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Neuromarketing: Marketing Fad or Marketing’s Future?

Dr Peter Steidl, the Author of Neurobranding, Ponders to What Extent Neuroscience Will Change Current Marketing Practice.


Melbourne, Victoria, October 1st, 2012 -  Marketers are generally quick to adopt - and drop - the latest marketing fads.  From the big strategic concepts like Disruption or Blue Ocean Strategies to methodologies like ethnography or observation studies new practices are often adopted widely and then disappear just as quickly from mainstream practice. Will Neuromarketing have a different fate? 

The author of Neurobranding seems confident that Neuromarketing is here to stay. 
’Clearly, Neuromarketing is not a fad’ says Dr Steidl. ’We are not looking at some clever concept developed by a consultant or agency.  Neuromarketing is fundamental in nature - it focuses on the very foundation of successful marketing, namely, to influence the consumer’s purchase decision - and it is based on scientific medical research that tells us more about how the consumer’s brain works.’

However, the author is less bullish when it comes to how quickly or dramatically marketing practice might change. 

’Neuromarketing will not usher in a disruptive new marketing practice’, he suggests.  ’In most instances, neuromarketing insights, concepts and methodologies allow us to improve our current marketing practice by allowing us to utilize deeper insights into how consumers think.  Using these insights, we may adapt the way we approach innovation; develop new market research methodologies to gain deeper insights into how consumers think; sharpen our focus to ensure we are on-code in our communications; activate consumer goals more effectively with our marketing initiatives; and employ the use of our own intuitive mind and our capacity to explore when it comes to segmentation or tracking the effectiveness of our marketing program.’

Neuromarketing allows us to see many of the major challenges we face from a new perspective and gives us the opportunity to identify new directions, strategies or solutions. To mention a few examples, it allows us to understand

  • why consumers reject disruptive ideas when evaluating them in research groups and interviews yet end up enthusiastically buying the brand, product or service once it has been  launched;
  • or the corollary:  why consumers enthusiasticaly embrace new brands, products and services in market research situations yet fail to buy after the innovation has been launched;
  • why some highly engaging, high-profile branding initiatives and communications strategies have failed to move sales while others have had a tremendous impact;
  • why brands mature, and how they can be revitalized;
  • why FMCG brands hardly ever win in the long-term when they resort to simple variations of the offer, such as product or package changes;
  • why consumers don’t need to be able to recall an ad for the ad to impact on brand perceptions and influence their purchase decisions.

Neuromarketing is a promising new addition to understanding marketing and consumer habits, but it will take time for its insights to filter though into current marketing practice.

The discussion paper Neuromarketing:  Marketing Fad or Marketing’s Future can be downloaded free from the authors website (  The author explores the impact of neuromarketing on marketing communications, innovation, market research, assessing the effectiveness of marketing and communications campaigns, and strategy development.

To learn more about Neurobranding visit

About Peter Steidl
Dr Steidl provides advice on marketing, brand and communications strategies to corporations, businesses and government agencies.  His clients include a number of Fortune Global 100 companies. He has carried out assignments in 20 countries on five continents.  His recent books include Waking the Giant: Revitalizing Mature Brands (2009);  Survive, Exploit, Disrupt: Action Guidelines for Marketing in a Recession (2009), Creating Brand Meaning: How to Use Brand Vision Archetypes, 2nd ed. (2012) and Neurobranding (2012).


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