What’s the point of emotional product profiling?


There is nothing new about understanding the emotional impact your brand has on consumers and targeting advertising and other communication to appeal to consumers’ emotions. But how much do you really understand the emotional impact of your brand, how it is different from your competitors and how you can improve both product and communications to make consumers feel even better about your brand?

The emotional impact your brand has on your consumers is complex. It is not just about your communications stirring an emotional response or how your consumer feels after consuming your product. Your brand evokes a whole emotional journey in your consumer, through your advertising and communications, to product purchase, packaging, appearance, aroma and through the consumption experience from first bite to aftertaste.

Emotional Product Profiling not only tracks this emotional journey, but also identifies which elements of your brand and product delivery prompt each emotional response, how and why.

As in any journey it is not the distance travelled that is memorable, and aften not even the destination, it is the highlights along the way. There are moments in any journey that you recall, moments that make it special, memorable, that make you want to repeat the journey – or perhaps avoid it altogether next time. While whole sections of the journey do not leave any impression at all – despite their importance in reaching the destination.

Emotional Product Profiling identifies these individual moments and the elements of the consumer experience that evoke them. It identifies what it is about your brand experience that gives your consumers joy and how and why they do so.

Not only does it identify what is great about your brand journey, it also breaks down your competitors’ brand journeys. Many of the best bits of your brand will be common across the category. Consumers choose, or do not choose, your brand because of the subtle differences in your emotional journeys. These are the true magic moments, the subtle difference in the way that your brand makes your consumers feel.

This is invariably not about single elements of your product experience, it is about how sequences of experiences come together to create the moment. It can be how your communications or product appearance set up an expectation that is then met, exceeded or missed during consumption, or how a more difficult aspect of your product delivery is counterbalanced or exacerbated by its preceding and succeeding elements.

In addition to identifying these moments in your current product delivery, Emotional Product Profiling will also help you to identify the most effective ways to improve your communications and product development to evoke even better emotional journeys for your consumers and to further positively differentiate you from your competitors.

Your consumers do not buy your product because it is the best in the category. They buy it because they believe that it is the best.

This is an emotional response to their experience not a rational one to your communications or product features. So, improving the consumer’s emotional journey, improving how your brand and product makes your consumer feel, is the most effective way of improving belief in and love for your brand.

When you understand and focus upon the emotional journey of your consumers. When you think about how your brand makes consumers feel rather than upon what it does, you start to think about your brand, your product and your consumers differently.

Consumers come back again and again to brands that make them feel good. Emotional Product Profiling helps you to focus upon how your brands and products make your consumers feel, rather than on what they do.

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

Providing Clarity on the Psychological relationships between consumers and brands