Neuromarketing with Matt Johnson & Prince Ghuman

March 15, 2021

matt and prince on brand

“I think you could have gotten away with mediocre branding before platforms like Amazon and Facebook came along.” However, today, the bar is set incredibly high. The modern consumer is savvy and expects exceptional branding from any company entering the market. That’s why we need to apply the latest in brain science and consumer behavior to our branding and marketing. Matt Johnson and Prince Ghuman, co-authors of Blindsight, are here to help us do just that.

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About Matt Johnson & Prince Ghuman

Prince Ghuman is the co-author of the definitive neuromarketing book, Blindsight, CEO & founder of the Neuromarketing Certification at, and professor at Hult Intl. Business School. Previously, he held dual roles as the U.S. Director of Consumer Marketing and the Global Director of B2B Marketing for OFX, a publicly-traded FinTech company handling over $100B in international payments. A contributor to major news outlets including Forbes, Refinery29, Entrepreneur, & The Washington Post, he was named one of the ‘Movers and Shakers’ by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Matt Johnson is the co-author of Blindsight, a professor and researcher at Hult Intl. Business School. He received his BA in Psychology from UC San Diego, and his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Princeton University, where his dissertation focused on the neural basis of language and communication. His research focus now is ultimately about bridging the gap between neuroscience and marketing, and to this end, works across several fields including experiential marketing, behavioral economics, and marketing ethics.

Episode Highlights

How did this dynamic duo first join forces? “I found my complete inverse in Prince Ghuman,” shared traditional academic Matt Johnson. “It was a peanut butter and jelly moment,” agreed Ghuman.

Good branding is ‘table stakes’ today. “I think you could have gotten away with mediocre branding before platforms like Amazon and Facebook came along. The bar is set so high now. Consumers expect Lululemon-level branding,” said Prince. “You couldn’t launch an airline today.”

Your brain on brands. In their book Blindsight, Johnson and Ghuman explore different aspects of neuroscience in each chapter. “Brands exist in the temporal lobe,” began Johnson.

“The brands we like are like the people we like.” It all comes down to competence and warmth, a model developed by Susan Fiske at Princeton. That’s why we respond when brands like Zappos showcase their humanity by going out and serving the community.

What brands have made Matt and Prince smile recently? Matt went with Starbucks (“they continue to bring people together”) while Prince went with Redwing Shoes (“they awaken my inner patriot” with their handmade shoes and authenticity). Talk about competence and warmth!

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As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.