Marketing, emotions and neuromarketing

Emotional markers and Emotion


Traditionally market researchers have tried to measure feelings, which are our conscious emotional experiences. But there is a whole different world of non-conscious emotional reactions like emotional markers and approach-avoidance responses.

There are three basic dimensions of emotion

Valence – positive/negative, from liking to disliking

Arousal – level of stimulation, intensity, excitation

Motivation – activation orientation of emotion, from approach to avoidance

In Motivation vs. Valence –  What you want can be different from what you like.

Conscious and non-conscious emotions work together to

  1. Draw attention to positive opportunities in our environment
  2. Alert is to dangers
  3. Remind us to learns from our experiences

The purpose of conscious feelings is to command attention and stimulate learning. Conscious emotional states (the learning process) usually occur after an emotional event, not during.

Noncontinuous emotions is to provide direct input into immediate behavioral situations, often before conscious processing can formulate an opinion.

Emotions are good for marketers when:

To products and brands stimulate reinforce learning which can shape future responses, crating habits and preferences.

Emotions provide an efficient shortcut to consumer decision making, guiding and simplify our choices as consumers, performing functions completely outside our conscious awareness

They allow consumers to bypass the traditional route to purchase measured by market research – that is, bypassing attention, persuasion, memorization and explicit recall at the point of scale.

For more information about emotional marketing you can look at the work of Antonio Damasio and the somatic markers.

Should you go with your gut?

  • One school of thought: The more I force you to decide rationally, the less happy you’ll be
  • Another one: It pays to think – because you will have a better way to decide.

The reality is that System 1, is not judgmental, it’s just an observer. This is still an open question. Nevertheless my personal opinion is that the “gut” has more nervous endings than the brain. But in leadership terms, there is also such thing as: training your gut. The more you practice, the more secure you’ll become to make – informed gut feelings.




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