We think we’re in the driving seat when it comes to consumers’ emotions, and yet…


91% of motorists in the UK believe that they are above average drivers. Is there a similar statistic for Marketers?

 We all know that brands are all about emotions and we all target consumers emotions. But how many marketers actually understand their consumers emotional journey with their brand or – even more importantly – how they can influence that emotional journey?

Most brand owners know how their brands make their consumers feel and most advertising uses emotional imagery and language but knowing and glamorising the destination is very different from understanding the journey your consumer takes to get there.

If you don’t understand the consumers’ emotional journey and how your communications and product experience create that journey, then how can you expect to differentiate your brand from the competition? How do you go about winning in today’s competitive markets?

 Your brand changes your consumers’ mood. Do you truly understand how and why it does this? The ups and downs the twists and turns of the consumers’ emotional journey when they use your product. The mood change is not a simple transition from mood A to mood B but an emotional rollercoaster ride. Brands that do not take their consumer on such a ride are missing out. They are boring and remarkably forgettable.

 Nabi and Green (2015) postulated that advertising that does not create significant emotional shifts through its narrative is forgettable and less likely to influence future behaviour. Alan and So (2020) empirically tested and confirmed this theory.

 Our work over 20 years with brands around the world has shown this to be true not only of advertising messages but also of the emotional journey evoked through product consumption.

 Understanding your consumers’ entire emotional journey with your brand and how you can influence and improve that journey is often the difference between a good brand and a great one. It can also be the difference between a struggling brand and a thriving one.

Chris Lukehurst is a Director at The Marketing Clinic:

Understanding the connections between the consumer experience and emotional responses.