The emotional part of the brain and the rational part of the brain work together, and it is this commingling of emotions and reasons that marketers need to understand in order to position their brands and build messages for greater success.

Myth

Fact

You are either left brain or right brain.

The brain uses a combination of inputs to make decisions. Emotions and reasons commingle in the pre-frontal cortex which leads to decision making.

You either need to develop an emotional appeal or a rational appeal.

Emotions commingle with and prioritize reasons. These reasons set up in the mind of an audience and are used as filters to receive messages. Therefore understanding the reasons that are most emotionally charged is an important objective.

Emotions are always soft, fluffy things

They are not soft and fluffy alone; they are just part of the many inputs the brain uses to decide. If you understand how emotions work, you can focus on the rational thoughts most important to an individual or group. When you fulfill these thoughts in the right way, the result is motivation.

People only sometimes make decisions based on emotions.

Emotions guide decisions, but it is the priority that emotions place upon reasons that causes behavior to happen. As a result, people always take action based on whatever reason is most emotionally charged.

Measuring emotions is difficult and requires long in-person interviews.

While (in-person) interviews can be used to ultimately gain emotional insight, it can take a long time for even the most experienced interviewers to obtain this level of depth and truth. It is much faster and easier when an interviewer is not present, and the respondent feels anonymous (in their own setting). They are more comfortable and willing to reveal the truth about their feelings rather than holding back.

You can not quantify the role of emotions

The role of emotions is quantifiable, if the commingling of emotions with reasons is the focal point. Then the 3 or 4 reasons that are most emotionally charged become the most important things to understand. When this type of data is reviewed across a large sample of respondents, patterns emerge leading to a better decision making opportunity.

Emotions reveal a tone for communication and nothing more.

The understanding of emotions (feelings) and their effect on reasons (thoughts) will reveal tone but more importantly they reveal what will drive behavior and how behavioral change can be facilitated. By letting a respondent express his or her feelings followed by their thoughts, respondents are able to reveal in their own language what the priorities are in their mind related to a brand and/or competing brands.

Communications need to focus on only “1” thing (i.e. one simple message of 4 to 5 words)

Information is more readily available in our society than ever. The more we know, the better we feel about making choices (emotionally we want to feel reassured and confident). This confidence is driven by more than one aspect of any product or service offering. Connecting the right aspects in the right way provides the emotional motivation and confidence for people to act.

Optimal communication needs to be unique and ownable only by your brand.

Owning something is usually the sum total of putting the right message (with those attributes that are unique) together with the right amount of weight (spending, consistency and pressure) in any marketplace relative to the competition. It is this combination along with a clear understanding of the priorities in the mind of the audience that enables a brand to achieve an optimal market position.

Emotions are the opposite of reasons and have nothing in common.

Emotions and reasons are essentially one unit; they work together. Emotions select reasons in our mind that are most important, then we use those as a filtration device to determine how we are going to behave (i.e. will we buy or won’t we all depends on how the marketer fulfills these filters). Understanding these emotionally charged reasons can be the key to success in any marketing environment.

The Right Connection of Emotions, Thoughts and Behavior Re-Defines How Marketers Think about Brand Attraction. Understanding this Context Helps Marketers Build Messages that Optimize Brand Performance.

For years marketers have been using different methods to understand the brain and how people make decisions to behave in certain ways. By studying brain function using more modern methods, psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that it is the connection of emotions (feelings) to reasons (thoughts) that causes behavior. This learning has been brought forward through work done by noted authorities like: Antonio R. Damasio, Walter J. Freeman, Joseph LeDeaux and a host of others.

Emotions commingle with reasons and prioritize those reasons that are most important when making a decision. So, the schools of thought that people are emotional without reason, or right/left brained are no longer the best ways to understand how customers think when they are considering a purchase. Rather, it is insight as to how emotions prioritize reasons and cause behavior that is most important to marketers in their quest to improve the performance of their brands. This new thinking can shed important light on how marketers can become closer to their customers and potential customers creating a more motivational bond.

Understanding How the Customers’ and Prospects’ Minds are Set Up To Receive Is Key (how are they listening?)

If a company is to more effectively maintain or change behavior among customers and prospects, it is clear that being attentive to the whole set of emotions, thoughts and behavior that people experience when confronted with the brand or brand message is of paramount importance. Therefore, understanding emotional mindsets that are alike in terms of brand perception is critical to success (mindsets include those who are attracted to the brand or loyal, those who are apathetic or neutral and those who are not attracted or negative).

Quantifying the emotional mindsets for the marketplace, then determining what criteria is used by these groups of customers to evaluate the brand, and how that criteria is shaped when people are attracted versus neutral or negative minded, provides marketers with a road map leading to optimal messaging.

The brain of a customer usually has seven to ten key reasons they use to filter all messages and input they receive from the brand or company. Understanding the weighting, size, shape, relationship, valence (positive neutral or negative) and definition of these reasons is important in assessing how the customer is listening or how they are evaluating their choices. This type of quantitative market research yields the three or four reasons that are most emotionally charged in the mind of the customer (their emotional drivers®). Designing messages using language that fulfills these emotional drivers (or choice criteria) enables any brand to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. This competitive advantage is the result of addressing the things that are emotionally charged (motivating) while at the same time using words that are familiar and reassuring to the customer (their language versus company speak). This type of message building causes the motivation on the part of the audience to take the right action at the right time, choosing to make a purchase or behave in a way that benefits the company/brand.

Brain Surgery’s Tools Provide the Connection of Emotions to Reasons in Order to Predict Behavior thereby Building Attraction

Understanding what emotions are involved and to which reasons they attach when a person is faced with a brand or buying decision can be of great use in developing the right message. If developed correctly this key message will address emotional mindsets in the right way and fulfill emotionally charged criteria causing the audience to take action with confidence and reassurance without fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Brain Surgery offers tools that deliver emotion based behavioral insight and messaging. These tools are designed to open respondents’ minds through their emotions (feelings) providing faster, deeper understanding and accuracy. Brain Surgery works with marketers to assess their brands through this “emotion lens” in order to determine strategies and tactics that will maximize attraction and increase brand performance.