Theories about branding can now mature to the next level and look at physiological drivers — not just words and ideas. The brand behavior question is an interesting one. One revolutionary idea from brain research, and biology, is that wall the consumption and commercial behavior has a very, very old basis in basic the basic biological drives similar to all animals.
So humans don’t just buy stuff for reasons mainly perceived and talked/thought about in our conscious brains – but for very fundamental biological and survival instincts.
Survival is much less of problem now than it was when out brains were evolving — but those drives are still there. Much of what is labeled “irrational” is merely behavioral instincts and survival skills and coping behaviors that were very valuable eons, otherwise they wouldn’t have been passed along, ago but are (much) less so now.
So what behavior do we have? It appears we have more selection of branded products and the payment of more money.
So we have selective getting behavior based mainly on some visual cues – the idea of branding started with logos mainly. I read that Woolworth’s revolutionized retailing buy putting objects on a red cloth. Red is a strong visual cue for humans. Color of blood for one thing!
There are also self-reported warm fuzzy feelings about brands — but we don’t know where in the causal chain those lie. Are they causal or just correlated?
Selective getting of objects in the environment would favor things that contribute to better reproduction, by definition. Better reproduction (more and wealthier kids and grandkids) is served by the basic biological drives and “survival circuits.”