Brain Based Perspective on Influencing Consumer Behavior

Do you want to impact consumer behavior, then you have to realise that there is a part of the consumer’s brain that acts as an attention gatekeeper and decision maker in their mind. Our subconscious is what we hold most accountable when it comes down to decision making, as it does not involve the cognitive parts of the brain initially.

Emotion is the drivinging force behind all human preference. 95% of all human thoughts occurs on a subconcious level.

Consumer behavior can be broadly classified as the decisions and actions that influence the purchasing behavior of a consumer. What drives consumers to choose a particular product with respect to others is a question which is often analyzed and studied by marketers. Most of the selection process involved in purchasing is based on emotions and reasoning.

It is important to understand the destinction between the consumers subconcious mind and subliminal messaging.  Subliminal messaging is the presentation of something that happens so quickly that you actually cannot become aware of it. It happens at a very subliminal level.  On a subconcious level things happens automatically and if you were to attend to it you can become aware of it.  It is not subliminal it is subconcious.

Your brain is always looking for shortcuts and quick decisions.  Daniel Kahneman wrote a book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.  The central thesis is a dichotomy between two modes of thought: “System 1” is fast, instinctive and emotional; “System 2” is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. As the consumer we are little aware of the power hidden within System 1.

Although the whole brain is involved in the consumer decision process, System 1 (the reptilian brain/subconcious) is the driving force. If you want to understand consumer buying decisions better, keep System 1 in mind and it will have a lasting effect on your bottom line.

Can we as marketers influence the buying-decisions that consumers make?

Consumers think that they are in control, when in fact marketers use consumers basic brain preference to stear them in certain directions based on the interpretations their subconcious mind will make.

Lets take color as an example. Blue is considered an appetite-suppressing color, researchers often point to warm colors as appetite-stimulating. According to the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute, red is a powerful color that increases blood pressure and heart rate.  It also stimulates the appetite–it is often used in restaurants and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home. Yellow is also an appetite-stimulating color as it is associated with energy and happiness.  Maybe that explains 31,000 McDonald’s locations worldwide? This is why many designers recommend warm colors for home kitchens and restaurants–not only does it increase the appetite, but it has been shown to increase the speed at which people eat. Blue is rarely recommended: it slows us down and makes us want to go to sleep.

Given the latter it is safe to conclude that marketers have the power to change the consumers experience, thus directly influence consumer behavior in their favor.


  • As a marketer you have to be a master of persuasion.
  • People aka consumers don’t know what they want.
  • The consumers brain wants to ignore your marketing messages to save energy and it’s not going to waste energy unnecessarily by involving other parts of the brain to process things that aren’t necessary for survival.
  • Price are not as important to consumers as we think they are.
  • The reptilian brain (System 1- subconcious mind) remembers mostly what happens first and last. The beginning and ending of a consumers experience leave a lasting impression on the consumer.
  • As a marketer we have to emphasise a problem and create a solution. You can show contrast by demonstrating before and after, by displaying the pain and relief from it.
  • If we market to System 2 (Pre-cortex) we are marketing to the slow brain involving time lapse, slow decision making processes.
  • To effectively influence consumers, you need to appeal to the reptilian brain (System 1) – fast brain, quick response, instant gratification.

Once you prove that something is worthy of attention, other parts of the brain will get involved too.

Remember that the consumer within seconds of receiving information whether it be in the form the written word, video, content, the reptilian brain (System 1)  wants to know what you plan to do for it. It’s important to make it apparent early on in your proposition or the customer will not take an interested.

Corporate Axtion has a holistic, neuromarketing approach when it comes to creating exposure. We can’t help everyone, but what we can guarantee is, we’ll be honest, transparent and only propose that we work together if it’s going to be empowering and value adding for you and your business.

About Corporate Axtion

I am a creative social media professional with expertise in digital content strategy development, social media analyst, reputation management, account maintenance, and marketing. I have gained valuable online experience creating innovative, creative and exciting social media accounts that grow client audiences and create brand awareness. I have managed multiple campaigns simultaneously with a focus on traffic generation by creating viral content, syndicating it to social networks, and optimizing for various web applications. One of my specialties is that I am an Organisational Development Specialist and my holistic and creative efforts are focused on the establishment of valuable networks that in the end will generate revenue.

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