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The Physics of Marketing – Bragg’s law

braggBorn in 1890, William Lawrence Bragg was the son of a  Sir William Henry Bragg, a professor of science and mathematics.  So in his work, William Lawrence Bragg was simply carrying on the family business.  In 1915 the two father and son  shared a Nobel Prize for their work which involved using X-rays to analyze crystal structures.  The work they did eventually helped scientists to identify the double helix structure of DNA – earning Crick and Watson a Nobel prize.

In a nutshell, Bragg’s law predicts how x-rays will travel through crystal structures – thus allowing them to be identified by the light patterns that are produced.   This is the same science that is used today in PET scans and MRI tests.

From a marketing perspective, I struggled with this one.  So I am hoping for someone with more familiarity in Physics to throw me a bone.  Still, I will take a crack at it too.

Braggs Law is about the observation of patterns.  Much like we can observe consumer behavior.  In the same way that Bragg used X-rays, Marketing professionals sometimes must use more than just the naked eye to find meaning.   So when I think about this, I think about those swipe cards that are so popular at the Grocery.  These cards collect enormous amount of data about who is buying what and when.  Ultimately, if a marketer is able to properly analyze that data patterns emerge.  Such as when men buy diapers at the grocery, they also buy beer.  If one can understand these patterns, they can then be utilized to increase sales and improve the customer experience.  So if you know that on Thursday nights, there is a large influx of men buying diapers, you may want to put a display of beer on sale at the end of that aisle.  Throw in some pretzels too.

The idea is using tools and data to see patterns that are not readily observable on the surface.  I know that this is not exactly analogous to Bragg, but I think it is similar enough to post.  Now, I will let you teach me more about it. (Chad, Geoff)   Fun how this works.