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Getting into the Minds of Shoppers... Really!

When I first saw this, I thought of the movie Minority Report.  Not the Pre-Cogs, but the scene where Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) walks through the mall and all the windows change to provide him with personalized "merchandising" when he walks by.  EmSense uses state of the art neuroscience technology to "track feelings, measure cognition, and profile engagement".  The technology is cool and the actual equipment used to study shoppers is quite unobtrusive: think of EEG wires and equipment redesigned by Apple.  Quite innovative.

Besides eye-tracking to show where shoppers look when they see a display, EmSense creates a "cognitive overlay" to show their mental engagement with what they're seeing and an "emotional overlay" that shows how they felt about it.  If that's not "deep shopper insight", I don't know what is.  Very cool once you get past the little bit of creepiness that comes over you when you realize they're actually monitoring someone's thoughts and feelings about your brands.

I spoke with Jennifer, Director of Market Research for EmSense at the recent Shopper Insights in Action conference in Chicago. While their client roster is confidential, I'm sure it's quite impressive. This isn't just for CPG.  They use it to determine just exactly what parts of a film should be made into a trailer (and it must work because we all know some trailers are better than the movie).  If you're into studying shoppers to create strategies that drive purchase, you should look into EmSense.  The "Pre-Cog" version may be out soon...

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