What Really Matters When Differentiating: a Neuroscientific Approach

Martin Reimann, Stanford University, USA
Carolin Neuhaus, University of Bonn, Germany
Margit Enke, Technical University Freiberg, Germany
Thomas Bender, Bernd Weber, Technical University of Freiberg, Germany; University of Bonn, Germany
Prior research is inconclusive about which aspects of differentiation really matter to consumers, specifically in marketplaces where competitors essentially offer products with identical core attributes such as quality. The authors apply state-of-the-art neuroscientific methodology to fill this research gap. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), relevant affective and cognitive processes of three distinct differentiation aspects – packaging design differentiation, brand differentiation, and price differentiation – were identified. Important implications for research and marketing management are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Martin Reimann, Carolin Neuhaus, Margit Enke, and Thomas Bender, Bernd Weber (2009) ,"What Really Matters When Differentiating: a Neuroscientific Approach", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 951-951.