How Brands Work in our Brains

thephysicsofbrandA thought-provoking look at how our brains work in relation to brands, and what this means to your business.

“When is a brand alive?”

It’s an intriguing question, addressed in detail in “The Physics of the Brand” by Aaron Keller, Renée Marino and Dan Wallace.

“In this new book, the authors use concepts of physics to describe how brands and people move through time and space, helping readers understand the forces behind the brands that matter,” notes this post in Print that introduces the book to their audience.

Some put benchmarks around a brand, saying it has to have x number of people aware of its existence or generate a certain level of revenue. The authors of the book say it’s much simpler than that:

“The important piece is knowing your brand is alive much sooner than most think,” note the authors. “And similar to raising a child, those early years are critical. You are a parent, and with this birth comes responsibility and opportunity.”

But why are “brands” so important to our society? The authors offer a plausible explanation based on the way our brains work:

“One of the ways our brain works so efficiently is through what we call heuristics, which come from thousands of years of evolution and learning. Brands rely upon heuristic shortcuts in order to be valuable,” they note. “Brands make our lives easier, until they don’t.

“If you’re the brand of choice, you own a majority share of the patterns in the brains of the most people and your mission is to keep the patterns in your favor. If you’re the up-and-coming brand, then breaking patterns or creating dissonance is your mission. You need to block off, reroute, or change the heuristics customers are using and then reroute them in your favor.”

It’s a whole new way to look at your brand, decide where it lives in the existing industry framework, and attempt to glean some understanding of what motivates your audience to choose your brand. If we can crack that code, imagine how much more powerful our published content will be.