Consumer Research Firm’s Technique Reveals Hidden Brand Emotions
May 14, 2009 (St. Louis, MO) – It’s not unusual for companies to conduct research to find out what potential customers “think” of a new product or corporate brand. But, until recently, it wasn’t easy to find out what those potential customers are truly “feeling”. A St. Louis-based consumer research firm, experiEmotive® analytics, or EMA, has developed a new research technique that reveals specific feelings that people have toward brands, especially feelings that are hidden.
EMA’s technique, which company founder and CEO (Chief Emotive Officer) Paul Conner has dubbed “Emotional Profiling”, is different than traditional research techniques such as focus groups, telephone surveys, and online surveys. Emotional Profiling not only captures emotions that people are aware of and willing to share (their “explicit” emotions), but it also reveals emotions that people are not aware of or are unwilling to share (their “implicit” emotions).
“Our technique is adapted from implicit approaches used in cognitive and social psychology to expose prejudices that people can’t consciously feel or aren’t willing to admit,” explains Conner. “We apply these approaches to brands to help marketers see important emotional connections that they may not otherwise know about.”
EMA’s technique assesses not just positive or negative feelings in general, but specific feelings that impact purchase decisions, such as security, excitement, and relaxation.
“Marketers immediately see the value of this, because even though emotions like security, excitement, and relaxation are all positive, marketing to security is certainly different than marketing to excitement or even relaxation,” said Conner. “We help marketers find important specific emotional connections.”
In the past year, EMA has completed two studies that demonstrate the value of its Emotional Profiling technique, particularly its implicit assessment feature.
The first study explored the Emotional Profiles of two battery brands. In this study, people explicitly said they felt more skeptical about the preferred brand vs. the non-preferred brand, and equally playful, disgusted, and worried about the two. These explicit results, which were inconsistent with brand preference, confused marketers regarding what to do. However, people implicitly showed they felt more playful and less disgusted, worried, and skeptical toward the preferred brand. These implicit results, which were consistent with brand preference, suggested that marketers leverage playfulness.
The second study explored the Emotional Profile of a well-known electronics brand. In this study, respondents who preferred the brand more, felt more implicitly, but not explicitly, cared for by it. This result, which would not have been revealed without the implicit data, suggested that marketers prioritize efforts to make people feel cared for by the brand.
The Emotional Profiling technique requires a quantitative phase that provides the metrics portraying the brands’ Emotional Profiles. EMA also offers (and recommends) a qualitative phase that reveals what triggers the key emotions found in the quantitative Emotional Profiles. Essentially, the qualitative phase tells marketers what to do to activate the desired emotions.
About experiEmotive® analytics
Founded in 2004, experiEmotive® analytics (EMA) is a consumer research company devoted to assessing the emotional dynamics of consumer behavior. Based on established research in neuroscience and psychology that shows emotions drive people’s behavior, EMA uses a variety of techniques to assess consumers’ emotions and help companies develop more emotionally engaging marketing and operations for their brands, products, services, advertising, and customer service, and more. For more information, please visit the experiEmotive® analytics website or call 314.752.0564.
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