Every time a consumer consumes your product it gives them a whole series of emotional messages. These messages are invariably mixed and often conflicting. A chocolate bar is relaxing and calming as well as stimulating. It gives us sustaining and energy giving messages as well as fattening and bad for me.
When the consumer likes your product it is because, for them, the positive messages out-weigh the negative ones – or they are able to ignore the messages that don’t suit them. But sometimes external factors such as media messages on sugar and obesity, a growing awareness of the effects of diet or changing consumer fashions, affect the way that consumers interpret these messages.
A small shift in the consumer psyche can make a significant difference in their attitude to your product as what they saw as positive messages become less relevant or as negative messages become more noticeable.
These shifts in response to your product are emotionally driven. The ways in which consumers interpret the messages from your product are rarely rational or logical. But it is possible to understand the array of emotional responses that your product evokes in your consumer and how the different elements of the consumption experience and of your communications prompt these responses. It is possible to understand how the consumer prioritises and interprets the messages they receive from your product and to track the shifts in the consumers’ psyche that changes the way they prioritise and interpret these messages.
With this knowledge, you can adapt your product and communications to keep your brand relevant as consumer attitudes and fashions change.
Do you understand all the emotional messages of your product, how they are prompted by the consumption experience and your communications and do you understand how consumer attitudes to each of these messages might be changing?