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Winning Group appoints head of neurostrategy

Thanks to a new appointment, Appliances Online will soon know a lot more about what’s happening in our brains when we shop for a fridge.

The Winning Group has appointed Katharina Kuehn to the newly created role of head of neurostrategy and innovation. Previously neuromarketing strategist/director and co-founder of RDG Insights, Kuehn’s role is to help improve user experience throughout the customer journey.

“Katharina’s appointment highlights the changing retail landscape and the importance of leveraging new and innovative ways to not only connect with customers, but also understand their changing needs,” said John Winning, CEO of Winning Group.

“With a heavy focus on Appliances Online and Electro Seconds, Katharina’s expertise will assist us in continuing to leverage our brands’ positioning in the market to maximise conversion rates, target segments and growth opportunities in the marketplace.”

Katharina Kuehn

Katharina Kuehn

So, what is a neuromarketer and should you employ one?

Dr Phil Harris, consumer neuroscientist and director of research company Nuro told Internet Retailing it is rare to have an inhouse position with neuromarketing in the title, and neuromarketing research and strategy is more commonly left to external consultants. 

Neuromarketing tries to understand how “people’s wiring impacts the way they behave as customers,” Harris explained.

Part of the rationale behind neuromarketing is that standard research tools such as surveys and focus groups offer limited insights because as consumers we are poorly equipped to reflect on which factors made us select a certain product over another.

In retail, neuromarketing examines what captures people’s attention instore and how the store environment impacts the purchase decision. For example, by using eye tracking to see which products capture customers attention or measuring brain activity to determine which factors (ie features or price) are weighed the most heavily in the purchase decision.

“The strategy role for an online employee, would be looking at how they configure different stimuli on their page,” Harris said. “What kinds of elements should they be including on the page? Also understanding from a strategic point of view in a given category, what factors are the most important to a particular person and what kinds of stimuli might connect them most powerfully with the category online?”

Harris said neuromarketing is an area which retailers should be paying attention to.

“What we are getting now is a great understanding of how people make decisions and how poorly people perform at telling us why they buy,” he said. “When we are basing our marketing efforts on what people say about how they behave as customers we are getting a fairly inaccurate type of information.”

Harris said his clients are increasingly interested in testing neuromarketing tools.

“What we are seeing in the academic literature is measures of brain response to an ad are a better predictor to how someone is going to behave instore to that product than just asking the person about the product.”

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