Strong brands make us more impulsive
Strong brands have an effect on our brain. In a study by Schaefer & Rotte (2007), participants had to look at logos of luxury and non-luxury car brands.
The participants had to indicate whether the logo presented was their favourite brand and how much it was associated with the terms 'luxury', 'sporty' or 'sensible'.
The results showed that participants' favourite brands attracted more attention. The higher a brand scored on 'luxury' or 'sporty' and the lower they score on 'sensible', the stronger the activity was in the striatum (also part of the brains' reward system).
Simultaneously, the luxury and sporty brands reduced activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (part of the brains' control system). According to the researchers, this suggests that luxury and sporty brands switch off control temporarily, making us more impulsive.
Seeing the Apple logo activates parts of the reward system
The same result has been demonstrated with the Apple logo.
In their fMRI study, Murawski et al. (2012) found that seeing the Apple logo also activated parts of the reward system in their participants. The activation of the reward system made participants more likely to choose a lower immediate reward ($20) than a higher delayed reward ($50 after waiting 10 days).
The study shows that participants' decision process is influenced by the Apple logo when it was shown right before the decision. Seeing the logo created a feeling of 'wanting' and 'buying a product' in participants. Consequently, participants impulsively decided on an immediate reward; otherwise, they could have waited for 10 days to earn $50 instead.
In short, we act more impulsively when seeing a strong brand.
Branding works. In fact, the effects of branding are so strong that seeing a strong brand makes us more impulsive. It activates parts of the reward areas in our brains, making our mind switch off its control temporarily.
You can help accelerate consumers choices by linking a strong reward to your brand. Discover in the next learning why the simplicity of your brand makes you more successful.