The marketer’s job is to create the brand and then create the pattern by associating that brand making neural connections to other memories in your brain.

Welcome to this new video series ‘The Science Behind What Makes People Buy’ where I am in conversation with some of the top experts in neuromarketing to bring you the latest knowledge of how to make your marketing and branding work consistently rather than guessing.

Are you a marketer, business owner, consultant, trainer, coach or someone who is interested in shaping behavior but are frustrated by the traditional approach of marketing that is no longer working? Are you looking for effective science-based approach to help you get the attention of your prospects and clients and serve them best to achieve their goals?

 To get your product and service known an effective brand strategy is critical today. Fortunately, we are starting to understand the science behind what makes people buy with evidence-based marketing and neuromarketing which applies the latest discovery in neuroscience and how our brain works to make marketing more effective.

About Dr Peter Steidl 

In this first series of 8 episodes, I am in conversation with Dr Peter Steidl, author of the book Neurobranding: Future-proof brand strategy, published by the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association.

Dr Steidl is sharing a new approach to achieve your organization and business goals. His promise: “Bring together in one place what marketers need to know to build and manage brands, and form a strong meaningful relationship with consumer, that will protect them in a tech driven future.”

He is a strategic consultant and principal at Neurothinking with particular interest in neuromarketing and applying ‘what we now know about how the mind works to identifying new opportunities, addressing threats, and re-aligning marketing efforts to maximize success.

He has also served on the permanent staff of Vienna and Adelaide Universities, taught in the MBA program and held a Visiting Adjunct Professorship at Curtin University in Perth.

What Neurobranding is, who it is for, and why should we care? 

At the basic level, when you think about a brand like Coke or Nike or small a brand, it doesn’t matter how big it is, a brand is a memory in your mind.

And the marketer’s task is to first make sure that you create a memory, so you know that brand, but then the marketer needs to associate with this brand all sorts of qualities to make the brand valuable to you.

The marketer’s job is to create the brand and then create the pattern by associating that brand making neural connections to other memories in your brain. And then, of course, the marketer needs to trigger your memory pattern. Because if you don’t trigger it, you will forget about it because the neural connections will get less and less strong.

In essence, what we’re saying is that marketing has a lot to do with managing memories in people’s minds. And because we want to manage those memories, we have to understand how the brain works and what we can actually do to create these memories to make them effective and to trigger them. That’s essentially what neuromarketing is all about.


Francine: So, who would you say it is for then, and why we should care?

Peter: Right. Well, let me say, it’s for anyone who wants to shape behavior. It doesn’t matter if you want to market a service or a product or if you want to change behavior. Let’s take the area of health or well-being, we want people to act in a particular way, buy a particular brand or behave in different ways, neuromarketing can be an effective means of encouraging them and getting them to behave in the way we want them to behave.

And when I say this, don’t get the idea that this is like in 1984, where there’s some button in the person’s brain we can push and that they will do what we want. Of course not. But it is more effective than traditional marketing because it is built on the way our brain works; and that obviously makes it more effective than just being in the dark and trying this and trying that and not being very successful.

Francine: Is it another fancy way that marketers have find to make us buy what we don’t want?

Peter: Firstly, the big difference is that neuromarketing for the first time is actually based on the science. So, it’s not somebody’s idea or theory, or some consulting make up or a new concept on how to make marketing more effective. It’s not any of that. It is based on neuroscience.

And let me just very briefly talk about how the brain developed and why neuromarketing therefore, is a very good option. Humankind lived in a natural hostile environment for billions of years and in that environment, our brain tried to keep us alive, in other words help us to survive. And so, the brain developed all sorts of different means of doing that. And some of these behavioral strategies were hardwired in our brain over billions of years.

But at a later stage when life got more complex people organised in different groups, developped  villages, and so on, agriculture, etc; we needed to do more than just be very good in reacting to things.

The brain is the only part of the body that didn’t change, we still have the old brain. But we developed a new brain on top of the old brain, that the new brain allows us to think, to analyze, to rationalize. So, we now have got two brains. But the old brain is much more powerful, and much faster because it had a very long time to develop. And so much of our behavior is driven by our old brain despite us rationalizing, planning and making decisions, what we end up doing is still largely determined by our old brain.

And this understanding of the interplay between the old brain and the new brain comes from Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize. He called it system one and system two.

One being the old brain that has been around for a long time, it’s very powerful. It can do millions of things at the same time, it manages all your organs. For example, if you need to consciously decide what to do with your heart, liver and kidney, it’s all done without you even knowing. It manages putting sensory inputs into memory, decides what to put into memory, what not to put into memory, it’s all done by a non-conscious, the system one.

Your system 1 can process 11 million bits of information at the time.  Your system two, the new brain can only process 40 bits of information. So, 11 billion bits versus 40 bits, you can immediately see what’s driving behavior. It’s the larger system one. Therefore, we have to understand system one better, so neuromarketing is something that can really be useful.

Yes, it can be used to sell you things you don’t want, but it also can be used to sell things that are better for you like healthier products and services, or to help you change your behavior, like stop smoking, lose weight, or whatever it might be that you want to do.

Francine: What actually drives consumer to act?

Peter: Right. Well, probably the most important element is a neurotransmitter called dopamine, and dopamine drives us to do things. What happens is that when you do something, like you realize a goal, you do something that’s positive, exciting, rewarding, your brain releases dopamine. But the level of dopamine resolves quite quickly, and you want to repeat it. It’s almost like being addicted to dopamine, it’s like being addicted to a drug. And so you want to repeat behavior or engage in other behavior, that also allows you to get a dopamine hit.

When you think about social media, the reason why so many people have been to wake up in the morning to check the social media sites before the call asleep, the check it again, and a million times in between is dopamine. Because whenever you post something, you comment on something and somebody might respond, the expectation alone triggers a dopamine hit. And then of course, when something happens, you get another dopamine hit.

So, social media is like a personal drug factory that you can produce dopamine as you go along. So, dopamine drives us to do things, and in marketing, we very much need to make sure that we actually give our potential customers a dopamine hit, in other words, a positive experience that will then release dopamine and make them feel great.

So, that’s probably the most essential bit, but they’re also hardwired circuits in human brains I mean, like the circuits that drives us to compete, drives us to belong, drives us to explore, these are all circuits we can capitalize on in marketing because we know that they exist, we know that everybody has them. We also understand, of course, the difference in brain circuits between men and women, and therefore somewhat different spreadsheets may apply to one or the other, and so on and so on.

Neuromarketing is about capitalizing on all the things we have learned through serious neuroscience research. And now we adapt, adjust and apply some of those principles and insights to marketing.


Below are the 15 top ideas covered today


Action points

What is your key takeaway from this episode? How are you going to use this new knowledge in your business or in your marketing? Comment below. 



Contact Dr Peter Steidl

Contact Me, Francine Beleyi