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Why do we buy what we buy? 

Last week I had the pleasure to speak with Constantinos Pantidos, president of Brand Aviators, a company focusing on brand strategy. Constantinos has been lecturing postgraduate students in brand strategy for 20 years, and he has previously covered the role of executive for Gillette, while also obtaining an MBA. Now, he is in the process to receive a doctorate degree in business strategy and to launch his new book: Living Brands – How biology & neuroscience shape consumer behaviour and brand desirability.

The book is the result of 10 years of research, which led Constantinos and his team to ideate and design the Wheel of Motives, a model that wants to help companies to bring the consumer at the heart of brand strategy. They delved into the beautiful sciences of biology and neurobiology to answer a simple question: “Why do people buy goods?” For example, “Why do we buy bottled water even when quality tap water is available? What are the deeper motives that lead us to this behaviour?” It turns out that we buy products and services to satisfy deeper motives. What we buy, every day, are not just products, but slices of life itself!

So, what are those forces that lead us through life? Constantinos found that there are 12 fundamental motives, which have preserved through evolution and allowed the human species to survive and grow. We are not humans unless we feel safe, we seek, we play, we transform, we defy, we create, we grow, we control, we connect, we desire, we care, and we gain balance. This is the Wheel of Motives. Each motive is linked with specific biological values, brain systems, and human values & reinforcers, which are underlying every behaviour we manifest. Every highly successful brand coherently embeds one motive. What Brand Aviators has developed is a tool based on novel biological pathways allowing for the generation of unexpected, yet profound ideas for brand positioning, communication, and creative development. The model has already been successfully applied by some well-known multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal. Besides explaining the model and the theory behind it, the book also analyses 20 product categories of consumer goods, like food, cosmetics, cars and chocolate, investigating what drives consumers to these goods and how brands can ensure to satisfy one or more motives.

Whether you are looking to capture your brand’s DNA or you want to reconnect with your consumers at a more profound, human level, Living Brands might be just the book you were waiting for!



Living Brands will be available from September.





Source: Dr. Constantinos Pantidos, Living Brands: How Biology & Neuroscience Shape Consumer Behaviour & Brand Desirability, Lid Publishing, London, 2018


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Passionate about food innovation and sustainability issues, Carlotta was the first to join the Magazine's Impact Comms Programme in 2018/19.


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