In recent years, biohacking techniques have rocketed into the mainstream. You may have heard about using fitness and nutrition to ‘hack’ the body’s natural systems, optimizing energy, boosting focus and drive, to maximizing productivity in the day, and much more. What people may not realize is that for years emotional branding has been used to hack the human brain and influence the decision making process – with great success. As in most other aspects of life, humans buy on emotion, then justify with logic.
The amygdala is the most primal area of our brain, processing the core emotional reactions (e.g. disgust, fear, and desire) to sensory triggers. These emotional responses are triggered before sending a signal to the prefrontal cortex, which then processes and adds rationale to the response. Due to the amygdala’s well connected structure in the brain, it then serves as an interface between other cognitive functions including decision-making, learning and attention.
As humans, no-one is exempt from this decision-making process, and as a result a well-executed branding campaign can hack our brains by ensuring that they activate the amygdala to consistently elicit the same emotional response. In doing so, it can promote strong, instinctive feelings of desire towards their product, which can then be post-rationalised by the consumer using taglines or statistics.
Even categories and buyers we believe to be highly logistical and rational such as oncologists and bankers process information in the same way. In fact, research has proven that we are likely to make increasingly emotional decisions in high pressure situations. The key to creating deep-rooted emotional ties for a brand is first to ensure that the emotional brain is stimulated, before reinforcing this reaction with the relevant information. By doing this, we can generate and nurture exceptional loyalty regardless of new market entrants.