Location: Room 357 Levin Building
Feng Sheng and Scott Rennie
Wharton Neuroscience Initiative
University of Pennsylvania
The neuroscience of branding
Brands are a relatively recent symbolic system. How brands, and the companies they represent, are processed in the human brain remains poorly understood. Here in two fMRI studies, we try to answer two classic questions in branding from a perspective of neuroscience: (1) how consumers relate themselves to a brand and (2) how consumers associate a brand with a product category. In the first study, we provide evidence that the neural systems that manage our relationships with others are recruited to manage our connections to brands. In the second study, we show that neural pattern similarity analysis can reveal the semantic associations a brand has and can predict brand recall and brand extension out of samples. Our findings provide neural evidence for some long-held ideas in the psychology of branding and calls for the use of neural measures, in addition to self-reports, to explain, measure and predict consumer behaviors.