Implementation of Neuro-Scientific Findings in the Brand Building Process

Michael Andre and Ulrich Veigel
Grey Dusseldorf

1. HOW DOES A BRAND TASTE?

We are able to identify our favorite brand, aren't we? We can distinguish its “taste” among other brands, right? Psychologists, specialized in communication, have known for decades that there are no simple answers to these questions.

As evidence that no one is able to escape the influence of his or her gustatory sense, let's refer to a teaching demonstration conducted 26 years ago at the University of Vienna, which deeply impressed the author. A professor asked ten smokers among his students to rate cigarette brands while blindfolded. Each student smoked ten different cigarette brands and was asked to rate them; a rating of one for the most preferred and a ten for the least preferred.

Not even one single student was able to recognize his or her favorite cigarette brand in the blind test. Actually, the opposite was true: The brands which were rated as the least preferred turned out most often to be the preferred brand! The same experiment was conducted with mineral water and coffee. Not one single student was able to identify his or her favorite brand in the blind test, although everyone swore that there is a distinct taste difference among cigarette, coffee, and mineral water brands.