What you didn’t know about psychology, emotions and consumer experience.

Most people don’t know that Alfred Hitchcock wrote two scripts for the film “The Birds”. The “blue script” detailed the shots and the lighting and included everything he wanted the audience to see, whereas the “green script” detailed precisely what he wanted the audience to feel.

He used this green script to identify how he wanted his audience to feel at every point throughout the movie. He knew when they would feel suspense, surprise. When they needed to feel empathy for the characters and when he wanted them to be shocked or scared.

In doing this he was able to manage the entire emotional journey of his audience and with great effect.

Think back to a favourite film. Maybe it’s an old family favourite, or something you grew up with. You certainly know the plot, the characters and the ending and yet you keep going back to this favourite movie time and time again.

The reason?… It’s because you know the emotional journey that it will take you on and the way it will make you feel

It’s the same with a piece of music. What’s your favourite? What does it evoke in you? Is it sad, or happy and uplifting? Some tracks will pick you up, elevate your mood and make you feel as if you can conquer anything, others leave you feeling sad, reflective and bring back a heightened emotional memory.

We choose to listen to certain music tracks precisely because of the way they will make us feel

But moods are not that easily changed. There is not some simple switch that can be flipped to take us from stressed to relaxed and from sad to happy.

The film or music works because it takes us on a journey. There will be some critical points in this journey, twists in the story, changes in tempo or key which take your attention away from where you were previously, transporting you on an emotional journey and finally leading you exactly where you knew it would.

Most food marketers and manufacturers have the blue script. They know all the stage directions, the script, sound directions. They have an array of tools such as product tweaks and innovation, packaging , marketing and communications.

However, very few have a comprehensive green script showing them the optimal emotional journey that they should be orchestrating for their consumers. Sadly, they don’t really know how they can manage skilful twists and turns in that journey to create a memorable, evocative and fulfilling journey that consumers enjoy again and again

Hitchcock started with the emotional journey that he wanted his audience to experience and then he made his movie to deliver that emotional experience. His green script was his map, the blue script simply the way he could deliver it.

So how can we adapt this principle to create, build and manage successful brands?

Each aspect of the consumers’ experience of a product, from the packaging, aroma, taste, texture and aftertaste prompts an emotional response. Together, these emotional responses create an emotional journey which they will either love. hate or perhaps worst still, be unmoved by.

Many product owners, developers and marketers work with the blue script. They know how to change the product and communications and may even know which emotions they are trying to elicit from the consumer.

However, what they lack is the green script, the map that shows them how to create an ideal emotional journey for their consumers.

We have a unique methodology which will uncover your consumers’ emotional responses at each stage of their product experience. We can show you the ideal emotional journey and how your product measures up to both the ideal and your competitors. We can give you the green script and show you how to best meet this ideal.

Chris Lukehurst is a Consumer Psychologist and a Director at The Marketing Clinic:

Providing Clarity on the Psychological relationships between consumers and brands