Playing with Emotions
It’s no secret that our emotions inform our behaviors. And it’s as true of our buying habits as it is of our personal relationships.
According to an fMRI neuroimagery-based study conducted by Antonio Damasio, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southern California and author of Descartes’ Error, consumers consistently use their personal feelings and experiences more than factual brand attributes when evaluating brands.
And the impact of our emotions extends beyond how we evaluate brands and into how we make our purchase decisions. In an article in Psychology Today, consumer psychologist Peter Murray explains, “When we are confronted with a decision, emotions from previous, related experiences affix values to the options we are considering. These emotions create preferences which lead to our decision.”
In other words, not only do our feelings drive our brand sentiments, they also measurably impact our brand consideration, loyalty, and purchase behavior. So while promoting the features of your latest product might seem important, it’s tapping into consumers’ emotional triggers that is truly imperative.
Consider some of the following approaches to creating content that stirs.
Determine the Most Motivating Emotional Response
Emotional motivators are not all equal. According to the founders of Motista, a predictive intelligence company that created the Emotional Connection Score, consumers’ emotional connections are “neither uniform nor constant; they vary by industry, brand, touchpoint, and the customer’s position in the decision journey.”
Check out the Harvard Business Review article in which the founders of Motista outline a number of ways brands can benefit from consumers’ emotions. For example, does your audience want to stand out from the crowd? Help them project a unique social identity. Do they want to feel a sense of belonging? Help them affiliate with people they relate to or aspire to be like.
Make It Authentic to the Brand
Many brands try to incorporate emotions in their communications by tagging their logo to an emotional video or heartfelt PR stunt. But Team One Chief Creative Officer Chris Graves explains that the brands that find a way to create emotional connection “in a relevant and entertaining ways tend to be remembered.”
By building experiences around what makes your brand or product truly unique, your audience will be able to more easily tie their emotional response to the brand. Battery case manufacturer Mophie, for example, deployed rescued St. Bernards at SXSW to “rescue” attendees with low phone batteries The collaboration successfully showcased Mophie’s ability to save your phone’s life and warmly helped drive awareness of the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation.
Consider the Emotions of Audiences on All Platforms – Live and Digital
As put by Abigail Posner, Google’s head of strategic planning, “In the language of the visual web, when we share a video or an image, we’re not just sharing the object, but we’re sharing in the emotional response it creates.” And so, as we design to reach beyond audiences physically present, we must consider the motivations of those coming into contact with the experience via digital and social media.
In 2013, WestJet Airlines created a real-time holiday experience that delivered personalized gifts to guests arriving in Calgary as part of a true “Christmas Miracle.” WestJet captured the experience on hidden cameras and created a YouTube video that stirred joy and connectedness among viewers, who then wanted to share the experience with others. It soon became one of the most-viewed and shared viral ads of 2013 in the world.
Because for all the buzzwords, all the trends, and all the mediums, one thing remains the same in any language, in any industry, and on any project: Emotion.
Whether inspiring warm fuzzies, triggering nostalgia, or even playing n fears, GOXD develops emotionally engaging campaigns that are more likely to generate results than their more fact-focused counterparts.