MEASURING CONSUMER BRAND PERCEPTIONS IN TERMS OF NEUROMARKETING BY USING THE EEG METHOD: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ON THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
1. LITERATURE REVIEW The study of consumer behavior through neuroimaging techniques first began with the use of the fMRI device in marketing research at the end of the 1990s by Gerry Zaltman from Harvard University. The term neuromarketing was first used by Professor Ale Smidts in 2002. The first neuromarketing conference was held at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 2004 (Lewis&Bridger,2005:36). Traditional marketing methods are known to offer limited opportunities to determine consumer behavior. Traditional methods are also not sufficient to measure consumer motivations at the same time (Hammou et al.,2013:20). Neuromarketing allows us to obtain more accurate and accurate data on consumer preferences when compared with traditional methods. Especially for large organizations, it is not possible to carry out marketing research only with traditional methods (Sharma et al., 2014: 553). The application of neuroimaging methods in marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Ariely and Berns (2010) mentioned two main reasons for this popularity. First of all, neuroimaging techniques are expected to yield cheaper and faster results over time than other conventional methods. Secondly, neuroimaging techniques provide information that can not be obtained by conventional methods (Ariely and Berns, 2010: 284). Data obtained through neuroimaging techniques allow us to make better decisions in areas such as product development, branding, store atmosphere, and the creation of promotional activities (Aytekin and Kahraman,2014:48). One of the methods used in neuromarketing research is the EEG. In EEG research brain waves are divided into four main groups as beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Beta waves (>13 Hz) are low voltage and high-frequency waves. Alpha waves (8 to 13 Hz) that occur during more relaxed periods have a higher amplitude than beta waves. Theta waves are typical of even greater amplitude and slower frequency than alpha waves. Theta waves' frequency range is usually between 4-7Hz. Delta waves, slowest EEG rhythms, generally have the highest amplitude EEG waveforms. (Estrada et al., 2004). Some of the studies made with EEG device in the field of neuromarketing are; Ohme et al. (2009) showed to the participants two different advertisements of the same skincare product, and the effects of the ad on the participants were monitored via the EEG. 45 female aged between 25 and 35 participated in the study. These two ads are exactly the same except for a small movement of the player in the ad. According to the result of the study, even a small difference that consumers can not notice is affecting consumer behavior. Brown et al. (2012) studied consumers' desire to switch from a brand they prefer to a private label brand when their tastes are identical, using the EEG device and self-reported data. 8 female and 4 male participated in the study. It was found that the participants were more likely to switch to cheaper brands when the tastes were identical.