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How the brain experiences brands

Humans employ fifty percent of their brain activity in visual processing. According to a Nielsen Study  60% of consumer in the world prefer to buy products from a familiar brand, and unknown brands activate parts of the brain associated with negative emotions.


When an individual sees a logo, a signal travels to the fusiform gyrus, a part of the cerebrum responsible for functions like facial recognition. From the fusiform gyrus, the information travels to the Primary Visual Cortex (V2); this detects edges, outlines and shapes. Research from MIT suggests that the V2 is responsible for basic sequential visual memory; this is what enable us to drive down a familiar road or catch a fast-moving ball in sports.


V2 is responsible for color consistency, which is what enables us to see a red apple as red in various lighting conditions. Research from Xerox and Loyola College found that seeing a logo in color makes it 39% more memorable than seeing it in black and white. Color also improves the public’s engagement. Adding color to a blog post increases readership by 80%.


After the breakdown of a brand’s identity, the brain seeks to associate the brand with different parts of our identity. Over time different experiences of a brand produce positive or negative identity profiles. MRI scans show that certain brands triggered brain activity, in pleasure centers, for people who were followers of those products. Finally, our brain uses other semantic attributes of a brand to complement its core idea about a company. Other semantic attributes may include slogans, specific products, store locations, and supplemental imagery. PayPal was able to increase its email response rate by 300% to 400% through a global rebranding process that aligned the company with speed, a characteristic that most customers attributed to the company.


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