If you're a print magazine, or in marketing consumer goods, you care about packaging.

The general science magazine "New Scientist" approached neuroscience marketing firm NeuroFocus to test three different cover designs for an August issue of the magazine.

Applying their EEG-based full brain measurements of test subjects' subconscious responses to the three covers, NeuroFocus identified one as clearly superior in terms of its overall neurological effectiveness, saying it scored exceptionally well in emotional engagement, one of their primary metrics, the others being attention and memory retention. 

This neuromarketing research was the first time that the publishing industry used EEG technology to determine the appeal of cover designs. 

Result: A 12% increase in sales for that issue.

Dr. A. K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer of NeuroFocus, said, "A magazine cover serves the same purpose as a package design does for consumer goods.   It attracts attention and stimulates emotional engagement, which is essential to drive purchase intent. This kind of sales success, in such a competitive environment as a crowded newsstand, carries real meaning for manufacturers, marketers, and retailers. Full-brain neurological testing provides a deep dive into consumers' subconscious minds, where product trial and purchase decisions are made, and where brand loyalty is formed. This study shows clearly and unequivocally what our neuromarketing capabilities can deliver at the cash register."

"We worked with NeuroFocus to select an appealing cover design for New Scientist using their neuromarketing technology," said Graham Lawton, deputy editor. "This issue of the magazine achieved strong UK newsstand sales, making it the second highest selling issue of the year, which is very unusual for the normally quiet month of August. This represents a 12 per cent increase over the same issue in the previous year and is much higher than we would expect for a similar cover story at that time of year, so we would certainly say the experiment was a big success."