Hakuhodo Invests in Buyology

NEW YORK Hakuhodo has taken an undisclosed stake in Buyology, a new consulting company that draws upon neuroscience data collected by Martin Lindstrom, the author of a book by the same name that was published last autumn.

Buyology has opened offices in New York and Japan and plans to launch others worldwide, according to Lindstrom. The neuromarketing consultant, who said he has spent $7 million over the past four years developing a brain scan database based on the results of 2,000 consumers, had been working with Hakuhodo during that time.

“Japan is the most advanced country in its use of neuroscience for brands. Most of the computer games being developed are spun out of it,” said Lindstrom. “Eight-five percent of all decisions take place in the non-conscious part of the brain and today’s research is a waste of money because consumers can’t articulate what they want.”

Lindstrom won’t disclose which clients he is working with because “companies are afraid to be associated with neuroscience.” He said, however, that he is consulting with “six of the Fortune 100 brands in North America.” In the past, Lindstrom said he has worked as a “brand futurist” with companies like McDonald’s, Nestle, American Express, Microsoft, Walt Disney and GlaxoSmithKline.

Lindstrom, 39, is a former BBDO exec who formed BBDO Interactive Europe in 1994 before he set up BBDO Interactive Asia in 1997. In 2000, he was appointed global COO of British Telecom/Looksmart, a provider of country-specific Internet search services in Europe and Asia.

Related: “Mind Over Matter, New Tools Put Brands in Touch With Feelings”