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7 Lessons left by the Neuromarketing World Forum 2015 for Latin American companies that wish to continue being competitive

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Source: Jose Kont, founder and director of iLifebelt as well as co-founder of
Translation: Andrea Morales, Social Media Manager of iLifebelt

Lorena Gálvez, Local chair of NMSBA in Guatemala and Jose Kont, Director of iLifebelt.
Lorena Gálvez, Local chair of NMSBA in Guatemala and Jose Kont, Director of iLifebelt.

I’m sitting down, watching the conference room and I wonder: Could we apply in Latin America what has been spoken here? It turns out that during March this year at the World Trade Center in Barcelona I was in an event where many pretend to find answers to the big challenges that companies today are facing when it comes to gaining market share and to become more attractive for their clients, I’m talking about the Neuromarketing World Forum.

Literally here are gathered professionals of all disciplines; I talk with someone who’s a researcher, then I find a Doctor in neuroscience, and in minutes an Architect and a Marketer joined us.

The question we’re all asking is: How to keep our companies competitive? More than 40 experts of the entire world in 3 days of conferences are giving different contributions and pointers to give us the formula to be competitive in the era of information.

After the event, having a long period of reflection (It coincidentally was before Eastern) I came to the following conclusions in where there’s definitely a big chance for the companies to consider them.

  • Don’t create brands that excite. This has been the typical concept to which many of us aspire. How to make people feel excited about my brand, my product, and my services? And the problem is the definition. Emotions attract us, but feelings are the ones that generate loyalty. Rafal Ohme, CEO and founder of NeuroHM stated in his lecture related to this topic “The emotions of superior level are those that generate relationships with clients, Apple is a Brand built in this level, creating feelings with Loyalty, Determination, Devotion, Sacrifice, Etc.” This is the difference between Pepsi and Coca Cola, the first appeals to the emotions while Coca Cola looks to generate feelings. The emotions of superior level are the substratum for brands to be loved and respected, namely, the first step of the Lovemarks. A secret at the end commented by Ohme is that the big brands have known the precise moment when to pass from emotions to feelings.
The organizing team NMWF 2015.
The organizing team NMWF 2015.
  • Don’t listen to the client. This concept is also disruptive because it’s what we all have learned in college. But, what happens when not even the consumer themselves know what they want? Steve Jobs understood this in his time and today it’s something obvious for everybody. The client must not be heard, he must be understood. And to understand them there’s the neuroscience applied to the consumer that simply is to do the market research from a broader perspective. How do we measure passion? How do we measure how much we like or dislike something? If someone asked me who is more beautiful: Marylin Monroe, Scarlett Johansson, Monica Belluci or Sophia Loren any verbal answer I give will simply, be a lie. But with the Neuromarketing tools now it is possible to find who of them is a Lovemark for the consumer. From RT techniques (reaction time), FMRi, Eye Tracking, among others, each day the result it’s easier to understand what the consumer really wants. We can’t continue listening to the client; we have no more excuses, now we can know what the consumer wants.
  • The use of famous characters as pieces of publicity has stopped being effective. How many times have we seen images that include famous faces to make the product more desirable? Thanks to the results of a study presented by Ale Smidts from The Erasmus Center of Neuroeconomics of the University of Erasmus there’s great evidence that not any famous character ends up effective for a publicity campaign. It’s better to have the image of an expert linked to the product announced (For example Nike uses the image of Tiger Woods in their campaigns) or to generate links between the character and the product. The secret is to appeal to the memory, and brands like L’oreal have done a great job since including the face of a famous person plus the name or even the movie or activity that has made the character who they are. Definitely, the trick is people to find a link between the character and the product and for them to know where they had seen it before.
  • Cristina Balanzo, director of Walnut Unlimited.
    Cristina Balanzo, director of Walnut Unlimited.

    Emotions are simply shortcuts. Descartes’ philosophy was based in the truth “I think; therefore I am” that has been left demystified with the revolution of feelings. The previous paradigm in marketing and communication was to Think, Act and Feel. However, today, all experts agree that to really understand the consumer you have to analyze them from an emotional dimension since people Feel, Act and then Think. “Emotions are the center to any decision making, they allow us to make decisions faster and more effectively. And that’s how brands become shortcuts in the decision process. A Brand in the end is the associations of meanings and memories that we go storing”. Said Cristina Balanzo, director of Walnut Unlimited.

  • “I like it and I don’t know why” effect. Everyone has experienced that with understanding reason, motive or circumstance we wake up happy, depressed, worried or distressed. We are victims of the “I don’t know why” effect. We say “I don’t know why I don’t trust this product” or “I don’t know why that person feels weird or strange to me”… And this is due to the feelings that are the ones guiding our decisions but don’t follow a logic pattern. They work like the weather: you never know how it will be. Douglas Van Praet explained that part of our nature is in constant evolution because of our environment. The brain has automatic functions that interact with any stimuli without us being able to think about how this interaction will be like. We can’t choose the emotions or feelings we have at a certain point; the only thing we can try is to choose our relationship with emotions. Many brands that have had this concept clear (Volvo, Evian, Geico, Dove, among others) have included in their branding processes the subconscious behaviors of the consumers taking away rules in marketing campaigns based more in the inverse innovation and engineering. One of the bases of success of viral campaigns is that they present consumers with unexpected stories. And the brain loves to continue learning. Human beings go around the knowledge and we feel attraction toward what’s different, for that concept to later become familiar. Branding is becoming therefore, in a process of creating comfort for the consumers.
  • In the picture, Tadeusz Zorawski CEO and Director of UM/Universal McCann Polonia.
    In the picture, Tadeusz Zorawski CEO and Director of UM/Universal McCann Polonia.

    You no longer have to announce yourself everywhere, even if you can pay it. This discovery seemed to me especially interesting. Tadeusz Zorawski CEO and Director of UM/Universal McCann Polonia, led an investigation to determine if the emotional impact of a TV add would be affected by the cannel it was watched on, the kind of programming of the cannel and the TV show in which it aired. The results of the study showed that these 3 variables can affect the emotion impact of a publicity piece. So it becomes critical that, now, media directors analyze under what context their brands will be exposed very well. Something that perhaps to others isn’t so disruptive but in digital ecosystems it is still a topic that has much to evolve. And if you’re wondering why it’s important to maximize the emotional and sentimental experience, it turns out that, the more emotional a piece is the more awareness it’ll be. A classic example of this was The Force commercial by Volskwagen the impact of which in the social media has been dramatically high.

  • Economy has never been about finances. Have you ever shared a video or image in the Social Media from some brand? If your answer is affirmative then surely you think it’s because you “like it” but the truth is you took the decision because the act of sharing that content made you feel a) privileged (for having access to information others don’t), b) proud (for belonging to a certain group, status, Etc.), c) kind (because the brand broadcasts that or the content you have shared). It’s an old story to say that we must monitor and understand what people say about our brand, and this is where the mistake is made. It’s not about our brand, but all about the people. When we raise our eyes and analyze brands that are economically successful nowadays, all of them have in common that clients have moved on from being numbers to being what they’ve always been: human beings.
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