neuromarketing John Jimenéz

Neuromarketing of Luxury

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Neuromarketing of Luxury • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz
Senior Exploration Scientist at Belcorp Colombia

I recently read a phrase from the famous designer Oscar de la Renta that inspired me to write this column: “Glamour is in your brain, not in your eyes”. The neuromarketing of luxury cosmetics
and beauty aims to seduce the senses to win over the consumer. Luxury neuromarketing is based on the study of how consumers’ brains respond to sensory and emotional stimuli and uses this information to create compelling shopping experiences.

To talk about the potential of neuromarketing in the luxury industry, we must start by saying that science is key to discover many truths in marketing. New technological advances are discovered every day and part of that advance is neuroscience. Buying is no longer just selling, it’s about cultivating relationships. Next, we will see some definitions and trends in this field where neuromarketing can play a leading role.

Why do we like luxury brands? The portal recently published a note in this regard, which mentions: “The phenomenon that people develop affection for something to which they are repeatedly exposed is called the mere exposure effect (Zajonc, 1968). This is the case for brands and products as well. A brain imaging study found that familiar brands activate the pallidum, which is a region of the brain associated with positive emotions.

On the other hand, unknown brands activate the insula, a region of the brain associated with negative emotions (Esch et al., 2012). Luxury brands benefit from this phenomenon, as the logos and designs are often well known. Most people can recognize the shape of a Birkin bag or the shape of a horse from a Ferrari and it evokes positive emotions.”

In the literature we can see how exposure to luxury brands activates brain regions connected with positive emotions that are not activated when common brand logos are seen. There is evidence that images of luxury cars cause activation of the same reward-related brain areas that are activated by cocaine or an image of an attractive potential mate (Erk et al., 2002)”. In general, we can say that we like luxury brands because they provoke positive emotions.

The rise of experiential marketing: Experiential marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on creating memorable and engaging experiences for consumers. Neuromarketing can be used to understand what kind of experiences appeal to consumers, and to create more effective experiential marketing campaigns.

HENRYs (high earners not rich yet): The portal makes an interesting review of this trend, since there is a new wave of consumers in this segment, in this regard it mentions that: “They are a market that knows what it wants and expects a certain level of awareness from retailers when it comes to business and sustainability. Because of this, luxury retailers are now embracing new ways of branding. Neuromarketing is the best way for high-end brands to understand what drives their customers, not just to buy, but to become loyal buyers for life.”

Sensory stimulation: Luxury cosmetic brands focus on creating unique sensory experiences for their customers. This implies, of course, paying attention to all the details, from the design of the
stores and the lighting to the selection of materials, types of calligraphy, packaging, fragrances and textures of the products. The goal is to stimulate the senses in a positive and memorable way. For example, the soft texture of the leather of a designer bag, combined with soft lighting, relaxing music in the background, and a scent created especially for that brand, creates a welcoming environment that envelops the consumer and encourages them to explore further.

Shortage and exclusivity: This is a widely used strategy in the category. The human brain is programmed to value more what is scarce and difficult to obtain. Luxury brands take advantage of this trend by limiting the availability of their products, launching limited editions or including unique, rare and very specific materials. This strategy generates a sensation of exclusivity and desire in consumers, since they feel that they are accessing something unique and special.

Virtual and augmented luxury experiences: Virtual and augmented reality are being used by luxury brands to offer immersive and personalized experiences through mobile devices or special glasses, allowing consumers to explore products and services virtually. Luxury brands are using technology to create new and immersive experiences. For example, Louis Vuitton has created an augmented reality app that allows users to virtually try on their handbags. Neuromarketing is key to creating new luxury experiences, accompanied by technology.

Localization and cultural adaptation: Luxury brands are taking a more localized approach adapted to the culture and preferences of consumers in different regions of the world, personalizing their marketing and products to establish a deeper connection with each market.

Generate emotions: Luxury neuromarketing also focuses on arousing emotions. Luxury brands seek to connect with the desires and aspirations of their consumers, and to do so, they use techniques that activate emotional regions of the brain. High-end commercials and marketing campaigns often feature emotional stories that arouse admiration and inspiration. These stories
evoke positive emotions and generate an emotional connection with the brand, which increases the consumer’s willingness to purchase their products.

Social influence: Luxury neuromarketing also benefits from social influence. Luxury brands use the psychology of conformity to influence consumer purchasing decisions. Displaying images of celebrities, influencers, or positive testimonials from satisfied customers creates a sense of status and social approval. Consumers are more likely to buy luxury products if they perceive that they are endorsed by well-known and admired people.

Storytelling and emotional connection: Emotional and authentic storytelling has become essential in luxury marketing, allowing brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level and generate a lasting emotional connection.

NFTs and blockchain: NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and blockchain are becoming increasingly popular in the luxury market. NFTs can be used to represent ownership of luxury goods, such as watches, handbags, cosmetics and artwork. Blockchain can be used to track the provenance of luxury goods and to ensure their authenticity.

Collaborations: Luxury brands are increasingly collaborating with other brands, such as fashion houses collaborating with artists or musicians. This can help to reach a wider audience and to create new and innovative products.

Vintage and secondhand luxury: There is a growing trend towards vintage and secondhand luxury. This means buying and selling luxury goods that are no longer new. This trend is driven by a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of sustainable fashion, the desire for unique and authentic products, and the affordability of secondhand luxury goods.

Luxury is a balance between simplicity, spontaneity and distinction that makes it unique. Confucius said that everything has its beauty, but not everyone can see it. The role of cosmetics is to make everyone see it, arousing emotions and generating luxury in details.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz
John Jimenéz
Senior Exploration Scientist at Belcorp Colombia

John Jiménez is currently Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia. He is a Pharmacist (National University of Colombia) with a Master degree in Sustainable Development (EOI Business School, Madrid) and specialization studies in Marketing, Cosmetic Science and Neuromarketing. John has 28 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation.
Maison G de Navarre Prize (IFSCC 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America and was President of Accytec Bogotá from 2017–2019.

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