Over recent years it has been proven that emotion is a crucial communication component in establishing strong relationships between brands and consumers, as it helps to drive attention and memorability. This creative strategy has been adopted by many of the world’s top brands as they look to improve effectiveness of their communications and drive business results. This is most evident in the 2018 IPA Effectiveness papers, where 55% of the winners cited emotion as their main creative strategy.
But in order for this approach to be effective, marketers need to better understand their customers by knowing how, when and why they are engaging at any communication touch point, be it with TV, in-store or online.
At Unlimited Group, we use neuroscience technology – including EEG, biometrics like GSR, eye-tracking and facial coding – to allow us to understand the true, biological reactions of consumers to a piece of content. Each of these tools, individually or combined, are powerful in identifying at which point a piece of content ignites the strongest emotional response from a consumer; at distinguishing which emotions we feel as we digest communications; at recognising the biological intensity of our reactions; and ensuring key messages and branding points are catching our eye.
We have pulled together learnings from our neuroscience research to help brands understand what makes humans tick, and how they can make smarter decisions by capitalising on emotional engagement and ensure their messages effectively resonate.
1. Emotional storytelling
The human brain is wired for storytelling, so it is integral that brands take consumers on a journey with them. These stories need to emotionally connect with the audience to successfully drive behaviour. Humans are equipped with mirror neurons which fire in response to seeing actions taken by someone else’s body, allowing us to empathise and ‘feel’ what another person feels. Empathetic reactions are always stronger when we have more in common with the other person and when we feel close to them. If a brand does not drive an emotional response in its storytelling, consumers may recall the content, but chances are they will not remember the brand behind it; the real trick for brands is to time their ‘big reveal’ to the moment of peak emotion to ensure they remain top of mind.
Our brains look for information that is easy to process. They are constantly prioritising, ignoring or making assumptions in a matter of seconds. As psychologist Daniel Kahneman