Monday, February 26, 2007

Coke wins the Pepsi Challenge

One of the better blogs NeuroScience Marketing published this fascinating article about a new study presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The study shows that people presented with known brand images processed them in areas of the brain associated with positive emotions, while unfamiliar brands took more effort for the brain to process and activated areas of the brain associated with negative emotions:

The results showed that strong brands activated a network of cortical areas and areas involved in positive self-emotional processing and associated with self-identification and rewards. The activation pattern was independent of the service being offered. Furthermore, strong brands were processed with less effort on the part of the brain. Weak brands showed higher levels of activation in areas of working memory and negative emotional response.

Interestingly, Coke won the Pepsi challenge and has an edge in brand strength. It should be fascinating to explore the neurological response towards much weaker brands that didn't spend gazillions on advertising. If Pepsi and Coke, with their strong brand images, display major differences, how dramatic will the difference be when the brain responds to weak brands such as Hyundai, Rockstar or the always popular weak brand example, Zune.

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