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How to Recover Market Share Using Neuroscience Insights

By Juan Roberto Castro

Juan Roberto Castro (Neurons Inc)

How to Recover Market Share Using Neuroscience Insights

How come a very well-known and positioned meat store brand with the best meat quality in the market and more than 40 years of experience is having sales problems and a lot of complaints from its clients?
At the end of 2016, Neurons Inc LatAm, ran a neuromarketing study to understand the emotional and cognitive response towards our client´s meat store brand and the level of preference between it and two competitors’ brands. The aim of the study was to identify the reasons for the brand’s lower preference and by whom, and to define its new image so a marketing campaign could be created and run that focused on recovering the market share and reinstating the brand as the consumers´ preferred choice.


For the purpose of the study the sample size was 35 participants: 50M / 50W, between 26 and 55 years old, with a monthly income between US$3,000 and US$8,000. All participants completed a consent form prior to participation in the study. To measure their emotional and cognitive responses, we used an EEG B-alert X10 and a stationary Tobii X2-60. The hypothesis and assumptions for this study were:
1. Brand preference impacts on whether the brand was seen or not. The more a brand is disliked or liked, the more likely it is that the brand is detected and recognized, regardless of how well known the brand is.
2. The stimuli with higher motivation and arousal scores (higher than 0.5 on both scores) and also an optimal cognitive load score (between 0.55 and 0.75) have higher positive preference. For the study we designed a neuroequity test to measure the subliminal emotional and cognitive responses as an indicator of “gut feelings” to brands, to asses changes in brand emotions, and measure brand associations. It consisted of showing the different brands’ logos randomly. Each logo was shown at three different speeds: at one hundred milliseconds (100 ms), five hundred milliseconds (500 ms) and at nine hundred milliseconds (900 ms).

The neuroequity test included other stimuli like ads,  in-store architecture types (of modern meat stores), and images showing different types of experiences a customer can associate with the product (meat). Those stimuli were included to measure and understand the level of power and cognitive association they have with the brand.



The results of the study showed that when the client’s brand logo was shown to the participants at one hundred milliseconds, 44% of women were able to recognize the brand compared with only 13% of men. On the other hand, 50% and 69% of men recognized the competitor´s brand 1 and competitor´s brand 2, respectively, faster than the client´s brand. Competitor 3 was not recognized at all. These results suggest that the client´s brand has a high preference among women but not among men. When the client´s brand was shown at 500 milliseconds, arousal dropped from 0.5% to 0.4% and motivation from 0.75% to 0.55%. This finding suggests that the client´s brand had a lower perceived value when the response was more conscious, which means that the brand has some negative associations that decrease the emotional response. The final results showed that the client’s brand needed to concentrate on the male market segment in order to realize higher preference and recognition. 

This implied changing their old-fashioned brand image (logo, sales material, ads, billboards, signs, etc.) for an enhanced image. After the results were presented, a completely new brand image was designed for the client. This image focuses on recovering attention and preference of male consumers who are willing to pay more for a higher perceived value meat brand. In January 2017 we launched the new marketing campaign. At the end of 2017, 60% of followers on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) were males between 25 and 45 years old. Monthly sales increased an average of $15,000 per store. The client opened three new stores, bringing the total to seven. All the new stores noted profits from the second month on. All the existing stores were fully renovated to reflect the new image and brand concept.


1. Applied neuroscience in business produces many valuable insights that, if used properly, can boost the performance of any business.
2. Neuroresults need to work hand in hand with solid, well executed marketing strategies in order to maximize the strengths.
3. Before the marketing campaign, the client’s brand was only preferred by women. At the end of 2017, after running the marketing campaign aligned to the neuromarketing study results and recommendations, awareness, preference and sales of the client’s brand increased, especially in the male segment.

Final thoughts

A well-conducted neuromarketing study could be one of the best tools to obtain specific information about the problems facing a certain brand. Aligning those results to the marketing and communication strategy, based on unconscious perception and decisionmaking, and aiming for the specific market segment was confirmed to be a strong, efficient and effective way to operate.

This article was originally published in the Neuromarketing Yearbook 2018. Did you like it?                            Order the Neuromarketing Yearbook 2018 here!