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Perceived Value: Neurology

Written by: Bill Sherman on Monday, 10 March 2008, 6:55 PM

This weekend, I shared an e-mail exchange with Robert Cialdini about the placebo research just published in JAMA.

He pointed me towards another article in the January 2008 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that measured the neurological responses of the participants. Participants were set up for a brain scan and asked to sample two glasses of wine. They were told one wine sold for $5 per bottle, and the other wine sold for $45 per bottle. Participants reported a more pleasurable experience with the more expensive wine. And $45 bottle of wine stimulated a greater response from the partcipants’ pleasure centers of the brain.

The two wines were, of course, the same wine.? Yet, the participants’ brains had a substantially different neuroloigcal response to the tastings–based on perceived price. That’s not just self-report data; that’s quantifiable neuroscience.

There’s an old aphorism about putting old wine in new skins. Yet, a new marketing position and packaging may have a substantial impact on “refreshing” how participants experience your product or service. How does your pricing pre-wire your clients to have a specific experience.

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