New Research From NeuroFocus Reveals “What Men’s Brains REALLY Want”— And It’s Not What You Think

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Results from Global Neuromarketing Studies across Multiple Categories Offer Five Surprising Findings about the Male Brain

Today’s modern male consumer has deep emotional needs that are going largely unmet by today’s marketing, the world’s leading neuromarketing company revealed today in a special report. Through a series of research studies it conducted globally, NeuroFocus measured males’ subconscious responses to advertising and other messaging across the food and beverage, financial, health and beauty, consumer goods, and automotive categories. The report’s findings are not only surprising—they have significant implications for marketers in those and many other categories.

Five key findings emerged from the company’s research:

  • Wanted and desired. Males are restrained from expressing this deep-seated need as a result of centuries of social conditioning, but there is clearly a primal drive to be perceived as desirable. Conventional advertising strategies and executions treat this primarily as a female phenomenon, and by doing so fail to address this fundamental subconscious force present in the male mind. NeuroFocus’ research shows they are missing a potentially very valuable source of motivation towards purchase intent. This finding is particularly relevant for the health and beauty, beverage, and automotive categories.
  • Protect and preserve. While typically acknowledged as a male trait, NeuroFocus’ research uncovered a much deeper and stronger drive in this regard than conventional research has portrayed. Advertising in categories such as financial services is often missing the target by not addressing this core subconscious need more clearly and strongly. For example, insurance companies that rely on humor or loss-prevention angles as their communications strategy are not resonating well enough with this deeply-felt drive. NeuroFocus discovered this subconscious need in the automotive field as well. Specifically, the company found that portrayals of a father with an infant, and father-to-older child interactions provoked strong subconscious responses in this regard.
  • Camaraderie and silliness. Beer companies and some entertainment properties generally make good use of this powerful male force, but the depth of its impact at the subconscious level should be mined much more widely by marketers in other categories. NeuroFocus’ research showed that it is an underlying dynamic that can be tapped into by many products, especially in the automotive and consumer electronics fields, for greater emotional engagement and memory retention, two of the key factors in driving purchase intent. The male brain responds immediately, and remarkably strongly to imagery depicting groups of males. The addition of a ‘silly’ component to that interaction helps drive emotional engagement.
  • Technology and tools. Again, traditional male stereotypes can turn this cliché into something bordering on a joke. But NeuroFocus’ findings reveal that far from being funny, this is an intense core desire on a male’s part. Technology and tools appeal fundamentally to mens’ search for the aesthetic. At the subconscious level, the deep primal connection with devices produces powerful emotional resonance. To the degree that the aesthetic can be blended with the functional—as exemplified by Apple’s products and marketing—the result can be a very powerful connection with the male subconscious mind. Marketing to this connection can evoke immediate and compelling purchase and use intent.
  • Attempt and achieve. Much of marketing to men focuses on the ‘end game’—the goal of winning above all else. NeuroFocus’ learnings reveal that it is also the process and journey that men go through that engages them at the core subconscious level. While achieving is a powerful motivator and goal, messaging should not ignore the deep rewards that men derive from the process of winning.

“We measure the brain’s responses to discover what conventional research cannot uncover, and these new findings reflect neuromarketing’s ability to take a ‘deep dive’ to the subconscious level of the mind and tease out data that marketers can leverage,” said Dr. A. K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer of NeuroFocus. “The male brain has strong needs and desires that in some key ways are different than what is generally assumed. Marketing that misses the mark in acknowledging and appealing to those deep subconscious drivers is losing significant opportunities to capture and engage the male brain.”

In previous research studies, NeuroFocus confirmed men’s superior spatial processing abilities, and their general preference for imagery over semantics. These new learnings chart significant landmarks in the male subconscious, and reveal key points of their emotional engagement with products and marketing.

The company, which last week announced a scientific breakthrough with its wireless Mynd headset, measures consumers’ brainwave activity to determine degrees of attention, emotional engagement, and memory retention.

About NeuroFocus

The world’s leading neuromarketing firm, NeuroFocus ( brings advanced neuroscience knowledge and expertise to the worlds of branding, product development and packaging, in-store marketing, advertising, and entertainment. NeuroFocus clients include Fortune 100 companies across dozens of categories.

Headquartered in the U.S. and operating globally through offices and NeuroLabs in the UK and Europe, the Asia/Pacific region, Latin America, and the Middle East, the company leverages Nobel Prize caliber and Doctorate-level credentials in neuroscience and marketing from the University of California at Berkeley, MIT, Hebrew University, Harvard, Oxford, Columbia University, and other leading institutions, combined with executive business management and consulting expertise.

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Rebecca Metz
Metz Communications
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