n The Retail and Marketing Review - Leveraging competitive value from neuromarketing research in retailing - an opportunity waiting to be exploited : perspective

Volume 12 Number 1
  • ISSN :



Understanding the consumer and in the case of retailing, the shopper, is a key contributor to business success and has been acknowledged in marketing literature for a long time. In fact, in 1923, Professor Kitson already recognised the need to understand the consumer's mind addressed in an article entitled, not surprisingly, "Understanding the consumer's mind" (Kitson 1923). Building on the need to focus on the consumer's mind, the marketing concept, first put forward by McKitterick1 CEO of General Electric in 1957, speaks of addressing consumer's needs as the concept's first and original cornerstone. The other cornerstones include an integrated systems approach and the focus on profitable business (both articulated by Kotler [1967]), as well as societal awareness - a more recent addition to the concept (Kotler 2000:14). Understanding retail consumers goes deeper than gathering broad insights into the community of consumers and shoppers, and instead focusses on understanding their individual needs and wants. This is where marketing research comes into play and much of the marketing research effort undertaken today is about understanding these individual needs and wants through the use of survey and interview research. But even understanding the needs and wants of consumers is not enough and the shift, more recently, has been on understanding how consumers think subconsciously and how they go about mentally making decisions as to what they need and want, as well as what to buy and their response to marketing promotions (Brosekhan & Velayutham 2008). This is where neuromarketing comes into being.

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