What does your brand make people feel?
To gain an understanding of consumer behavior, marketers have traditionally relied on gathering data that reflects variables such as race, age, gender and other demographically based factors. Their research has relied on methodologies that ask sample consumers direct questions about products and purchasing behavior. This method is ineffective for two reasons. First, it wrongly assumes that purchasing behavior is closely tied to demographic factors and secondly, it wrongly assumes that consumers are rational and in touch with the underlying psychological factors that drive behavior.
For survival, our brains are designed to come up with answers at any cost. If we don’t know the true subconscious origin of our behavior, studies prove that we will come up with an answer and rationalize until we truly believe it. In fact, consumers are often unaware of the reasons behind their purchasing behavior, meaning that traditional market research methods are inadequate at measuring meaningful data, and therefore fall short when it comes to increasing sales.
What Is Meaningful Data?
In order to gather meaningful data, we must overcome this lack of personal insight on the part of the consumer. Research continues to show that the most meaningful measure of brand loyalty lies in the emotional connection a brand makes with its customers. In other words, the purchasing behavior of consumers is more closely linked to emotional motivators. Understanding why a person buys something is way more valuable than knowing who bought it. People buy products because of how the product makes them feel, not because of who they are demographically.
How Can We Identify and Measure Emotion?
Asking consumers direct questions about products has been shown to be ineffective. To gather more valuable insight, we must ask about emotions- about how people feel when they recall past experiences, places and people. This may sound unquantifiable, but in reality it is quite easy to group people based on their emotions about certain things. Consider this: There are a limited number of human emotions and new ones aren’t popping up any time soon. However, there are seemingly endless combinations of human demographics.
By utilizing our growing knowledge of human psychology, market research is constantly evolving. As more effective research techniques are being uncovered, brands are gaining valuable insight into how to emotionally connect with consumers and create lasting relationships. Once an emotional response to a product is uncovered and understood, marketers can infuse their brand’s messaging and communication with consumers in meaningful ways.
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