Global Strategic Branding Firm Siegel+Gale Uses Neural Predictors to Obtain Customer Insights that Drive Brand Effectiveness

September 9, 2010

Differentiates Qualitative Research Capabilities with Cutting-Edge Approach

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 9, 2010 – To uncover insights into what consumers truly believe and feel about brands, global strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale and NeuroCompass examined several large consumer retail brands under a pilot study research project, using cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging technology (fMRI) to generate remarkable consumer insights.

Insights drawn from the fMRI technology help brands understand how strongly consumers associate their brand with key emotional and functional attributes, as well as how much affinity consumers have for one brand relative to its competitors. When used in conjunction with other quantitative and qualitative data, the fMRI data can lead to a better understanding of customer needs and preferences.

“Organizations today need to understand how their customers genuinely perceive their brands,” says Lisa Bertelsen, global director, Research Insights. “What’s great about the fMRI technology is that it reveals the consumer associations that are more deeply-rooted versus those that are more superficial in nature. Marketers can then understand the strength of the associations and develop an effective strategy that reinforces strong brand messages—an objective we seek for our clients everyday.”

Siegel+Gale and NeuroCompass showed 25 volunteers a series of brand attributes describing several consumer retailers. Meanwhile, the fMRI captured 2,400 measurements of blood flow into various areas of the brain to create a detailed picture of emotions that were triggered, the strength of each emotion and the level of desire associated with each brand. NeuroCompass’ neuroscientists, mathematicians, statisticians and psychologists then recorded these impressions.

“The fMRI technology allows us to see activity in the limbic brain,” says Gaurav Suri of NeuroCompass. “Traditional market research methodologies focus almost exclusively on the rational brain, even though decision-making is often a ‘discussion’ between the limbic and rational brain. Therefore, the rational brain, or cortex, may not always be aware of decision-making in the moment those decisions are made, but may create rationalizations for them later.”

Siegel+Gale and NeuroCompass conducted the study to better understand human behavior—understanding that insights from both halves of the brain will generate deeper, truer customer insights.

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About Siegel+Gale

Siegel+Gale is a global strategic branding firm committed to building world-class brands through elegantly simple, unexpectedly fresh strategies, stories and experiences. With Simple is Smart as its operating philosophy, Siegel+Gale delivers powerful services in brand development, identity design, simplification, research and analytics, and digital strategy.

Since its founding by branding pioneer Alan Siegel in 1969, Siegel+Gale has helped drive business results for brands such as Aetna, American Express, Bank of America, China Youth Development Foundation, Dell, Dow Chemical Company, The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Internal Revenue Service, The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Microsoft, Motorola, Pfizer, SAP, Sony PlayStation, Yahoo! and the YMCA.

Siegel+Gale has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Hamburg, Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing and strategic partnerships around the world as a member of the Omnicom Group of companies.

About NeuroCompass

Based in Palo Alto, California, NeuroCompass utilizes the most advanced fMRI technology coupled with unique proprietary analytical methodologies and algorithms to identify neural correlates to predict consumer preference. Our team is composed of world renowned neuroscience researchers, psychologists, mathematicians, market researchers, and statisticians.

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