Most marketers rightly see emotions as critical to their product strategies. They want their targets to feel a certain way. So a fundamental question they ask is, “WHAT do I want my targeted customers to feel or not feel?”
Some marketers have a good idea of what they want their targets to feel or not feel about their product or brand. But some do not. In fact, believe it or not, many marketers simply stop at “I want my customers to feel good about my product and/or bad about my competitors’ products.” (I’m not kidding. I hear this a lot. That’s a start, but not enough.)
This article presents some ideas to consider.
Besides just “good” or “bad,” the most fundamental set of discrete emotions I have seen is a set of four rather vernacular, poetic feelings — mad, glad, sad, or “afrad” (i.e., afraid).
Stepping it up a bit, getting into what prominent scientists think, Ekman’s set of primary emotions consists of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, contempt, and surprise. (See Ekman, P. (2003) Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life, Times Books.) Plutchik’s primary list includes joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. (See Plutchik, R. (1980), Emotion: Theory, research, and experience: Vol. 1. Theories of emotion, 1, New York: Academic.)
(More lists are summarized at http://www.personalityresearch.org/basicemotions/plutchik.html.)
Getting into consumer emotions, Richins found the following to be psychometrically reliable: excitement, joy, pride, contentment, optimism, relief, peacefulness, love, romantic love, loneliness, envy, guilt, fear, shame, sadness, worry, discontent, anger, surprise, and eagerness. (See Richins, M.L. (1997) Measuring Emotions in the Consumption Experience, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 24, No. 2., pp. 127-146.)
At this point, I hope you have a few emotions to consider for your product or brand. However, I’d like to share another set with you — a set I’ve developed over the past several years of hearing consumers talk about how they feel.
My set, which you can download, appears within this website at Categories of Emotions and Feelings. Let me summarize the main “factors” — Positive and Negative – within this taxonomy.
Within each of these factors exist more discrete emotions. For instance, DESIRE includes feeling curious, interested, eager, and envious to name a few. SADNESS includes feeling disappointed, sad, unfulfilled, and lonely to name a few.
The point here is that once you’ve come to believe that emotions are important in creating the behavior you want, you will need to investigate and choose specific emotions to include in your strategies. I hope I’ve given you some ideas for your particular application.
If you want to discuss this more, please post a comment or contact me at email@example.com or 314-752-0564. I’d be interested to hear just how you want your targets to feel.