The Neuroscience of brainpower

As you know, talented bloggers join us every week to capture what Threads, the Business of Fashion Accelerator Program is all about. They play a key role in engaging with industry related discussions and get an exclusive insiders look on the program. Our KwaZulu-Natal Field Trip was joined by Lifestyle blogger, Chloe Farley.

On the 18th of March, the Threads entrepreneurs got to listen to a captivating talk at the Hilton Hotel during their Durban Field trip. The first day centered around the theme of personal development. And what better way for the entrepreneurs to gain insight into this topic than engaging with brand expert and Threads judge, Timothy Maurice, who delivered an insightful discussion titled ‘The Neuroscience of Brainpower’. Maurice has written four books on personal development and brand power, and channeled this knowledge in order to teach the entrepreneurs exactly how one’s personal brand and the brand of one’s business tend to integrate. Stories, brand power and brand influence were the three main components of Maurice’s talk that the entrepreneurs were enlightened to.

The first topic Maurice addressed was the power of stories and how they can impact one’s neural system. In order to emphasize exactly how a story can impact someone internally, Maurice used the example of an often cited study that took place in Germany. Random members of the German public were given brightly coloured sweaters to wear, they were only told that they used to be owned by a famous individual. Electrodes were then placed onto their bodies while they wore the sweaters in order to measure their internal bodily reaction when they were told that the famous individual the sweaters used to belong to was Adolf Hitler. After hearing this news, those individuals participating in the study began to experience the complete opposite reaction towards the sweaters than the excitement they had experienced before when the only information they had was they used to belong to someone famous. “When the story changes, everything changes,” says Maurice.

Just like individuals can have an adverse reaction towards an item of clothing due to the owner of the brand’s contrasting values, the opposite can occur too. “Your essence can create an equity that goes beyond the garments worth,” says Maurice. This is pivotal insight as Maurice explains that one can infuse their positive values into a garment in order to make it more appealing. Because of this, customers may even be compelled to pay an amount far above its true value in order to own it. In order to achieve this effect, Maurice encourages the entrepreneurs to question what essence and story they are leaving behind within their garments for their customers to experience.

The brightly coloured sweater study that took place in Germany serves as a reminder that one’s default situation can overwhelm a customer entirely. According to Maurice, “these dynamics need to be understood and managed wisely.” In order to do this, Maurice encourages the entrepreneurs to question whether their reputations serve their businesses’ brands. He further advises that entrepreneurs should take what they are known for and either tone it up or tone it down in order to extract it to use in their businesses. Entrepreneurs can either actively or passively utilize their personal brand in order to further their businesses. Highly active use refers to when an entrepreneur wants to be known as a part of their business and therefore, infuse their personal and business brand into one single brand. Passive use refers to when one wants to separate themselves from their business. Passive use of personal branding can be equally as effective as active use. An example of this use can be seen in the clothing company Zara. Most individuals do not know the owners of Zara however it is still a highly successful clothing brand.


A South African girl who has a passion for informing and connecting others to information that aims to better the readers lives.