Our Approach

Brain Sells helps create new digital & brand experiences based on how the mind actually designs meaning.


Bob Deutsch, Ph.D. Founder, Brain Sells
Bob Deutsch, Ph.D. Founder, Brain Sells

Bob Deutsch founded Brain Sells LLC, a consultancy aimed at understanding how people — through blending emotion, information, and belief — design their own brand of meaning. As a result, projects Brain Sells conduct usually begin with interviewing people face-to-face, thus providing deep insights into how human nature and the nature of mind impact on the particular question at hand. This allows for a valid rendering of peoples’ behavior and experience to be brought to bear on branding, content creation, strategy planning, business development and enhancing end user experience.

Bob’s approach combines doctorate degrees in cognitive neuroscience (what he calls the study of how people build “attachments” to things) and cultural anthropology. But he is no ivory tower academic.


Dr. Bob and his proprietary method, Primalysis, address the broader person as a whole and how he or she consumes life–not just products.

He sees consumers in a way most marketing initiatives cannot.

Dr. Bob usually starts with speaking to people, face-to-face. He begins these interviews with a simple question: “Please tell me something about what your life is like, nowadays.”

The ideas he comes up with lead to communications that don’t merely fit into a product category, but fit into a deeper consciousness and the societal moment in which we live.

These are the communications that begin a long and beautiful brand relationship.


What Brain Sells can do for you

  • Develop breakthrough strategies for businesses and brands, based on rigorous, wide-ranging, and research-based insights into human cognition and social behavior, aimed particularly at understanding people as people, not just as consumers.
  • Bring a profound understanding of human nature and, specifically, the nature of the human mind, as a lens through which to support executives in re-examining their core beliefs and focusing on the truly “important” rather than the merely “urgent.”
  • Spark new ideas for disruptive products and services, by helping senior executives “see” what has yet to exist – and visualizing its impact as a reality.
  • Apply fresh thinking to resolve or eliminate long-standing problems, using skilled provocation, empathetic interrogation, and inspiring ideation in lieu of typical consulting approaches to “problem solving.”
  • Catalyze innovative ideas for large-scale organizations, based on a unique and proven ability to liberate corporate executives from their company’s or industry’s “received” or “conventional” wisdoms on products, services, or consumers.
  • Help executives with widely diverse skill sets, cultural backgrounds, and world views to work productively, by creating shared “stories” and “perspectives” on relevant strategic outcomes.
  • Enable companies to “own” their future by shaping markets rather than by adapting to markets, based on deeply informed understanding of how ideas take hold in an organization’s culture, thus leading the way to new trends, movements, and beliefs,
  • Provide lateral thinking to senior executives, based on a tough, no-nonsense, challenging, and unvarnished approach to the realities of business.
  • Stage powerful interventions in corporations for a variety of purposes, based on a lifetime of intellectual exploration into how humans create meaning, how storytelling shapes collective views, and how change occurs in groups, tribes, cultures, and organizations.

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Bob’s intentions include:

  • Seeking a deep understanding of end-users of a particular product or site, especially the non-linear, emotional and symbolic arc that attaches a person to a product or idea.
  • Enlivening customers and employees alike, through curiosity, sensuality and surprise – the keys to success in business and in life.
  • Understanding what end users could want and be committed to.
  • Developing knowledge management systems based on the mind’s cognitive workings, and applying this to creating valid and predictive analytics.
  • Building the personal touch into digital systems to create loyal customers.
  • Conceiving of new convergences between digital technology, human cognition, and the changing meaning of “value.”
  • Perceiving and addressing challenges that are now only faint images on the horizon.

Recently, Bob has also pursued intense interviewing of artists of every ilk – including novelists, fine artists, designers, architects, chefs, performers, and movie directors. Bob’s aim was to insinuate an artist’s sensibility into business functions such as decision-making, strategic planning and innovative product development.  All this culminated in a TED Talk on “The Imaginative Mind,” (LINK) and a book on curiosity and openness, The 5 Essentials (Penguin, 2012). Bob also writes a blog column on The Huffington Post.