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November 30, 2006

This Is Your Brain on Brands

Brain.jpgThe blogosphere is heated this week over a couple of great posts on that picked up a press release from the Radiological Society of North America confirming what we in the product naming business have always suspected: brand names we know and recognize activate different areas of our brains than those that we do not.

swoosh.jpgGoogle was awash with related posts including a good one entitled Brain Branding - Coke Is It that mentions that Coke and Pepsi are both equally recognized but the Coke brand name has stronger “functional magnetic resonance imaging results.” IndianPad breaks down the findings, quoting from the report that “a benchmark test for strong vs. weaker brands is possible,” but, frustratingly, finding how to scientifically increase that resonance of brands upon our brains is still elusive.

Kyle Flaherty linked to the results on his Engage in PR Blog, pointing out that now PR people are building “brands” rather than simply promoting companies (something they have been doing for years anyway), and that the entire PR industry will be “shifting from customer satisfaction to customer advocacy.”

brain_on_brands.jpgI would add that branding is deeply rooted in the way we use language, which is why we at SND place a strong emphasis on our linguistic expertise. Branding shows its face in the literary study of structuralism and in the myths we create about ourselves, as delineated in the writings of Claude Levi Strauss.

There's an excellent post on the subject that references Google’s struggles to “deverb” its name, and points out that “Brands are about what consumers think - their perception is what counts, not what the company wants”.

Now we have proof.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 30, 2006 3:06 PM
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