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Do you know which emotions are driving your bottom line?

The myth of the rational consumer

We like to think of ourselves as rational beings – waltzing through life always making the wisest decisions for ourselves and others, buying products based on careful analysis of benefits and drawbacks, whether it’s a trivial, everyday purchase or a more involved, high value one.

If a market researcher approached you, pointed at your car and asked β€˜Why did you buy it?’, what would your answer be? You would probably mumble something along the lines of cost, fuel efficiency, safety - which are all perfectly good reasons - except they only tell part of the story.

If somebody was to dig a bit deeper though, they would find that actually your choice of car is steeped in all sorts of feelings and emotions relating to your intentions, social norms, beliefs and mindset at the moment of purchase, amongst other things.

Why is emotion important?

In fact emotional factors influence all aspects of shopper behaviour – is your brand activating the need to feel a specific positive emotion in your consumers? Or is it allowing them to get away from a negative emotion?

If you can pinpoint which emotions are being triggered by your product then you can leverage them throughout your website, communications, packaging, store and product design. Doing this at every step of the shopper journey can lead to higher emotional connection and increased loyalty.

The problem with traditional sociodemographics

The importance of the interconnectedness of emotions and bottom line growth was recognised by the Harvard Business Review in 2015, which showed the benefits companies can gain from an emotion-based approach. However, fast forward 10 years, and emotional connection is still not being placed at the core of marketing strategy consistently.

In some areas such as consumer segmentation, emotion still seems to be a dirty word as too many brands continue to use sociodemographics as the only criteria to segment their audiences, missing an invaluable opportunity to understand them better in the process.

The solution

Knowing the real motivations behind consumer choice means knowing how to target them in a way that will resonate with them. We have seen the power of emotions at play in a number of different categories, ranging from premium products such as cars and jewellery through to FMCG. Charity is not immune to this either: traditional segmentation methods may help you identify a group who has additional headroom for donations based on their postcode, age and income, but you need to know what type of people they are and what makes them tick if you want to get through to them at all. Our emotion-based methodology and actionable insights will help you achieve that.

Find out more about how we can help you leverage emotion to improve brand performance here