Three Ways the Neuroscience of Shopping Helps FMCG Brands Stand Out

4 May

Neuromarketing offers FMCG brands invaluable insights into consumer behavior, enabling them to optimize packaging, colors, and ads to profoundly connect with their target audience and stand out in a saturated market.

5 min read
5 min read
3 Ways the Neuroscience of Shopping Helps FMCG Brands Stand Out

The culture of shopping has evolved significantly. Consumer preferences are changing more frequently, expectations of product quality have increased, and a growing number of brands make it more difficult for FMCG companies to stand out in a saturated market. So, how can an FMCG brand strategically differentiate itself in the consumer's mind?

Neuromarketing unveils new solutions for addressing these challenges. We’ll review three ways it can help position FMCG products a step ahead of the competition, focusing on the food and beverage category.

What Is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing can be referred to as consumer neuroscience. It is a modern method of exploring customers’ reactions to marketing stimuli by analyzing brain activity. The most commonly used tools and technologies include fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), EEG (electroencephalogram), facial coding, and eye-tracking. 

Neuromarketing can help predict and navigate decision-making patterns during any stage of the shopping experience. It provides insights into the human subconscious that were once thought to be beyond reach. Due to a deeper assessment of emotional response, it allows FMCG brands to connect with their audience at a more profound level, enhancing their marketing strategies and, ultimately, their sales.

How FMCG Can Use Neuromarketing Insights
The significance of neuromarketing for FMCG brands cannot be overstated since it explains the actions customers consider intuitive. By using this data, companies can optimize their marketing campaigns, design, merchandising, and other aspects influencing consumer attention and engagement. Let’s review a few examples.

Smart Shelf Management
Purchasing products from different FMCG categories may involve a different ratio of logical thinking and emotions. For example, medical items are bought according to instructions, childcare products require attention to safety, and some people are more careful about food (e.g. those with allergies or vegans). In addition, loyalty to a specific brand and price evaluation both play roles.

Still, emotions do affect purchasing decisions, especially when the choice is mostly based on preferences rather than strict requirements. In such cases, customers may choose between the options they notice first or the ones that are simpler to reach. This is where neuromarketing can help find correlations and patterns in customer choices. 

By using eye-tracking, researchers define where consumers look on a product display. Also, facial coding allows them to interpret facial expressions to gauge emotional responses. This data helps to assess products’ visibility and findability and the link between adjusted merchandising and customers’ interest.

Eye-catching Packaging
According to research, 72% of American customers state that packaging design influences their purchasing decisions. Different elements can make it more or less appealing, and aside from packaging material, color proved to be the most important criterion. Correctly chosen colors that clearly communicate the product’s qualities and messaging can persuade a consumer to buy a product.

For example, warm colors like yellow and orange evoke excitement while cool colors like blue contribute to calmness and higher trust. Also, research shows that lighter colors are more often associated with cheaper products, green is associated with eco-friendliness, and purple is usually linked to luxury products.

Regardless of general tendencies, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s better to examine each case. Moreover, the information about the colors’ effects is pretty well-known, which may result in biased answers if researchers use standard questionnaires. So, neuromarketing becomes a better choice as it can show subconscious reactions and feelings.

Experts can help businesses, including FMCG manufacturers, gather large focus groups and retrieve comprehensive data. For example, they make it possible to assess the influence of changes in the packaging colors and shapes on customers’ attention. Detailed reports show how visibility and findability change to the tenth of a second. In addition, emotional response tracking aids in identifying positive and negative perceptions compared to neutral emotional states, which proved to have a high impact when it comes to buying food.

Compelling and Memorable Ads
Video, audio, and text content have a significant indirect effect on buying patterns, including food choices. Moreover, both positive and negative emotions can contribute to these decisions. For example, concerns about sustainability, which result in distress, make sustainable products more appealing. That is why ad creation should take all the minor details into account to deeply connect with consumers’ feelings and affect their choices.

While traditional surveys can provide some insights into the ads’ impact on purchasing decisions, some crucial aspects may remain overlooked. Some neuromarketing techniques allow companies not only to understand what happens in customers’ minds but also why they feel that way. Second-by-second reporting can allow researchers to match the changes in emotional state with what is happening on the screen at that moment.

For example, it’s possible to check how specific scenarios and related texts affect customers’ attitudes, trust, or stress levels. Emotional response tracking can help compare different creatives and define which one brings more enjoyment and promotes engagement and which one irritates the audience. 

Also, a thorough approach to gathering focus groups makes it possible to identify the reasons for the ineffectiveness of certain ads: sometimes, solutions perceived well by one audience perform poorly for another segment. So, neuromarketing data aids in finding such weak points and adjusting the strategy to save the budget for more efficient options.

Summing Up
The field of neuromarketing introduces new methods to understand the diverse and complex human subconscious. Delving deeper into this realm includes focusing less on what people say about their buying experience but rather on what they actually feel. This level of analysis provides FMCG brands with data-driven insights to tailor their marketing strategies to customer preferences.

With neuromarketing, an FMCG brand can make its packaging stand out, determine the most effective colors and images, and create ads that capture the attention of the exact target audience. By choosing a neuromarketing partner with a proven track record, brands can ensure they are equipped with the insights needed to influence consumer behavior more effectively.