I found a very interesting video about the power of brands and their influence on consumers’ behaviour in ways extending beyond the point of sale. But to what degree can the influence of brands wreak havoc on our ability to make rational spending decisions? 

The complete article and video are linked at the bottom.

Coke is just soda. Levi’s is just jeans. Starbucks is just coffee.
Yet consumers go out of their way to select these specific brands over others. How is it possible that a rational consumer is willing to pay more for exactly the same thing?

Michael Platt is a University of Pennsylvania professor specializing in neuroscience, marketing, and psychology. His research focuses on understanding how consumers’ perceptions of brands shape their decision-making processes.

In marketing, it is believed that consumers form emotional connections with brands in a similar way as they do with people. People may express their love or dislike for a brand, but it is sometimes unclear what is truly going on in their minds. Therefore, the research team considered the idea of directly analyzing the brain to get a better understanding of these emotional connections with brands.

Michael and his team used an MRI machine to observe the brain activity of iPhone and Samsung Galaxy users. For the stimulator, they were presented with positive, negative, and neutral news about Apple and Samsung at the same time. 
The results showed that Apple users had an emotional response to Apple similar to how they would respond to a family member. In contrast, Samsung users did not show any positive or negative response to news about their own brand. Instead, Samsung users exhibited reverse empathy for Apple, meaning that their brains responded positively when the news about Apple was negative. 

This suggests that Apple has a strong emotional hold on its customers, while Samsung customers may only be using the brand out of animosity towards Apple. Interestingly, the Samsung users did not report feeling the same emotions towards Apple and Samsung as the MRI results indicated.

Reference: https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/how-apple-and-nike-have-branded-your-brain/