6 steps for getting your brand into their heads

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The ad slogan "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is" probably activates an earworm to every reader over the age of 50. Earworms are musical sound bytes -- marketing jingles and song snippets -- that once active are hard to shake. Alka-Seltzer's popular "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" campaign marks a generation of U.S. based consumers who saw and heard it repeatedly.

6 steps to get inside your consumer's head

Traditionally, earworms happen by accident. Now linguistics, neuroscience, and psychophysics are showing us how to make earworms on steroids:

  • Smart earworms that activate when your customer is about to select a competitor's product
  • Time-based earworms that become active in a consumer's consciousness when you want them active
  • Earworms that work their way into the consumer's entire brain, don't let go, and make the consumer's brain work for you

At NextStage, we call such things brainworms. The formula we use brings together basic principles that tap into consumers' natural brain tendencies to better brand your audience. It's an easy and straightforward methodology that's both inexpensive and proven with some major brands. Here's the recipe to create your own brainworms.



Luca Conti
Luca Conti November 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Interesting also for the nostalgia component related to sound and memory.
The emphasis on the concept of trust was extremely interesting.
Also the direct address, active voice, mirroring and other considerations are so useful.
This was actually one of the most useful articles I have read in the last years

Norberts Erts
Norberts Erts April 26, 2014 at 3:28 AM


Michelle Courtright
Michelle Courtright April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

I love this article--the focus on the neurological aspects of marketing is just what I've been trying to incorporate into copy, graphics, and video. I'd love for you to go more in-depth in future posts! Great to have a more academic article about this topic--thanks!

Emily Weeks
Emily Weeks April 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Working for a digital agency that focuses on web development and branding, it was interesting to read a piece that focuses on internal factors playing a role in branding. People often focus on the external so much that they forget that vital component of human nature, which is ultimately what attracts or detracts us to brands in the first place.