How To Tell If An Agency Has The Credentials To Really Analyse Emotions

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How To Tell If An Agency Has The Credentials To Really Analyse Emotions

‘Emotion’ is the retail buzzword of the moment – but beware, this could mean many different things! Let’s start off by looking at what an emotion actually is; the brain’s potentially beneficial response to any given situation.

At a base level, beneficial refers to fight or flight, kill or be killed or procreate. The ‘older’ brain (limbic system) initially responds to the situation by putting the body into a particular emotional state of readiness: Fear, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, Happiness and Surprise – all of which are primary emotions. Some 24 times more slowly, the cerebral cortex (modern brain) then analyses the situation and refines the emotional response. This much-simplified explanation of how emotions are created, and for what purpose, identifies a number of issues with regard to genuinely understanding a person’s emotional response in-store:

  • Emotions have been around much longer than speech, so shoppers can’t accurately explain how they feel
  • Words represent just 7% of what a person is communicating when they are referring to feelings and attitudes
  • When respondents are shown pictures of faces depicting emotional states, they will automatically adopt that emotion to some degree

It takes a specialist set of expertise and research tools to analyse shopper’s emotions in any meaningful way, but because the term ’emotion’ is so widely used at the moment with regard to all things advertising, marketing, shopping and consumer, many researchers are understandably jumping on the bandwagon.

For reference, our emotional research toolbox at SBXL contains, for example:

  • Micro-expression and face reading tools
  • Happiness, Stimulation and Dominance scale measurement tools
  • A unique emotional wheel that allows clients to better align the precise product, brand and consumption related emotions

For example…

Even when you do talk to shoppers, the words used can influence their emotional state. For example asking “which brand of … do you prefer?” often results in the shopper exhibiting anger, because in our experience they relate the word brand to being controlled by big organisations. Better to ask “what make or what type of …”.

Sometimes, shoppers just don’t need to explain verbally exactly what they are feeling in-store at that particular moment. Watch the video below for an example:

What to know what and how shoppers think? Ask the man who really knows! Phillip Adcock, Managing Director of Shopping Behaviour Xplained Ltd (SBXL) has over 20 years of experience and insights into how shoppers behave – and why. Why not check out his dedicated workshop to Shopper Emotions, and find out how you can tap into that experience and apply it in-store today.