Advanced Research to Win Hearts and Minds

Merchant Mechanics is an award-winning research firm specializing in shopper behavior and consumer neuroscience. We investigate both conscious and non-conscious drivers of brand affinity and consumer decision making.

The Consumer Neuroscience Advantage

System 1 thinking operates below conscious awareness. Decisions in this mode are spontaneous, fast, effortless, and intuitive. System 1 methods reveal thoughts, feelings, and motives that we are not consciously aware of, yet have profound effects on decision making.

The Retail Forensics® Approach

We integrate traditional market research techniques with proven methods from behavioral and neural sciences to reveal the true connections between emotions, motivations, and decisions.


Retail Forensics analyzes all four dimensions of the consumer response—what they think, feel, say, and do.

Proven Track Record

Since 2000, Merchant Mechanics has assisted hundreds of household brands, including numerous Fortune 500 companies, cultural & social institutions, and government agencies.

Research Solutions


Optimize signage, shelf, layout, and display to create a context that promotes engagement and drives conversion


Identify winning sensory profiles and determine which product characteristics optimize non-conscious response


Fortify and expand customer loyalty by strengthening emotional connection to your brand


Sharpen conscious awareness and stimulate emotional impact of packaging characteristics


Captivate web and mobile users by aligning interface, structure, and design to intensify engagement and enhance shopability


Ensure television, print, and online advertising connect both on a conscious and non-conscious level


Leverage ambient factors like temperature, color, lighting, and sound to affect shopper mood and mindset


Craft a solution specially designed to meet a specific need



We employ state-of-the-art psychological and neuroscientific tools to collect behavioral, attitudinal, biometric, and neurocognitive data.

By integrating implicit measures of System 1 with explicit measures of System 2, we improve the explanatory and predictive power of research.


Data captured from multiple methods is analyzed and integrated via a process we call “Little Big Data”.

“Little” because the populations queried are typically small compared to Big Data approaches. “Big” because the data sets collected from these populations are large, intricate, and multidimensional.

Who we are

gear We are empathetic, eagerly embracing our clients’ business questions and pain-points as our own.
gear We are research architects, judiciously crafting the most effective research plans to maximize the value of results.
gear We are mentors, intuitively relating business objectives to research best practices.
gear We are clinicians, wisely applying research techniques with deep knowledge of strengths and weaknesses of every method.
gear We are diagnostic professionals, sensibly identifying the right techniques to fully answer the questions to alleviate the pain.
gear We are data scientists, expertly interpreting complex information into meaningful insights.
gear We are method agnostic, objectively understanding that research techniques are not “one size fits all”.
gear We are master storytellers, clearly translating insights into contextual narratives of actionable tactics.
gear We are subject matter experts, confidently leveraging decades of business and academic research experience.
gear We are passionate, relentlessly exceeding our clients’ needs and expectations.

Industry firsts