Weather, breakfast may dictate your shopping

October 28th, 2008 - 10:28 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 28 (IANS) Marketers, please pay attention!A shopper’s spending may be affected by the weather, the kind of breakfast he or she had, the layout and lighting of the shop and many other factors, says a Canadian specialist in marketing and psychology.

Speaking on “Neuro-marketing: The battle for customers’ minds,” Kyle Murray, who is director at the University of Alberta’s School of Retailing in Calgary, said marketers are becoming increasingly interested in applying the techniques of neuroscience to attract customers.

“We used to say retail business isn’t rocket science and then Richard Branson started marketing space travel,” said Murray about the head of the Virgin brand of 360 companies.

The Canadian, who is critically examining the emergence of neuro-marketing, said the practice of studying human responses to advertising and marketing is still very much in its infancy. But certain patterns are now known from his own studies and those done by others, he said.

Giving an example, Murray said that in unnamed taste-tests, people showed no preference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. But when they were told about the names of brands, 67 per cent opted for Coke.

He said images of brain activity explained people’s preference for one brand to another because past occurrences have emotional ties.

“In people with preferences, researchers were able to predict which would prefer Coke or Pepsi,” he said.

Murray said neuroscience was also researching the impact of expert advice on people.

“People are much more emotional when making decisions about expert advice, but we found they were willing to pay more if they were able to slowly think about it. They were more rational,” he said.

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