The role of emotions in decision-making on employer brands: insights from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
Branding is a key concept in marketing for which extensive research has provided valuable insights into how to attract and retain customers. However, far less is known about how to use branding to attract and retain employees. The work presented here aims to narrow this research gap by drawing on dual-process theories from research on decision-making. First, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we show that decision-making for employer first-choice brands (as compared to less attractive employer brands) is associated with increased activation in brain areas linked to emotions and with decreased activation in areas linked to working memory and reasoning. Second, our region-of-interest (ROI) analyses reveal that neural processing of employer brands differs from the processing of consumer brands. Results support our theorizing on dual-processing regarding the role of emotions in decision-making on employer brands and, further, they indicate that decision processes differ between employer and consumer brands.