Neuro-offers and Price Promotions

Dr Implicit gave a sprightly performance at the Shopper Brain Conference in Amsterdam recently. The focus was on how in-store promotions can often adversely affect a brand and which offers can promote volume and frequency. A promo can have a long-term effect on a brand’s health, especially its brand equity. The research found that for many products, a price promotion can adversely affect the brand’s perception of quality. In other words, it may ‘cheapen’ the brand, which is not good for category leaders and those for whom quality is marketed as a brand value. For other kinds of products, attributes reflecting social influence, such as popular, trendy, modern, were affected negatively, and indeed in some cases ’embarrassed’ was triggered by the promotion. Taken together, these suggest that offers can make a brand lose out on appearing to be the most popular brand; consumers may even feel a sense of embarrassment when buying such products when they are on offer.

For some other types of products brands went unscathed, and we found that certain promos can drive volume and frequency among its consumers. Indeed, some offers can make consumers feel proud to be loyal to the brand, welcoming the offer as a reward and an opportunity for others to appreciate the brand as they do.  So, the research uncovered mixed findings, and some types of offers, such as strike-though pricing (i.e., £1.50  now £1.00) worked better than others, such as offers based on quantity like BOGOF (buy one get one free).

This research is ongoing and there are many more research questions that need to be addressed, such as, the effects of other types of offers (Special Offer, and Win a prize), a broader range of product verticals, necessities versus luxury items, the colours and fonts associated with different types of offers, seasonal offers, and much more. Keep checking this website for news about this research.

Dr Implicit in action

Update: January 2018

Further analysis has been carried out. If you want to receive a report of this research please get in touch. The brands we assessed were Activia Yoghurt, Philadelphia Soft Cheese, Tropicana Fruit Juice, Heinz Baked Beans, Fairy Washing Powder, and Tresseme Shampoo.

Dr Eamon Fulcher

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