Monday, January 27, 2014

Marketers Turn to Neuroimaging for the Real Honest Truthiness About Consumer Demand


The people really just want to buy balloons/Fotopedia

In the industry of selling things it's important to know exactly what your customers want. And here in the digital age, new technologies and techniques have become prevalent that are designed to do this figuring to a very high degree of precision. Companies are constantly collecting data on what you’re searching for, where you’re going, and why in the hell you decided it was necessary to pay that extra 20 bucks for the black version of a phone.

Merel Bekking doesn’t want to ask you what you want, though. She’d rather strap some electrodes to your cranium and collect data. She’s a designer from the Netherlands that has decided it’s time to get to the root of the thing and just ask people’s brains what they want.

Working along side Dr. Scholte and the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging in Amsterdam, she scanned 20 people’s brains while showing them a range of shapes, colors, and materials. Her goal was to find out what people find appealing by what excited their brains, regardless of what they might claim they find appealing consciously or what they might say they're into.

Using only 20 subjects is quite low for a scientific study, but it is clear that she didn't do this in order to write an academic journal paper. Bekking just wanted some basic understanding of what people are leaning towards in design these days. She found a few things out, like the fact that people tend to find plastic appealing, despite saying they don’t. Specifically, red plastic really hits the spot.

For the rest of the story:

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