So you think you understand your consumers’ emotions…?


 Most Brand Owners that I speak with are very clear that they understand their consumers’ emotional response to their brand.

“My brand makes the consumer feel like this”

That is great, but it is only a part of the story, and not even the important part!


A Black Box Approach

The consumer consumes your brand and it changes their mood. They drink the cola and feel refreshed, they use the surface spray and feel better about their kitchen.


a)    These benefits are generic to the category and are not differentiating.

b)   This ignores how and why the consumers’ experience has changed their mood.

It is a Black Box approach to brand benefits and gives us only a very limited understanding of our brand.

Looking Inside the Black Box

If we wish to really understand how our brand works, how and why it changes the consumer’s mood, how we can make it even better, and if we want to differentiate our brand from the competition. We need to look inside the Black Box. We need to understand how the communications and sensorial experience of our brand takes the consumer on an emotional journey that ends with the change of mood.

While all colas may be refreshing, the unique experience of your communication and sensory journey cues a specific sequence of emotions that leads the consumer to that end point.

It is only when you understand the unique emotional journey it evokes for your consumers that you fully understand your brand. Once you can breakdown this emotional journey and how and why your brand evokes it, you can tweak your comms. and your product development to create the best emotional journeys for your consumers and to differentiate your brand from its competitors.

The end point is important, but it is the emotional journey that is the essence of your brand.


Chris Lukehurst is a Director at The Marketing Clinic:

Understanding the connections between the consumer experience and emotional responses.