How Can Understanding Serotonin Result in Better Social Selling?

Social selling is all the rage in the world of business nowadays.  In case you have not heard of this new approach to selling before, it is a practice that allows you to pinpoint your prospecting and develop a rapport with potential clients by using existing connections.

We all know by now that social media is the future, and more people are choosing to shop online than ever. Social selling is a way of finding business prospects on social media and developing a rapport with a vast network of high-quality leads. If you know what you are doing, it can even replace the tiresome job of cold calling.

There are four pillars that make social selling work. The idea is to use your social network to your advantage, find better quality leads, build strong relationships, and hit your sales target.

Professional brand – In today’s world, professionalism is the key to success. Considering the competition out there, you have to be professional to stand out and seem like a reputable business. This will lead to more inquires and naturally more communication with potential clients.

The right prospects – A significant advantage of social selling over other forms of selling is the ability to connect with clients more efficiently. Reports have shown that more than 75% of potential buyers are willing to have a conversation over social media. This gives you the perfect opportunity to develop a rapport with them.

Insights – You have to position yourself as an authority and an expert in your field of business. The most convenient way of doing this is taking the aid of insights and statistics. You have a better chance of engaging a potential client if you approach them with relevant insights.

Trusted relationships – You can build a productive and trusted relationship with a client simply by being helpful and providing them with information. Having genuine conversations with potential clients will naturally lead to more sales.

So, now that we have an understanding of social selling let’s see how serotonin fits into this equation.

Serotonin is often referred to as the happy chemical. It is present in blood platelets, the brain, and bowels. It is a neurotransmitter that acts as a messenger between our body and our nerve cells. It is responsible for regulating our emotions, mood, digestion, and appetite. In this article, we are going to discuss how understanding serotonin can result in better social selling. Keep on reading to learn more.

How is serotonin the key to better social selling?

Serotonin is known for making us more satisfied and relaxed. It also plays a vital role in some important activities such as socializing, eating, and sleeping. It also plays a role in the cognitive functions of our brain, such as memory and learning. Our body releases serotonin every time we engage in an activity that makes us feel good.

Serotonin can also be referred to as the socializing chemical since it improves our ability to form social bonds with others. Serotonin is released by our body whenever we experience feelings of admiration and respect. This naturally makes us feel good and more confident. These are the natural qualities of serotonin. And they can play a considerable part in better social selling. Here is how:

If social selling strategies are formulated with the concept of serotonin production in mind, then they can help create real social bonds with potential customers.

 

  • Since serotonin is a neurotransmitter, it has the power to influence the behavior of a potential customer. When used correctly with social selling, it can drive sales.

 

  • If your social selling strategy can focus on raising the levels of serotonin in the customers, then it will allow you to create strong social bonds with them. This will lead to customer loyalty.

 

  • Higher serotonin levels are indicative of the formation of trust. This can be used in social selling to connect better with customers.

 

  • Higher levels of serotonin in the customers can help them form a more positive opinion about your products, which can, in turn, lead to repeat business and referrals.

 

  • Products or services that help increase the status of the consumer in the eyes of their friends and families will also create stronger loyalty to a specific brand and impact consumer buying behaviors towards those specific brands that can do this.

So, these are the major ways in which the understanding of serotonin can lead to better social selling. Most human emotions and decisions are a result of chemical reactions in our brain. If we start to understand these chemicals and how we can use them to our advantage, it can help boost the sales of any business. We hope that you find this article helpful.

Building Better Business Relationships Through Stories Using Neuroscience

 

Stories are an integral part of human history. We have been telling stories since ancient times, the mediums through which we tell the stories have changed over time, but the core concept has remained the same. The tradition of telling stories started when humans felt the need to pass down important information to future generations.

They started telling tales of important people at the time and their achievements. Stories were used to entertain, educate, and instill moral values in people. As time progressed storytelling became a proper art. And in the present age, where media has advanced so much everyone has a story to tell.

Businesses and brands use storytelling as a tool to leave a lasting impression on the minds of their consumers and entrepreneurs use the art of storytelling to build lasting relationships that will help them in their professional lives.

In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the neuroscience behind storytelling and why it is such a potent tool for building strong business relationships. Keep on reading to learn more.

How do stories affect our brain?

Stories are not just words or media. Stories have a biological and psychological impact on our minds and body. This is why stories hold so much power. When we are listening to or experiencing a story our mind and body go through a series of changes.

Let’s take a deeper look into how stories affect us.

  • They allow us to relate to people – Stories quite literally help us form a deeper understanding and connection with one another. They excite certain neurons in our brain and invoke the emotions of kindness, compassion, and empathy.

When we are experiencing a story and we start to get invested in the characters in the said story, oxytocin is released by our brain. This is a hormone that is often associated with love or bonding. As a result, we start to feel more attached to the character even if they are not physically present there. The more powerful and impactful the story, the more oxytocin our body will release and the more invested we will become in the character in the story that is being told.

Research has shown that the amount of oxytocin that is released when we are listening to a story can tell if we are going to develop trust with the storyteller or not. Trust is very important when it comes to developing a business relationship.

This is why storytelling is so important in creating meaningful relationships in business, if you are a good storyteller then you will be able to create a bond with the other person and get a worthwhile business relationship with them.

  • Mirror neurons – The mark of a good storyteller is their ability to convey emotions through their words. When we are listening to someone experiencing a strong emotion in a story, mirror neurons are activated in our brains.

These mirror neurons unconsciously make us mirror the feelings and emotions that we are listening to in the story. When you are telling someone a story then you are taking them on a journey because of these mirror neurons. You are making them feel what you are feeling and inducing in them the same emotions that you are having.

This is something that can often create a lasting and important business relationship. If you are able to make the other person feel something authentic and genuine then you are going to leave a strong impression on them and sometimes in a business relationship a strong first impression is all that matters.

  • Increased neural activity – Let’s say that you are in a business meeting and instead of telling them the story of your idea or business, you just give them a presentation that is full of facts and figures, what do you think will happen?

Well, when the human brain is processing factual reporting, our neural activity is limited to just two spots in our brain. Compared to this when facts are mixed with a story several other areas of our brain are also engaged.

This means that the person who is listening is to the story that you are telling is paying more attention to what you are saying and is much more engaged. This is something that you can use to develop better business relationships.

You want to engage the person that you are having a conversation with if you are aiming to develop a relationship with them. If you don’t tell a story and just rely on facts and figures then your chances of developing a good relationship are going to decrease dramatically.

So, there you have it. This is why stories are such an effective form of communication and this is why stories are so potent in developing good relationships in business.

The Neuroscience and Psychology of Colors on Consumer Buying Behavior

Colors and feelings are intertwined for humans. There is a deep inherent connection between colors and the onset of different feelings that are embedded in our DNA. For example, the color red evokes feelings of excitement and rush. It elevates our heart rate and tends to increase the flow of blood in our body.

On the other hand, the color blue has the complete opposite effect, it tends to evoke feelings of calmness and soothes our heart rate. Colors are responsible for stimulating our brain, different colors stimulate our brain differently eliciting an emotional and psychological response.

This phenomenon affects our behavior in everything that we do, and shopping is no different. Visual cues hold great importance in deciding the actions of any customer and there is no stronger visual cue than color. Let’s take a deeper dive into how colors affect the buying behavior of consumers. Keep on reading to learn more.

Marketing

When you are selling a product, you are going to market your product in order to attract new consumers and increase the overall exposure to your brand. When consumers see a piece of marketing for your product, it is above all else a combination of visual cues and color.

Their brain evaluates that piece of marketing and the product in terms of appearance and colors. Here is a breakdown of how our brain processes everything…

If it is a physical thing then the opinion that we are going to form about the product on the first impression is going to depend nearly 6% of touch, about 1% on smell and sound, more than 93% is going to depend on the visual appearance. This is how important color is when it comes to consumer buying behavior.

According to research, more than 85% of consumers identify color as being a major factor when they are buying a product.

The Effects of Different Colors

Different colors create a different stimulation in our brain. Each color has a different emotion linked to it. There are 2 reasons for this response to color by our brain:

One is the inherent ability of our brain and second is the subconscious learning capability of our brain.

Throughout our lives, our brain creates a catalog of events that take place around us. It creates patterns and takes essential information to make connections between different things, color is no different.

 

Here is the most common response of our brain to some common colors:

  • Red – This is a color that is very popular, and it creates a sense of urgency in our brain. It can trigger excitement, a sense of danger mostly feelings that elevate our heart rate. You will see this color often used in clearance sales.
  • Yellow – This color is associated with optimism and youthfulness. It is a color that is often found in display windows to attract the attention of passersby and create a good impression about the brand in their mind.
  • Blue – This color is associated with security and trust in our minds. We tend to feel comfortable when we see the color blue. You will see this color used often by banks and corporate businesses.
  • Green – This a color that our eyes process quicker than any other color. Its association is with wealth for our brain.
  • Orange – This is a rather aggressive color. It is a color that creates a sense of urgency in our minds in the sense that we should do something. Buy something or sell something.
  • Pink – This is a color that our brain associates with femininity. It is used in products that are aimed at young women or teenage girls.
  • Black – This is a color that is associated with mystique in our brain. It is most commonly the go-to color for luxury products along with gold.

 

Now that we know what kind of response different colors produce in our brains, let’s take a look at how different colors can attract different types of consumers.

  • If you are looking to attract impulse shoppers then you would want to use orange, red, royal blue, and black. You can focus on any one of these colors or you can use them as a combination.
  • If you want to attract the people who are responsible shoppers and tend to focus heavily on their budget, then using teal and navy blue would be a great choice.
  • If your products are aimed at more conventional buyers then for men you would want to use blue and for women, you would want to use rose and pink.

 

So, there you have it. We often don’t notice the impact of colors on the buying behavior of customers. It is simply because this is a background process that our subconscious brain carries out without needing our active input. Choose your colors wisely!

Juggling Work, Business & Life at Home – How can we deal with working remotely better in 2021?

How Neuroscience and Psychology Can Be Used to Improve Work Conditions in 2021 as People Work Remotely?

 

By now it is old news, how the pandemic has disrupted the norm of work. No one was prepared for the circumstances that were created as a result of COVID-19. The global economy took a nosedive, and many companies were forced to let go of a major part of their workforce and with there being restrictions on operating workplaces, the remaining employees were forced to work from home.

For the better part of last year, work from home has become the new norm. Both employees and companies have found unexpected benefits in the work remotely model. With that being said the remote work model is still experimental for both employees and employers. It takes time to adjust to change and when that change is so rapid and forced, it can have some serious consequences on our mindset.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very significant impact on the mindset of people who are working remotely. When you are working from home you are essentially isolated and with the social restrictions, the feeling of isolation becomes even stronger.

So, how is it affecting the mindset of people working remotely? It may look like that you are doing more by working from home since you are away from all the distractions that you would normally have to face in a conventional office. And that is true to some extent, but this isolation is also…

  • Reducing the volume of your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of your brain that is involved with socializing and decision-making.
  • Making your hippocampus smaller. This is the part of your brain that deals with memory and learning.
  • Affecting the size of your amygdala. This part of your brain controls your emotions.

As you might have been able to guess that none of these things are good. The collective effect of working remotely in isolation is a severe decrease in cognitive abilities and stress dealing capabilities. So, even though working from home has its perks, it also comes with some serious negatives.

But there is a way to deal with the negative effect that working from home might be having on your mental health. We can use psychology and neuroscience to improve our work conditions when working remotely. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you improve your work from home conditions with the help of psychology and neuroscience:

Dress For Your Job

Studies have shown that how we dress has a major impact on how we feel. This phenomenon is called “enclothed cognition”. Our neural pathways are linked to certain emotions depending on what we wear.

When you go to a conventional office, you have to adhere to a certain dress code but when you are working remotely you are free to work in your PJs. It might not be that good of a thing as you might imagine it to be. When you dress for work, you are putting your brain into work mode. So, if you wear a formal shirt when you go to the office doing the same when working remotely might increase your productivity and help you work more efficiently as opposed to working in your sleeping clothes.

There is a lack of disconnection between personal and professional life as there is no physical separation. This can affect your work conditions and your mindset negatively. So, dress for your job before sitting down to work.

Structure and Routine

Your routine and the structure of your day have a significant impact on your work conditions when working remotely. Research has shown that over/undersleeping and not having a fixed routine can decrease your cognitive functioning.

You see our brain tries to make patterns out of everything. This makes its job easier. When you wake up every day at 8 am your brain will automatically know that it needs to be ready by that time to work. But if you don’t have a fixed time to sleep or wake up, your brain will not be able to always be at its 100% for you.

Windows and Light

We have a deep connection with our immediate surroundings. When we are working remotely, our home is our office. The first thing that you need to take into consideration is where you should set up your desk.

Research has shown that the best way to set up your home office is to have your back against a wall and a view of the outside available to you. So, you want to set up your office near a window where there is plenty of light. Environmental psychology has shown that this can really improve the productivity of employees that are working from home.

One More Thought

It’s been over a year now that life has changed dramatically from how we remembered everything to be prior to the pandemic.  So, we need to do our best to maximize these new circumstances moving forward.

Working remotely comes with its own set of challenges and struggles but with the help of psychology and neuroscience, we can improve our work conditions dramatically. We just need to make slight adjustments and changes, but these types of changes can make a positive impact in all areas of our lives, both work and home since there is much more overlap now.

 

How is Neuroscience Used in Technology on Businesses?

The Impact of Neuroscience Used in Technology on Businesses

A big part of operating a business relies on being able to predict the future. Yes, whenever someone starts a business, and there is promise in the growth of the company, people start to invest in it. In many ways, the growth of a business is dependent on the idea of hope and belief. These human emotions are the driving factor for the success of businesses throughout the world.

You might say that there is a lot of data and statistics involved, and you are right. There is a lot of that involved, but what is the purpose of all the analysis and predictions? It just helps propagate hope in the people who are looking to invest in the company and reinforce their belief in the idea of the business. This has been the standard operating procedure for businesses, around the world, for decades and unknowingly corporations have relied on the basics of neuroscience to succeed.

Now, with the age of information and technology that we live in people have finally realized this hidden mechanic and have started to actively implement technology to help grow their businesses even further. In this article, we are going to take a look at how neuroscience is being applied in technology and how it is helping businesses grow. Let’s begin.

Applications of Neuroscience in business

There are 3 basic avenues where neuroscience is being applied to help businesses.

  1. To improve the bottom line – Profit is the biggest data point for any industry. Neuroscience is being used to help companies improve their bottom line by understanding the crucial moments and science of decision-making. Applied neuroscience can help gather data on certain scenarios and by using ECGs and eye-tracking technology the response of the human brain to each scenario can be recorded.

When you are in possession of such valuable data, you can use it to make the decision that will result in the most growth and the most profit for your organization. A study done by Harvard Business Review has shown that businesses that are using applied neuroscience in technology to make corporate decisions have a better bottom line than companies that are not using neuroscience actively.

 

  1. Understanding Consumers – The second biggest data point for any enterprise is its customers. Neuroscience has opened the door of the consumers’ minds for companies. Methods like fMRI, EEG, GSR, and eye-tracking can help businesses see how the consumer feels about their product and help them predict how those products are going to do.

This allows for some valuable insight into the mind of the consumer and gives businesses a chance to tweak their products just in the right way allowing for maximum engagement once the product is launched.

The activity of our brain is controlled by neuromodulators. These include hormones and neurotransmitters. These basically allow the brain cells to keep an open line of communication with one another. Research has shown that by stimulating certain neuromodulators you can alter the way a consumer interacts with your product.

The application of neuroscience to understand consumers has allowed businesses to come up with better products that appeal to the right neuromodulators in the brain. It has allowed for a better understanding of the brain of a consumer and what can be done to get the best response from it.

The implementation of AI has been a revelation in this regard, as it can read all of these data points that are being generated by neuroscientific methods, and give businesses a better solution for any problem that they are facing with a product.

 

  1. Improving Workplace Culture – The use of neuroscience in technology is not limited to marketing and sales. It also has a very significant application in improving the overall culture of the workplace. A study has shown that workplaces that use AI and neuroscience have a more productive culture.

The use of AI especially with the help of neuroscience methods such as ECG, EEG, and eye-tracking technology has allowed companies to identify the hidden subcultures in their workplace that are having a negative impact on the productivity of the employees. These problematic subcultures would not have come to the forefront had it not been for the use of neuroscience and AI.

The applications of neuroscience in technology for businesses are becoming more and more common. They can help improve employee satisfaction and productivity as AI is less likely to entertain biases and other human imperfections.

Although a lot of progress has been made in the field of neuroscience in technology for businesses there is still a long way to go. Considering the wonders that neuroscience has done up till now it is safe to assume that the future is going to bring in even more mind-blowing applications from the field of neuroscience.

Final Thoughts On The Future of Neuromarketing + Tech

So as neuroscience becomes more deeply integrated into technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, these monumental advancements in allowing businesses to understand their consumers and employees better can lead to major breakthroughs in the growth of companies in all areas that were not possible prior to the rapid progression in the application of neuroscience to technologies that impact the business world.

The future of business looks exciting as the worlds of neuroscience intertwines with technology to deliver new and more intense experiences to people that will be beyond anything they have experienced before…

Want a clue?  Think Virtual Reality.

 

 

The Second Wave of COVID-19 – How Will It Affect The Behaviour of the Business Community?

COVID-19 has already changed the way we live and communicate!

It is essential to understand here that a pandemic such as COVID-19 is unprecedented in the modern history of mankind. The concept of social distancing has disrupted the way we conduct business. For some industries, it has brought activity to a complete standstill. Most businesses are struggling to survive, and many have gone under. Unfortunately, things might be about to take a turn for the worse with the rumours of the second wave of COVID-19 on the horizon.

When you invest a significant amount of time and money in a business, the stakes are really high, and a lot rides on that business to thrive and stay open. So, it is only natural that business owners are bearing the brunt of the stress, anxiety, depression and feeling of helplessness due to COVID-19. With revenues plummeting and uncertainty about the future of their livelihood(business), most business owners are not in a good place mentally. In this article, we are going to take a look at the effects that COVID-19 is having on the mental health of business owners.

Stress, anxiety, helplessness, a feeling of loss, social isolation and despair are common emotions right now that can be directly linked to COVID-19 among business owners. Let’s break down these emotions and see how they might be affecting the mental health of business owners.

  • Stress – A stressor is any form of stimulus that is causing us stress; in this case, it is the poor performance of your business due to COVID-19. When a stressor is received by our brain, it activates the glands which produce cortisol and adrenaline; these are stress hormones. The area of our brain that is responsible for this action is called the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Our adrenal glands secrete stress hormones. This is pretty standard stuff, this is how our body reacts to normal levels of stress, but when we experience chronic stress as someone might when a business, they opened with their life savings, shuts down due to COVID-19, our body starts to produce huge amounts of cortisol, more than it can effectively regulate.

This can lead to a huge number of problems. Abnormally high levels of cortisol produced due to stress can hinder the ability of our brain to function properly. It can cause issues with synapse regulation which then leads to anti-social behaviour where people start to avoid social interactions even on the telephone. It can cause apoptosis meaning that your brain cells start to die. In some cases, continuous chronic stress can even lead to the shrinking of the size of the brain. Memory and learning capabilities are also affected due to excess cortisol.

Anxiety – Our feelings are controlled by neurotransmitters. Dopamine and Serotonin are two of these neurotransmitters that are responsible for our anxiety levels and mood. The constant stress that a business owner is experiencing already can cause an imbalance of the neurotransmitters mentioned above, which can lead to conditions like generalized anxiety disorder. GAD can cause you to have trouble sleeping, feeling fatigued all the time, feeling twitchy, irritable and nervous.

  • Helplessness and depression – Loss of a business is a major life event and a significant trauma while we all experience a feeling of loss in our lives at one point or another, this situation is extraordinary. There is a culmination of all the different factors around us that are making us vulnerable to falling in depression. We are helpless since there is nothing that we can do about the pandemic, we are under a lot of stress due to the downfall in the revenue, and we are suffering from anxiety due to the uncertainty of the future.

All of these factors combined can lead us down the path of depression. At its core depression can be classified as a mood disorder. It affects the way we feel, behave and think. The imbalance of neurotransmitters and hormones in our body due to the constant stress and anxiety can play a major part in triggering depression. It may cause you to feel hopeless and sad all the time. It can affect your sleep cycle, and it can put someone in a less than ideal place mentally, physically and emotionally.

It would be fair to say that now is not an ideal time to be in business for many industries. The global economy is down, and due to safety restrictions, there is no possibility to have your business operate at 100% efficiency.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!

However, the one quality that all entrepreneurs have in common is their ability to be resilient during the most challenging times and showcase their creative energies to finding the best solutions to solving problems that will continue to move business and the economy in the right direction.

That being said, in order to be in a clear and stable state of mind and well-being to progress and grow despite the potential of a second wave around the corner, it is vital at this time to take care of all dimensions of your health and mitigate the impact of the pitfalls mentioned above that can have an adverse affect on personal well-being and business productivity as well.  Aim to stay positive, surround yourself with a strong network of family and friends who can be a foundation of social support.  And if you ever feel like you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Equally, it’s important to engage in physical activities to help clear the mind in addition to prioritizing your time by investing it with the people who are most important in your life.   Stay healthy, stay safe and remember that this will all get better.  Collectively, we stand UNITED and we will make it through this together and come out even stronger and better on the other side!

How Does the Lack of Sleep Affect Your Job Performance and Buying Behaviors?

Sleep Deprivation

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep has taken a back seat in the life of many career-oriented people. They either consider sleeping as a waste of time or neglecting sleep just to punch in those extra work hours seems like another step on the road to success to them. Scientific findings, however, contradict with this view entirely. Research on neuroscience of sleep has revealed adverse effects of sleep deprivation on our job performance as well as consumer behavior.

Here is your short guide to neuroscience of sleep and the effect it can have on our job performance and buying behavior.

Sleep Deprivation and Neuroscience

In simple words, sleep is a break time for your brain — to reset, re-program and recover. Information storage, toxin eradication, cell repair, reorganization of neurons to support optimal function of brain and regulation of hormones are some tasks that your brain works on during your sleep. A 2017 study, published in Journal of neuroscience, indicated towards the contribution of sleep to memory function. According to the study, neural activity during NREM sleep not only converts Short-term memory to long-term memory, but it also contributes to the decluttering of the nervous system by erasing of unimportant information.

Sleep deprivation can lead to impaired cognitive functioning: Attention, perhaps, is the cognitive domain that is most affected due to lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation results in decreased activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and IPS. These neural changes in the brain cause a decrease in attention span; whereas working memory also shows inconsistencies. Vigilance in performing any task as well as listening drops significantly. Reaction time is also affected.

While occasional all-nighters might not affect your work life to a great extent, a  sleep study done at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that consistent sleep deprivation leads to permanent brain damage due to loss of neurons.

Sleep Deprivation and Hormonal Imbalance

Insufficient sleep also has an impact on your hormones. It causes an imbalance in hormones that are related to hunger, stress and inulin. According to experts, sleep deprivation increases adrenal stress as well as thyroid hormone. It increases the THC that result in slowing down your metabolism and affects the activity of the thyroid, making you feel tired the whole time.

A sleep-deprived body is in a constant state of stress due to high levels of cortisol production. High cortisol level is linked to the production of melanin (the sleep hormones) and will affect your sleep in the coming days. This hormonal balance is the reason you can’t sleep after pulling an all-nighter, even though you feel tired.

Sleep Deprivation Affects your Performance at Work

Sleep deprivation has increased in the United States during recent years. Today an average person sleeps almost 1.5 hours less than an average American in the 1960s. Most people are getting less than 8 hours of sleep a day. This is even more common among the youngsters who are doing part-time jobs to support themselves through school. Lack of sleep affects their performance not only at school but also their job.

Attention and vigilance are essential requirements when you are working in Sales. A salesperson must be attentive towards the needs of the customer and vigilant to perform whatever task is at hand.  All these factors are affected gravely due to sleep deprivation and hence lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in the rate of work-related accidents.

The researchers at the Harvard Medical School found that the lack of sleep negatively affects your mood as well as the ability to focus for days to come. According to one research, sleep deprivation has a similar effect on your brain as alcohol. This means that working in such a condition would be similar to operating while intoxicated! Whereas a study done on a B2B sales employees showed that that Well-slept employees show more grit, job satisfaction and commitment to their work.

The hormonal imbalance that results from a lack of sleep is indirectly linked to our mood and how we feel. It can affect our behaviour at the job. A sleep deprived salesperson may feel, tired, moody and absent-minded, which can affect the sales process with customers.

So, the big takeaway here is for salespeople and workers (in general) to get in a fair amount of sleep (7-8 hours per day) so that they can operate at their peak.  Otherwise, severe cases of consistent sleep deprivation can lead to permanent loss of neurons and debilitating work efficiencies similar to someone under the impression of alcohol.  This type of behavior is certainly not something a person wants to display at their workplace.

Sleep Deprivation and Consumer Behavior

As much as, it affects your performance at work, lack of sleep also affects the decisions of the consumers. Though it is commonly expected that lack of sleep would decrease your urge to look for options, however, a study published in Journal of Marketing Research found that Customers who are sleepy look for more variety in their shopping endeavors. In an attempt to keep themselves awake, they sought variety.

A lot of research still needs to be done on the impact of sleep on consumer behavior. According to the researchers of this study, sleepiness might result in unintentional buying behavior and make the consumer less responsive to things like product size as well as discounts.

We are both workers and shoppers at the same time, so the importance of adequate sleep in contributing to healthy decision making cannot be overstated.   Therefore, sleeping at least 7-9 hours a night is essential if you want to succeed in the long run. It not only keeps your brain activity optimal but also keeps the body’s hormones in the balance!

The Neuroscience Behind Motivation – Got Glutamine?

Latest Discovery of Motivation!

Have you ever wondered how you are so motivated some of the days and on the others, you don’t feel like getting out of the bed?

Why is it that some people are driven by ambition and succeed more while others struggle repeatedly and fail?

Well, your answer lies in the science of motivation.

Whether it is passing an exam or building the house of your dreams, motivation is what leads you to success. It is one of the key factors for success, yet it is the hardest to maintain. Only if we knew a way to keep the level of motivation up for the longest time.

Don’t worry, science has got your back!

 

The Neuroscience of Motivation — The Inner workings of our Brain

 

Motivation originates in our brain and if only we knew how it works, we will have the ultimate key to success. This hope has led many scientists to spend their lives understanding the workings of our brains. A team of such scientists from EPFL and the University of Edinburgh’s embarked on this journey to understand motivated behavior. The article was published in the July issue of the renowned scientific journal, “Nature Neuropsychopharmacology”.

They targeted a small region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens or NAcc. Located on the basal forebrain, NAcc is known to play an important role in functions like reinforcement, reward, aversion, and motivation.

The scientists at EPLP applied neuromarketing techniques to find out how accumbal (related to NAcc) metabolite levels affect the motivation to perform. They designed a force task with a monetary incentive. Basically, the participants were supposed to squeeze a dynamometer — a force measuring device. Depending on the effort they make to squeeze, the participants would be rewarded with different monetary sums.  The process was to be repeated 120 times consecutively, making it hard to keep up with the performance. The experiment was done under two conditions: isolation and competition, to see if the competition had a greater impact on performance.

The scientist studied the levels of glutamine (Gln), glutamate (Glu), Gaba, and their ratio to see how they affect the motivation to perform an effort based task.  Glutamine is a precursor to the glutamate and Gaba amino acids. Glutamate and Gaba are neurotransmitters responsible for excitation and inhibition of chemical signals in the brain, respectively. These neurotransmitters affect concentration, focus, mood, alertness, and consequently, motivation.

Their findings of the study done by the teams from EPLP and University of Edinburgh are listed below:

  •  Our motivation to perform a certain task is positively linked to the ratio of Gln-to-Glu in the NAcc.  Gln to Glu ratio is also linked to stamina needed to perform a task. The higher ratio has a positive effect on stamina.

 

  •  Competition boosts our initial performance, particularly if we have low Gln-to-Glu levels.

 

  •  In simpler words, you tend to perform better and stay motivated for a longer time if the accumbal glutamine to glutamate ratio is higher.

 

The role of Glutamine in Motivation

 

Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that also acts as the main precursor to produce neurotransmitter glutamate and GABA in the brain. It is the most abundant amino acid in our body, whereas in the brain glutamate is found in higher concentration.

The balance between glutamine and glutamate holds the key to optimized brain activity. It is essential for healthy brain activity.

A study done on mice, in Korea, revealed that a decrease in levels of glutamate and glutamine led to immobility and reduced fondness for sugar. A clear sign of reduced motivation and depression.

As soon as the glutamine levels were increased through direct infusion, the mice were back to normal. High glutamine levels fill you with energy. You become more energetic and motivated.

 When your glutamine level is lower, you may be filled with fear, worry, and anxiety leading to loss of motivation, and drive to accomplish your goals. 

People with lower glutamine levels usually try to find peace in alcohol, carb-rich foods, and drugs. That is why whenever you are feeling low you gulp down an entire box of cookies and ice cream!

 

How to increase your motivation, naturally!

By now, it is established high glutamine levels and high Gln-to-Glu ratio play a vital role in improving your motivation level. Here are some tips to increase glutamine and hence Gln-to-Glu ratio in your brain.

 

  1. Eat food containing glutamine:

Food containing a higher amount of protein is also abundant in glutamine. Meat and fish are considered to be the richest sources of glutamine. Milk and eggs also contain glutamine.  

Whey protein and energy drinks are also important sources to get your glutamine from!

 If you are a vegetarian or vegan: Nuts, cabbage (especially red cabbage), and beans are all great sources of glutamine.

 

  1. Glutamine supplements:

Usually, we don’t get enough glutamine from the food we consume. Adding nootropic stack can boost your cognition and mental state. Experts recommend 2 to 5 grams of glutamine dosage per day.

 

Of course there are other factors and neurotransmitters that contribute to motivation, however, for this discussion we wanted to put the spotlight on the role that glutamine and glutamate plays in regulating motivation.

    

 

Oxytocin – The Love or Hate Neurotrasmitter

Everyone has heard of the saying “Friend or Foe”, but is it possible that both ends of the dichotomy can be caused by the same thing?

With all the social unrest that is happening around the world, this “Us vs Them” mentality has never been more profound than what we are experiencing today.

People from all different backgrounds, interests, and skin color are standing up for their rights in their fight for equality.  

So, on a neurological level, exactly what is happening inside the brains of these people who have pledged allegiance in their mission to voice their opinion for equality?

And…

What does all of this have to do with marketing your brand at a time where there’s so much chaos?

In order to answer this question, let me introduce to you our mystery friend (or foe?) called oxytocin.    

Now, oxytocin is quite a complicated character.   It can be a real driver of positive social behaviors that’s rooted in trust, empathy and generosity.  However,  at the same time oxytocin can contribute to the total opposite where individuals experience loneliness and social separation.

For example – in a study that looked at the role of oxytocin in maternal bonding by Bar-IIan University, the team of psychologists headed by Ruth Feldman, PhD, found that women who had higher levels of oxytocin throughout their entire pregnancy had greater bonding with their babies by developing a more exclusive relationship with them by signing special songs, bathing and feeding their infants in caring ways.

Based on this study, it would be logical to say that high levels of oxytocin is a big contributor to social bonding, whereas low levels of oxytocin is associated with social separation.

But going back to what we said about oxytocin – it is a complicated character or in this case, a complicated neurotransmitter in the brain and body.  This is because oxytocin does not act alone in contributing to an individual’s social behavior.

Enter the hormone – Cortisol

In situations where there is a lot of stress and tension, levels of cortisol are higher than normal.  This is the case in fight or flight circumstances. 

Going back to oxytocin, it’s fascinating to find that levels of this neurotransmitter are also higher than normal during stressful times.

So, the most important takeaway here is that the type of social situation that a person is participating in will impact the levels of both oxytocin and cortisol.

In moments where tension and stress is high, both oxytocin and cortisol levels are high.  This usually leads to greater in-group affinity but at the cost of seeing all outsiders as a threat who do not share the same viewpoints on a specific topic.

So, even though there is great in-group affinity but reduced empathy for outsiders, the results is an “Us Vs. Them” mentality and this is what we are seeing with all the equality clashes among the groups of different perspectives on the social issues in today’s times

HOWEVER…

Social bonding that involves high levels of oxytocin can still take place in a healthy way in social situations that make the individual feel safe.  This occurs in what we call “Tend and Befriend” situations where stress and tension levels are low, so that the environment fosters the formation of trust, empathy and generosity between people.  

This is the type of social situation that we want to create in society and in marketing!

In both examples above, the levels of oxytocin are higher than normal, but due to the type of social situation (whether it’s a “Fight-or-Flight” situation or “Tend and Befriend” situation), this is a major variable will impact the level of the stress hormone, Cortisol, all of which will either contribute to feelings of social separation or social bonding.

So, as NEUROmarketers – We want to create marketing messages that associates our brand with the “Tend and Befriend” type of emotions and thinking.  

This way, we can create the most loyal tribe of customers that will look at your brand as the ultimate solution to their problems especially in a world where there is an overwhelming pool of choices to pick from.

This is why it’s so important to understand the role of oxytocin and its connection to cortisol and the type of social situation that impacts an individual’s social behavior.  

Ultimately, you want your brand to be strongly associated with positive social behavior that results in feelings of trust, in-group belonging, exclusivity, status, and uniqueness but also respects the beauty in diversity as well. 

 

 

3 Best Neuromarketing Tools and Techniques

Neuromarketing is an exciting new field that is gaining traction. In this blog post we will provide an introduction to some of these neuromarketing techniques.  

The neuromarketing techniques fall into 2 main categories:  Biometrics and Neurometric.

Biometrics techniques measure physical changes in people.  Whereas neurometric techniques study bloodflow or neural activities in the brain. 

Some common biometric measurements involve eye tracking, facial and voice tone recognition, and changes in heart rate and perspiration within an individual.  We will go into these biometric techniques in greater detail in future blog posts.

But today, our focus will be diving into some of the commonly used neurometric techniques found in neuromarketing that primarily involves studying the blood flow and electrical activities in the brain. 

Some of the neurometric techniques that we will explore are the following:

  1.  EEG
  2. FMRI
  3. MEG

1)   Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a technique that analyzes brain electricity, which is registered by a headband or cap that is placed over the head. This method detects changes in the brain wave pattern of the individual. 

EEG measures different frequencies of electrical activity moving along the surface of the brain which relates to different emotional states and cognitive processes. 

2)  Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) testing involves placing an individual  inside of an MRI machine that has powerful magnet and radiowaves. The subject lies down on the table and slides in head first into the MRI machine. The head has to be still to prevent blurring or brain images. 

FMRI  measures changes in the brain’s flow to visualize the consumer behavior processes. Regions that are more active within the brain consume more oxygen, so by measuring the flow of oxygenated blood throughout the brain, important data can be discovered on what regions of the brain are most activated when an individual is viewing an advertisement, for example.

Overall, FMRI can highlight areas in the brain that are activated which can play a role in certain deducing the emotional state of the individual as their brain responds to the advertising content that they are viewing.  

3) Magneto-encephalograpy (MEG) measures magnetic activities in that it uses a helmet that contains hundreds of sensors. The subject sits upright in the MEG machine. It detects changes in the magnetic field  created by electrical activity in the brain. MEG is good at measuring real time responses on the surface of the brain.  

These 3 neurometric techniques can help companies gain a better understanding of consumer behaviour at both a conscious and nonconscious level, which plays a significant role in helping companies understand how their consumers respond to their brand on a deep primal level.

Take the Guesswork out of your marketing

Happy Buying Brain can help take your marketing to a whole new level and one of the ways is understanding what is really going on in your customer’s brain on a primal level. 

This way, you can truly understand the underlying processes that are happening inside of your customer’s mind that are heavily influencing their purchasing decisions and turn your brand into the #1 Top of Mind Choice for your consumers.

To get a quick snapshot of what these strategies would look like for your business, contact us at 780-977-2313 or felix@happybuyingbrain.com