depletion on reward discounting. Taken together, studies in consumer psychology can benefit from new tools that allow the testing of association, necessity, and sufficiency of neuropsychological processes and consumer behavior. By expanding the toolbox in consumer neuroscience, advances can be made in our understanding of both basic mechanisms and individual differences in consumer decision making. Neuroscience as basis for theory generation Although most of the hype around the potential of consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing evolves around using neuroscientific tools, in this review we would like to suggest neuroscientific findings as a novel source of understanding the mechanisms underlying consumer psychology, as pioneered by Wadhwa, Shiv, and Nowlis (2008) and others (e.g., Lee et al., 2009 and Van Den Bergh et al., 2008). Wadhwa and colleagues investigated the effect of product sampling at the point of sale on subsequent consumption behavior (Wadhwa et al., 2008). The authors compared different hypotheses about whether product sampling would increase subsequent consumption behavior, and if so, whether the effects would be specific to the product sampled, to its product category, or to anything perceived as pleasurable. These predictions were based on different theories from psychology, physiology, and neurophysiology of taste and reward. In a series of experiments, the authors found support for the prediction that our general motivation system in the brain is at work when we sample products, leading to an increased subsequent reward-seeking behavior for any other type of reward. Similarly, a study from Van Den Bergh et al. (2008) found impatience in intertemporal choice to be linked to the activation of the general motivation system in the brain. Another example is a recent study by Ramsøy, Loving, Skov, and Clement (2011) in which women were studied during different phases of their ovarian cycle. It is well known that this cycle has significant effects on female thinking and behavior, including changes in memory, sexual behavior, and mate selection (Jones et al., 2008, Pillsworth et al., 2004, Rupp and Wallen, 2007, Vranić and Hromatko, 2008 and Zhu et al., 2010). In particular, recent studies have demonstrated changes in consumer behavior, including the increased likelihood of purchasing and wearing sexually suggestive clothing at peak fertility (Durante et al., 2008 and Durante et al., 2010), although Saad and Stenstrom (2012), interestingly, did not find evidence linking menstrual cycle to attitudes towards brand-related information. Little is known about the exact mechanisms underlying such effects and to what extent menstrual cycle affects the processing of different kinds of brands or advertisements. By using eye tracking to assess visual attention, Ramsøy et al. (2011) found that at peak fertility, women tended to show faster and more frequent fixations and longer total viewing time toward sexual elements in ads. Such effects were not at the cost of visual attention toward brand information and did not have an impact on preference or long-term memory scores. Nevertheless, these findings demonstrate how a known biological factor may influence consumer psychology. These studies are examples of how scholars in consumer psychology can integrate findings and concepts from neuroscience without actually applying neuroscientific methods. This approach is of great potential for developing an interdisciplinary understanding of how consumers make decisions and may provide significant improvements in our understanding of preference formation and decision making. We hope this review will help researchers as a starting point for generating hypotheses based on an interdisciplinary framework to advance existing theories in consumer psychology. To conclude, in this last section of this critical review, we have pointed out two major new directions in which neuroscience might advance consumer psychology. These new directions extend first findings in the nascent field of consumer neuroscience related to branding and, more important, help to address the issues of previous work reviewed in this paper. We hope this review provides researchers with exciting new perspectives and ideas for their future work in consumer neuroscience to advance our understanding of the psychology of branding.