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It's no secret that stores want your money and will do just about anything to convince you to give it to them, including trying to sway you with piped-in fragrance, comfy chairs, or attractive salespeople. But, according to WWD, the new trend in "take our stuff, please" marketing research is reading your mind, literally. Companies are using "neuromarketing," or brain-scan technology, to identify what stimulates craving, status seeking and other responses. Ideally, that lets them know what kind of impressive store design, like at Niketown, or social-status signifiers, like Christian Louboutin's red soles are most effective at getting customers to shell out for a product.
Companies love this stuff, and the recession is just making it worse! Neuromarketing efforts have roughly doubled in the past year, consultant Martin Lindstrom told WWD, and it only costs a company about $50,000 to scan the brains of 30-50 people.
There's even a juicy fashion blind item: "Concerned about remaining attractive to wealthy customers without appearing over-the-top, a major luxury brand is using neuromarketing to position a new line of handbags, Lindstrom said. The brand, which he declined to identify, is using EEG's to monitor brain activity as people shop two of the firm's stores in Europe and a third one in the U.S. MRIs are being tapped to identify what makes a certain bag a must-have — what is it that tickles the brain's parietal lobe, making a person feel superior to others?" Who do you think is the "major luxury brand" scanning brains to figure out how to make a bag that says "I'm better than you," but not too loudly (because that would be gauche)? Let us know in the comments.
· Brands Pick Consumers' Brains—And Scan Them [WWD]