Shopping +neuroscience=Perfect decision
Nowadays one of the most emerging fields of studies is neuromarketing. The Japanese clothing retailer, Uniqulo just set up its unique system to get to know what is inside of the customers’ brain in Australia. They use brain waves to match customers with the right T-shirts.
Uniqulo is a well-known Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. It was established in 1974 by Ube Yamaguchi. Uniqulo currently has over 1,400 stores in 16 markets worldwide, the first shop was opened in April 2014 in Australia. Uniqulo was always at the forefront of research and innovation. For example in 2007 they had a project called “UT Project” it was a futuristic convenience store for T-shirts, Each T-shirt style is displayed on forms in stainless steel display cases, with individual T-shirts packaged in clear plastic canisters resembling tennis ball cans. The aim was to provide a virtually self-service shopping experience.
What is neuromarketing?
Nowadays one of the most emerging field of studies is neuromarketing. It is a field of marketing research that studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) and Steady state topography (SST) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, or sensors to measure changes in one’s physiological state, also known as biometrics, including heart rate and respiratory rate, galvanic skin response to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and which brain areas are responsible
The new shopping experience
On 7 October 2015 Uniqulo released the UMood, which is a system to match the right t-shirt to a person based on a brain-wave analysis. With this application the marketers could get inside of the customers brain and they can make the product better and more attractive as the consumer wants. What is more it also helps to customers to choose the perfect item, so we can ignore our friends opinion and just concentrating on our decision.
It works by us ing a headset which is designed by a Japanese neuro science company, Dentsu Science Jam. The headset is an electroencephalography (EEG) device. This device is often used in the medical field but for instance it can be useful for gaming and assisting the disabled. After the headset is personalized for the customer, he/she is then shown a sequence of images on a large screen, such as rippling waves, a dog, someone blowing confetti or anything else, and the headset records brain waves 20 times a second. Then the record is analyses by an algorithm, and gives usable and practical information for marketing experts.
The signal of the brain has five different elements: interest, like, stress, concentration and drowsiness. According to this observation Uniqulo great selection of T-shirts, which have been subjected to surveys that were used to determine a sort of average mood that people felt when looking at one. After the algorithm has determined the person’s mood, the appropriate t-shirt is shown. Hopefully the customer is also going to be satisfied with the choice.
Of cousre, customers can cheat on the system with gimmicks. This is a very initial version and its aim is to make the shopping experience fun. However, I think it has a great potential for marketing managers to get to know their customers and also good for customers because the choice is getting bigger and bigger and it is really hard to find the best one for us. Unfortunately this application does not help us to find clothes which fit to our body shape as well. But I think it is a small step to get to know ourselves too. In my opinion this application is more for marketing researches and campaigns.
UMood will move to various Uniqlo stores in Australia over the next three weeks.
- Susan Blackmore:Evolution and Memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device,This article originally appeared in Cybernetics and Systems, Vol 32:1, 225-255, 2001, Taylor and Francis, Philadelphia, PA. Reproduced with permission. http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Articles/cas01.html