Efficient Brain Seeks Efficient Brand

We all know our decisions are the end product of our thoughts. Yet sometimes we find it hard to take our thoughts and turn them into a decision. Today, with the ubiquity of options, the chasm separating thought and decision is widening. Brands, with their many product options, have made the concept of choice more ideal than the actual act of choosing, making choosing hard work. The success of a brand today may have less to do with what it can provide in return, and more to do with the amount of energy it takes to choose it.

In the field of computational neuroscience, we see the brain as a computer — i.e., a neural network of interconnected cells — with two components: living tissue (the hardware) and the mind (the software). Just as software is the product of all the interactions of hardware, the mind does not equal the brain; rather, it is epiphenomenal, meaning our thoughts have no material basis but live in a specter state hovering above the three pound mass of grey matter.

However, unlike the computer, the brain has a limited energy source. We are not born with extension cords that can be easily plugged into any socket. As a result, our brains have no choice but to be efficient. They must carefully measure and allocate energy to every computation. And the amount of energy a computation gets is a measure of its value to achieving the overall goal or desired state of being…