The New Marketing Frontier: Going Beyond the Rational Brief

In the past, marketing has been pointed primarily at our rational minds.  Unique Selling Points (USP’s) and Single-Minded Propositions have been the main focus of our selling briefs.

But as we learn more about the brain and how it works, we find that 90% of our day-to-day decision making actually takes place in the subconscious mind.  In other words, we make decisions in the pre-conscious part of our brains, then we rationalize these decisions later, in the conscious 10% of our brains!

This means that consumers’ subconscious associations (the memories, impressions, experiences, stories, facts, hear-say, etc.) ultimately determine which brand will be chosen over another. To consumers, it feels like they’re “going with their gut” – but “gut instinct” is actually just the process of following the advice of the subconscious mind.

A “Brain Friendly” Approach to Branding

The implication for marketers is clear. Brands must become expert at speaking to the whole brain, not just the rationally-oriented 10%. Today’s brand strategies must evolve from a strictly cognitive approach that identifies the most salient selling point, to a more holistic approach that reinforces the brand’s message intuitively  (including now the subconscious 90%).

Introducing the Brain Friendly Brand Blueprint

The Brain Friendly Brand® blueprint represents the cutting edge of brand strategy. It teaches brands how to communicate in sync with the natural operating system of the brain (the conscious 10%, as well as the subconscious 90%). It shows brands how to reinforce their promise behaviorally and experientially. The result is a brand that consumers will find both rationally and intuitively appealing.

Get Better Marketing Results

With the Brain Friendly Brand® blueprint in place, you’ll have laid the foundation to creating the greatest overall customer experience possible for your customers – leading to all important word of mouth recommendations and skyrocketing Net Promoter Scores. Most importantly, any brand stakeholder or supplier will now be able to execute in-sync behaviors, actions and expressions (from product development to marketing, to internal training and recruiting practices) which leads to what we like to call “intuitive brand love”. Passionately loyal customers and skyrocketing sales are sure to follow. (See Apple, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Google, Virgin for a glimpse of intuitive brand love in action.)

If you’d like to learn more about activating your authenticity, selling visually, engaging the senses, creating belonging rituals, novelty and proof points – or simply building a brand strategy that works the way the brain works – please contact Megan at Your customers will love you for it.

Below is our 4 step process:



    Specializing in techniques that target consumers’ deepest thoughts and feelings about your brand, we’ll learn how to build upon positive associations, and eliminate the negatives.

    • Critically, we'll find out how consumers FEEL about doing business with your brand, and how drawn they are towards your company. Then we'll measure how well your brand rates against the 7 BRAIN FRIENDLY BRANDING® Pillars.
    • We'll also identify critical moments of truth along the Customer Journey. Our brand research team will make suggestions as to how to make underperforming moments more emotionally powerful and engaging for your customers.

    Using the findings from the Brand Health Audit as our guide, we’ll ideate ways with your executive team for improving all aspects of the brand experience in order to keep customers locked in and loyal, and advocating for your brand for life.

    We'll learn how to demonstrate your brand’s passion, purpose and intent through its intrinsic behaviors. We’ll turn weaknesses into strengths, and existing strengths into super strengths!

    Using proprietary interactive games and exercises (as well as invite relevant guests and experts), our 2-Day BRAND EXPERIENCE Workshop is designed to help brand stakeholders gain consensus on the ideal customer experience of your brand. We’ll review the 7 BRAIN FRIENDLY BRANDING® Pillars as stimulus (and your brand's rating against each one of them), then get to work on:

    1. Tapping your brands Authenticity, through ”Storycharting”, Proof Point Identification and more
    2. Rating your Brand’s Consistency and Visual Vocabulary
    3. Building out the Touchpoints: Senses, Behaviors, Rituals, Novelty

    We’ll conclude by building out the ideal Customer Journey and articulate priority action steps for the brand.


    This is today’s next generation brand strategy. Think of it as creating a new behavioral template for your brand which uses your innate authenticity to fuel an intuitively appealing brand experience.  We'll compile a Brand Bible of sorts that will infuse your newly energized BRAND DNA throughout the organization. It will contain sections that cover:

    • Brand Authenticity (think “positioning”, but more thorough and brain-friendly)
    • Supporting Stories (to lend import and credibility to our Authenticity)
    • Visual Messaging (we'll articulate the brand's ideal visual vocabulary )
    • Consistency (we'll honestly assess how well we deliver product, message and service consistency, and set milestones for ensuring we're constantly improving in this area)
    • Multi-Sensory Engagement (what are the opportunities to engage the senses more fully throughout the brand experience?)
    • Belonging Behaviors (how can we build in belonging rituals and behaviors to enhance a tribal feeling e.g. deeper level of involvement and engagement with your brand)
    • Proof Points (what are the tangible reasons to believe in your brand and reinforce it’s authenticity?)

    Either using MKBG as your brand stewards – or setting you free to implement the changes with partners of your (or our)  choosing – we'll help you construct a clear path forward to complete the transformation of your company into a magnetic and viscerally compelling brand.

    • Naming
    • Identity
    • Packaging
    • In-Store Design
    • Internal Branding Programs
    • Digital Strategy
    • Branded Content programs
    • New Products/Services/Alliances