Is Neuromarketing Legit Or a Big Fad?

Is Neuromarketing Legit?

In order to properly answer this question, let’s explore what it means when something is NOT legit.  Most of the time, this can mean a bunch of different things, but many would agree that if something is indeed NOT legit, then it falls in the categories of things that don’t work, shows poor results, and lacks credibility.

So, to best answer the question about whether neuromarketing is legit or not, let’s look at who’s using neuromarketing in their businesses and what would be even more convincing is if we can find big companies that are already applying neuromarketing to  grow their brands.

PepsiCo (Frito-Lay)

One notable global company is PepsiCo.  Known primarily for being a powerhouse in the soft drink industry, they also produce one of the most popular chip brands called Frito-Lay.  

Frito-Lay wanted to grow their market share by selling more salty chips to women, since they believed that this demographic was an underserved market, considering that women preferred salty food snacks only 14% of the time, compared to sweet snacks (25%) and the obvious winner when it came to snacks were the healthier ones involving fruits and vegetables (61%).  

At that time, Frito-Lay chips were packaged in a shiny style bag.  When brain studies were conducted on how women would respond to this current design, they discovered that a specific region in their brains, called the anterior cingulate cortex, became much more active. 

This region of the brain is linked to decision making and feelings of guilt. So, the increased activity in this brain area indicated a heightened association between feelings of guilt and eating the Frito-Lay chips when women looked at the shiny bags.

As a result, this led to a redesigning of the packaging of the Frito-Lay chips bag.  The packaging was changed from a shiny bag to a matte beige bag. 

This one change showed a drastic reduction in activity in the anterior cingulate cortex.  So, by changing the bag to a matte beige design, this also reduced the feelings of guilt when it came to the thought of eating Frito-Lay chips in women.  This created the perception that Frito-Lays salty chips were a desirable snack option for women, which also resulted in an increase in sales for the global company.


Another example of a big brand that experienced a boost in sales by using neuromarketing to redesign their packaging was Campbell’s  – the makers of the popular homemade style of soups.  

After conducting neuromarketing research using brain study technologies, such as EEG and eye tracking, to measure how people responded to their current soup label, they found that by making the following changes of adding a human face, aroma vapors and eliminating the image of the large spoon, Campbell’s was able to increase their sales by 12% with the new label. 

Large companies have also used neuromarketing to test commercials and products before rolling them out to the public in full force.  This can save a company lots of time, money, and even protect their reputation by using the results found in the neuromarketing research to optimize their commercials and products prior to release.  


DaimlerChrysler decided to redesign their headlights to resemble a more human shape instead of making it too sleek looking.  The neuromarketing research, using fMRI, revealed a stronger emotional reaction in the reward center of the brain, called the nucleus accumbens, when the automobiles were designed with a more humanoid design. 

This one change to the headlights potentially saved DaimlerChrysler millions of dollars in loss sales and manufacturing costs compared to if they decided to roll out the vehicles in full force to the public without doing their neuromarketing research to get a better understanding of how their customer’s brains would truly respond to the sleeker looking headlights.

Plus Many More Companies…

These are just a handful of large companies using neuromarketing to give them the advantage of growing their brands in an ever competitive market. 

For example, in 2017 Facebook built their own neuroscience center to study marketing, where they will work with other agencies, brands and media companies.

Other global companies that are using neuromarketing include Apple, Google, Ebay, Paypal, Microsoft, Hyundai, Volvo,  and Disney to name a few.

Verdict – Legit or Fad?

So, after examining the legitimacy of neuromarketing, it is clear that it is the real deal and it’s here to stay for a very long time.

Even though small and medium size businesses may not have the ability to conduct their own neuromarketing studies, they can however apply the neuromarketing strategies that are based on neuromarketing research.  

This is our #1 mission here at Happy Buying Brain is to help businesses of all sizes leverage the neuromarketing strategies to understand what resonates with their customer’s primal brains so that they know what truly makes their customers tick, helps build a stronger relationship with their customers, and ultimately grows their business to serve more of their ideal customers.

What’s next?

With Black Friday coming next month, we’ll reveal some of the top neuromarketing strategies that you can apply to your own business to fully take advantage of this shopping crazed event.  

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