Consumers don’t always say what they mean. The reasons for this are as varied as they are irrelevant. Instead of trying to figure out what they really meant when describing an experience, it’s much easier (not to mention more accurate and insightful) to ask them how they felt while they were experiencing it.

Measuring emotion is by no means new to the market research world, but it is surprisingly underutilised. We believe that it’s critical to measure emotion, and here are four reasons why:

 

  1. Emotion is the best indicator of behaviour – the prime motivator!

Experiencing a positive emotion, like joy, pleasure, interest, hope etc. will most likely lead to behaviour that will assist consumers in achieving these same feelings of euphoria. Any activity that produces fear, anxiety, dread, anger, frustration, or grief, is behaviour not likely to be repeated. In fact, it’s behaviour that’s actively avoided by the overwhelming majority of consumers.

 

  1. Understanding the emotion helps you to understand (and change!) the perception

Any marketer will tell you that perception is reality, which makes it essential to not only understand the perceptions held among your consumer group, but why they hold these perceptions. Understanding the emotive impact of the customer journey can help you unpack how that perception was formed, but it’s even better at assisting brands in changing that perception directly at the source, to avoid losing future business.

 

  1. Tracking emotion assists in narrowing, even closing, the authenticity gap

The authenticity gap is the gap between what an organisation promises, and what it actually delivers. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how awesome the advertising is, or how cool the products are – if the experience doesn’t match the promise, it won’t instill a sense of joy, pleasure, convenience, pride, respect or admiration, and the behaviour will most likely not be repeated. A brand that delivers on its promises is a brand that’s seen as authentic and reinforces the associated positive emotions held among its customers. Brands that deliver a pleasant, authentic experience also tend to be the brands that are the first choice among the majority of consumers.

 

  1. Emotion determines loyalty

Humans connect emotions to almost everything – brands are no exception. And depending on the emotion, consumer loyalty follows in turn. While there are several metrics to determine how loyal your customers are to your brand – from social media metrics, website traffic, email marketing engagement, even voucher redemption rates – nothing is as effective (or holistic) as simply asking your customers how they feel about your brand, your products, or your services, at each step of the value-chain.

 

Actively measuring your brand’s emotive impact on your customers means you have the tools to keep them happier, longer. Isn’t it about time you started asking the emotive questions?