The logic of emotion

Posted by Mänga in Emotion

Logic of EMO

“Emotion is the most important driver in the
decision-making process
and indicates that
people make decisions emotionally and
justify them later
rationally, with facts.”

—Gerald Zaltman, Harvard Researcher

The information economy
The bright new technologies of now, have brought us together and put a world of information at our fingertips. It was supposed to makes us feel connected and empowered. But with a constant stream of commercial messages that follows us everywhere and an exploding numbers of media channels, people are overwhelmed by the choices they face and rendered numb by the sheer volume of marketing clutter. To cope with this, our brain does the best it can to protect us. It tunes most of the messages out, only paying attention to the most relevant information. And that has created huge challenges for marketers everywhere.

Your attention please!
Forget the Information Economy. Human attention has now become our principal currency. Job number one for any marketer these days is competing for attention. And once you’ve captured that attention, you’ve got to show you deserve it. Problem is, businesses often forget about why they need that attention in the first place: the relationship. Long lasting relationships are the bedrock of all successful businesses. And what does it take to build long-lasting relationships? Emotional connection.

Emotion trumps reason
Human beings are powered by emotion, not reason. We’ve known this for a while. The role of subconscious emotional response in brain processing, was well studied at Harvard during the 90’s by pioneer researcher Gerald Zaltman who famously declared: “Emotion is the most important driver in the decision-making process and indicates that people make decisions emotionally and justify them later rationally, with facts.”

Feeling machines that think
Clinical evidence presented in the book Descartes’ Error by Dr. Antonio Damasio—leading neuroscientist and respected author—shows that without the aid of emotion, people’s brains are locked into a cognitive loop, incapable of making decisions, making him to conclude: “We are not thinking machines that feel, we are feeling machines that think”. What Dr Damasio and many others have demonstrated is that, although humans have higher cognitive abilities, our brain is still dependent on emotion and instinctual responses, as it did for millions of years. And it will continue to do so, since biological adaptation is too slow for our fast changing environment.

Emotion is the key to relationships
Emotion is the key to intimacy between businesses, brands and people. Strong emotional attachment leads to customer loyalty. Loyalty is about emotion—not logic. In the same book, Dr. Damasio, reveals the crucial role that emotion plays in the reasoning process, by electro-chemically tagging information for action, memory storage and retrieval.

What’s the take away for you? If you want your messages to be remembered, you need to stir your audience’s emotions.

Emotion and reason are intertwined, but when they are in contradiction, emotion wins—every time. It’s emotion that makes commitments and prompts us to action. In the words of Canadian neurologist Donald Calne: “The essential difference between reason and emotion is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions”.

Emotion ignites decisions
Research shows that even for the most rational of all sales environments, business–to–business (B2B) with complex offers and multiple decision makers, where the purchase is apparently structured and rational, the final choice of supplier is, in fact, almost always based on emotional factors. Maurice Allais, the Nobel laureate in economics, put it like this: “The more complex a product or service, the more irrational and unpredictable becomes the buyer’s decision.” How can that be so?

In the case of a complex offer, a strictly rational selection becomes untenable due to its demands on time and personnel. Instead, the customer makes an emotional choice based on risk minimization. Simply selecting the supplier they feel most comfortable with. Remember the old saying: “nobody got fired for buying an IBM”?

Remember that B2B is relationship driven, so give your audience a reason to connect with you on an emotional level. MängaDesign has the skills and insights to help you put emotional connection, at the foundation of your marketing strategy and increase engagement with your brand, by combining both, logical and emotional messages.


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18 Sep 2013