Measuring emotion in brand communication

Date of publication: February 27, 2005

Abstract:

The main purpose of this paper is to address these questions: how do emotions interact with and influence so-called 'rational' processes, which are more important in brand decision-making, and what are their contribution to innovation? The authors first clarify what is meant by 'emotions', establish their importance in the consumer-brand relationship, and review how to measure them based upon latest thinking including those from neuroscience, psychology, and sociology. Three key advances are then made: the authors demonstrate the benefits of a 'QualiQuant' approach to measuring emotion which combines qualitative insights with quantitative statistical confidence; show that the actual contribution of emotional factors to brand decision-making is significantly greater than functional factors, and ranges from 63-85%, depending upon the product category; and also propose a new working model of the ways in which emotional and rational factors work and interact together in creating brand relationships. The case studies used draw from research on magazine titles, breakfast cereals and cars, but the authors believe have wider application for innovation and creativity in marketing and communication generally.

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