Cognitive neuroscience is the study of how we, as human beings, actually make decisions. Although science and creative don’t traditionally go hand in hand, it’s now undeniable that applying learnings from this branch of science to our creative executions in the brand design world can help to successfully influence consumer decision-making for commercial success.By now, most of us in the marketing and design world who are interested in behavioural economics and cognitive neuroscience have heard that the vast majority of decisions we make are not rational. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we understand the implications of the consumer irrationality at the point of purchase. The marketing industry constantly tries to second-guess how the consumer will behave, yet it remains stuck in the rut of relying on rational measures to achieve this – for example using surveys and focus groups. Cognitive neuroscience tells us categorically that we cannot ask consumers directly what they want, or indeed how they will respond to changes, as they simply don’t have the ability to know what they actually will do. Consumers are no more capable of predicting how they will respond under the pressures of a shopping environment than we are capable of guessing.