Recent breakthroughs in brain science are giving us unprecedented information about how our brains are wired, and how they long to connect. We’re not the rational human beings we thought we were. What’s more, we’re discovering that emotions make the brain pay attention. Emotions affect people’s motivation.

The good news? Getting our heads around brain research can help us create memorable brands that will have a lasting impact on our world. So if you’re not paying attention to managing your brand’s behavior on a regular basis, there’s a good chance it will shoot you in the foot.

Looking for a super-caffeinated jolt to your thinking about your brand, and how to keep its behavior in check? Here’s an idea for you:

Brands prefer being emotional

Think about it. You’d never want your personal brand to hold your audience at arm’s length, would you? Be cold, reserved or just disinterested? It’s certainly not the kind of behavior that’s going to attract the kind of people and experiences you want – whether it’s landing a new job, moving up a rung on that career ladder or attracting new clients.

Take on the role of Chief Emotional Officer of your brand, and start by creating more meaningful emotional connections with your world out there. Be more personal, authentic and congruent in your brand communication. FYI You can be professional and personal at the same time. (They’re not mutually exclusive.)

Ask yourself: If the idea of creating deeper emotional connections feels totally foreign to you, think again. The successful brands tend to have a particular emotional energy embedded at their very core. Energy, by definition, is not static. It evolves and changes. Consider playing around with the idea that your brand has its own emotional energy, and then watch what happens.

Take Apple’s brand, for example. Who doesn’t want to Think Different? Who else could tap into the joy of having ‘1000 songs in your pocket?’ Look at the way Apple is connecting personally with each one of you. Read their ads, scan their sites. They’re talking to you, creating a relationship with you. That’s why you like and trust them, and why you keep buying from them. Their brand behavior is being managed, at every turn.

Interested to find out more about how our brains are wired?

• John Medina’s book, Brain Rules, 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School.

Neuromarketing, by Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin


Mary van de Wiel is best known for her global expertise when it comes to coaxing out the real power in brands to dramatically increase sales. Van is founder and Creative Director of She is the author of soon-to-be-published Dead Brand Walking: A Brand Therapist’s Viewpoint. Follow her on Twitter.