Branding Between the Ears Book Summary - Branding Between the Ears Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Branding Between the Ears summary

Sandeep Dayal

Using Cognitive Science to Build Lasting Customer Connections

4.4 (155 ratings)
21 mins

What is Branding Between the Ears about?

Branding Between the Ears (2021) explores how marketers can apply the latest scientific insights to their branding strategy. It explores how the human brain responds to advertising, and how consumers really make the decision to buy or not to buy.

Table of Contents

    Branding Between the Ears
    summarized in 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    An emotional consumer is a forgetful one.

    What is it that makes an ad effective?

    A lot of times, what we think will work – an idea that feels sensible, or a classic advertising strategy – actually ends up sabotaging what we’re trying to do.

    Here’s an example. The advertisers working for the arthritis drug Enbrel thought they’d found a great strategy.

    Their TV ad highlighted the biggest danger of leaving arthritis untreated. They showed this adorable little boy telling his young mother that he was afraid she’d end up in a wheelchair if she kept ignoring her arthritis symptoms. He’s confused, he’s scared, and he’s worried about the person he loves most. The ad then told viewers how people with arthritis could avoid that fate: by taking their medication. 

    The advertisers did this because they knew that people are more likely to remember something if it triggers their emotions.

    But, when the whole thing aired, they noticed a problem: while people remembered the ad itself, no one remembered the brand.

    Now, it is true that people remember things more when their emotions are triggered but it’s not the whole story. 

    When people have an emotionally charged experience, like watching a sad commercial, they’re more likely to remember the central element of the experience. But – and this is the caveat we have to keep in mind here – they are also more likely to forget any peripheral information surrounding that experience.

    In the case of this Enbrel ad, the peripheral information was the brand itself! The problem was that viewers were so busy with their emotional experience, that the overall message – to buy the arthritis medication – didn’t get through. 

    This little debacle shows why it’s so important to keep a balance between an ad’s emotional content and its branding message.

    This is a balance that Steve Jobs – you know, the famous founder of Apple – understood really well.

    In the early 2000s, Apple shot hundreds of ads for the Apple Mac, but only a handful of them ended up airing. And it’s interesting because the ads that didn’t make the cut were actually the funniest. They depicted this ongoing battle between an uptight PC user and a laid-back, cool Mac user. Fun, catchy, cute.

    But Jobs somehow knew that viewers would be so busy laughing at the ad’s characters that they’d end up paying little attention to the overall message of the ad: to buy the computer.

    If you’re a marketer, you probably think a lot about store shelves and billboards, or TV ads and product placement. But how much thought are you giving to the only real branding space that matters: your customers’ brains. We now know that the human brain is where all important branding takes place. 

    And still, we see countless examples of these concepts that have been used in marketing forever – like that emotion triggers memory – still being used. A lot of times these are outdated, or, like in this case, only part of the truth.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Branding Between the Ears?

    Key ideas in Branding Between the Ears

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    About the Author

    Sandeep Dayal is the managing director of Cerenti, a marketing and business strategy consulting firm. Dayal has 25 years of experience in marketing and branding strategy and has previously worked for McKinsey and Booz Allen Hamilton.

    Who should read Branding Between the Ears?

    • Marketers and salespeople
    • Budding entrepreneurs keen to get their venture off the ground
    • Psychology buffs looking for fresh insights

    Categories with Branding Between the Ears

    Books like Branding Between the Ears

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial