Sep 3, 2021
Today I am excited to introduce
you to Dr. Michelle Niedziela, VP of Research and Innovation at HCD
Research. She is also an editorial board member of the
Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (or NMSBA) and part
of the brains behind the upcoming NeuroU Conference which is taking
place virtually this year, September 13-15, 2021 (and I am sure
will happen in future years as well in case you are listening to
this later). Michelle will talk about it in the conversation as
well, but I am very excited to say that I am going to be a speaker
at the conference this year, so it is definitely the time to
register and come join us!
In today’s episode, Michelle
shares her expertise in the senses – particularly smell and taste –
and how important they are for brands. Ever thought about what
moisture smells like? Or what scent will make people prefer one
towel over the other? Listen to learn this and more in today’s
- [00:06] In today’s episode I’m
excited to introduce you to Dr. Michelle Niedziela, VP of research
and innovation at HCD Research.
- [03:13] Michelle shares about
herself, her background, and how she got into behavioral
- [05:08] The majority of her
education background is more around taste and smell. Most people
don’t think about taste and smell too much or realize how important
it is in their lives.
- [06:37] She has worked in
academia with rodents looking at genetics. She built her career for
over ten years studying rat and mouse models of feeding behavior
and genetic influences until she developed an allergy to rats and
- [08:16] Then she ended up
taking a job as a Senior Scientist at Johnson & Johnson leading
their behavioral science and innovation program for taste and
- [08:54] People don’t really
realize how important the senses are in product design and
- [10:29] Product and brand is so
much more than advertising and logos. It really is the product
experience as well. You can lead people with sensory
- [13:18] In order to ensure
consumer satisfaction and success of the product experience you
really have to make sure all the senses align. Does it fit the
- [15:24] Michelle shares how
fragrances can have an effect on the product
- [16:24] Sensory branding is a
very interesting world.
- [17:40] Brand harmony can bring
it all together to make sure it is creating an overall
- [20:03] They have a lot of
different questions that come to them. They are the problem solvers
that come in to help their clients.
- [22:02] It is about finding the
right combination of tools to uncover and meet the consumer
- [24:18] Michelle and her team
also look at packaging and people’s perception of packaging. The
words, color, and texture all drive perceptions and build a
- [26:24] In marketing and brand
strategy we feel like we need to do more and be everywhere, but
then you’re nothing to nobody.
- [28:27] You don’t want to
alienate your consumer.
- [29:34] Michelle shares about
creating your sensory footprint.
- [30:18] The larger the sensory
footprint the stronger you are to grab that nostalgia. Sensory is a
form of communication.
- [32:44] There is a lot of
interesting research out there with sensory and food science. The
size, color, and weight of the plate can influence your enjoyment
of it, how you rate it, and how much you eat
- [34:48] As long as your brand
is strong enough in their understanding of what your ultimate goal
is, you can increase the goal and perception, but it does require a
lot of research.
- [36:17] NeuroU is a FREE online event this year where they
bring in experts to talk and educate about current topics. Come
- [38:19] Melina is going to be a
speaker at NeuroU this year - hooray!
- [40:51] Melina shares her
- [43:18] Melina’s award-winning
first book, What Your
Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is available on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes &
Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia.
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what you heard, please leave a
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