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Dr. Neale Martin is an expert in consumer behavior, customer satisfaction, and bridging the gap between new technologies and markets. As a consultant and executive educator, he has spent the[…]

Neale Martin explains the interplay between the conscious and the unconscious mind.

Martin: One of the most powerful things that I think this research points to is the absolute importance of the brand, because the brand is what allows somebody to make a shortcut. Brand formation is very difficult. Branding is probably one of the most successful things marketers ever came up with. The idea that, you know, people will be able to make a decision that might not be very complicated. I mean is like buying a flat-panel television. You know, do I do plasma, do I do LED, do I do, you know, or do I wait for a new technology, do I do whatever. But, what happens is you go, oh, it’s a Sony so that’s [got a row] with Mitsubishi, or it’s a Panasonic. And so, when you start looking at let’s say a new manufacturer coming into that space, you know how do they claim space. What they’ll normally do is they’ll pick something like maybe low price. And so, where some people are going to come in and shop off our brand, other people are going to come in and shop off with that low price. It’s going to be kind of like a shortcut decision. Oh, well, you know, that’s one is $1000 less, so, you know, I’ll buy that one. And that the amount of that, the distance between that, you know, that entry price and what the other guy’s charging is really the value of the brand. And then once you’ve create that brand, you know, that entry point, then you’ve got to work your way up. And it’s like the Korean automobile manufacturers, you know, as they’re trying to create that brand equity in the United States, you know, they are really pushing hard at, you know, more quality, but it was hard for them, so they came out with, you know, 100,000-mile guarantees and, you know, warranty. So that was their way of kind of appealing to the conscious brain’s concern, so that the unconscious brain could actually get in there and automate that decision.