It seems that a study performed at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich indicates that there is a possibility that strong brands trigger strong activity in the portions of the human brain associated with "positive emotions, self-identification, and rewards." Now, before we all get excited that this provides biological grounding for business-to-business companies to jump on the branding bandwagon, there are several subsidiary, notable points:
- The population of study participants was very small - only 20 people;
- Only two brand categories were tested - automobiles and insurance; and
- The study did not indicate that the stimuli activated the decision-making part of the brain.
The use of brands has been part of the consumer/retail marketing communication toolbox for decades. Past postings in this blog have commented on the migration of branding into the business-to-business marketplace, as well as the impact branding can have on growth in not only revenue but also enterprise value. What I found intriguing about this article, and the underlying medical research, is the use of scientific methodlogies to attempt to explain a domain of business that, until now, seemed to always show up as "soft" and "existential" in my conversations with CEO's and mid-market business leaders.