Wanting’ and ‘liking’ involve different neurochemical systems in the ventral striatum. Wanting relies on the reward system regulated by dopamine, and is activated to the anticipation of receiving something we crave after. Liking, on the other hand, is a response resulting from the opiod system, and is activated you’ve tried had the chance to try it. Research shows that impairing dopamine receptors in rats causes them to stop eating, and they eventually end up starving. Despite needing and ‘liking’ food, ‘wanting’ the food was crucial for ensuring the rats were motivated to eat.
This kind of research suggests that creating ‘wanting’ for a brand may be even more important than the actual ‘liking’ of it. Perhaps Facebook should add a “WANT” button!
Some practical ways of stimulating the dopamine system for your brand include creating a great deal of anticipation of a reward, providing small teasers that a reward is imminent, and making the timing of the reward unpredictable. These are sure ways of keeping everyone ‘wanting’