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Neuro in Architecture

16 November 2017
By Juan Roberto Castro

By Juan Roberto Castro

Speed up sales in an apartment building project

Understanding how consumers associate the design of an apartment building with positive experiences and memories to influence the purchase decision.

Guatemalan real estate developer Landmark, asked us to design a new concept for a highly competitive new apartment scheme. The aim was to offer a truly alternative building concept appealing immediately and differently to our specific target prospects.  

Three specific aims were established:

  1. Defining the optimal target profile but more importantly understanding how to engage interest versus competitor projects 
  2. Understanding drivers and consumer insights (mindsets) that increase the relative perceived value of our project 
  3. Finding unique priming positive memory associations that boost engagement and emotional activation toward the location and concept.


We sought to understand non-conscious perceptions, priming associations and sensorial communication language (architecture typology, shape and spatial distribution, colors, textures, internal and external public spaces and sale price).

Phase 1

Conducting psychometrical research that includes:

a) Bezinger Thinking Styles Assessment (BTSA) to determine natural communication language of brain dominance.

b) Mindset assessment to understand the belief systems governing their “life laws” and decision-making. 

c) “Fear Assessment” to reveal lifestyle aspirations for their children 

d) Pain & Relief assessment to uncover architectural elements, inside home areas, plan, size, spacing that they would miss most in a new place. Understanding what triggers in or out of their “comfort zone”, and which areas from their current home they’d hope to retain. 

e) Experiences with parents of fondly recalled games at weekends, especially in winter when youngsters.

f) Materials, color, texture well remembered from their childhood homes. 

g) Words or expressions remembered being used with neighborhood friends.

Three samples of 20 “Generation X” parents (husband & wife) were selected to undertake psychometric assessments (see above). Five couples were also tested using an Eye Tracker and EEG set. The aim was to establish mindsets, habits, home-living space preferences, neighbor, street and family house games and all kind of priming associations related to their upbringing, including colors, textures, smells and other relevant positive experiences and memories.

The key finding was that each respondent had the game “ONE” as the most positive family memory; it induced the highest engagement and emotional activation and was the one they played as kids with their mom or dad, one on one.

We also found two influential fears that were key drivers to include in the project design to increase purchase preference and choice: 

1º. Fear that what I am and do for my family is not enough for them to make them feel loved. 

2º. Fear of the future and of not being able to off er my kids the same or more of what I have had from my parents.

Phase 2

Creating the project concept and validating it with NeuroEquity TestTM and a Sensory Load Chart. Via eye-tracking, EEG and face-reading we gained deeper insight into human emotional reactions. The NeuroEquity TestTM measured direct, unconscious emotional responses to stimulus. Participants viewed stimulus on-screen and iMotions software enabled us capture the measurements. The NeuroEquity Test TM measures directly from the brain. In this way, it is an eff ect measure of “gut reactions”, and, in our view, serves as the most precise measure of unconscious concept project equity.

We also used the Sensory Load Chart to readily access perception of competitors’ concepts across all five senses, enabling detection of sensory niches for our project and leveraging through marketing and sales strategy.

Collaborating closely with a graphic designer and a Generation X architecture fi rm, we developed the entire concept from architecture to marketing and sales strategy- a unique, emotion-centric approach.

To test the concept proposal we designed the NeuroEquity Test TM and the Sensory Load Chart where participants saw designs, facades, interiors, logos, names and different prices together with a preview video of the project concept to evaluate the emotional response to different types of experiences induced.

All our Neurometric Tests rely on scientifi cally validated methods and most of them, like the NeuroEquity Test TM and the Sensory Load Chart, are based on the work by Dr. Thomas Z. Ramsøy, Phd.


Success depended on triggering key emotional memories, whilst marketing and sales needed to be at the core of project conceptualization and architectural considerations. To optimize strategy, we focused from the outset on maximizing engagement and purchase intent with the primary target consumer.

As a result, we designed an architectural product or brand that used an unconscious language geared to a specific market segment. Urban design, facades, public spaces, apartment floor plan distribution, colors and textures used and marketing, sales and pricing strategies were each validated in the process, which increased confidence and certainty in the project acceptance and minimized the risk of investment. In November 2015 after barely four months of pre-sales, the project was 50% (120 units) sold, selling 15 units per month more than any competitor.


Our applied neuroscience on architecture design and project conceptualization delivers big advantages to any kind of project because it focuses on the development of specific targets and has fewer risks of hitting the same market as the competitors.

Thanks to successful projects like this one, we believe we are innovating the way neuroscience can be applied in different industries, especially real state developments and architecture design.

This is one of several studies that has been conducted for clients, where the goal has been to understand the language of associative and perceptive consumer communication that is non-consciously relevant to preference and top-of-mind purchase choice. Psychometric and neurometric tools have been used in all of our projects to ensure that the final product achieves the established aims of affecting the commercial investment, cash fl ow and equity exposure.

This article was originally published in the Neuromarketing Yearbook of 2016. Liked it? Order the 2017 neuromarketing book here !