Finding the Emotion Behind the Product

flashMy husband and I can’t shop together.  It’s a laborious process where my husband compares the features and prices of nearly identical items and either gets stuck because there is no identifiable difference, or gets stuck because he can’t find a logical reason to why he wants the more expensive item.

Me, I’m the emotional shopper.  Why did I get those new DC Comic Converse hightops when I already have six other regular pair?   I’m a geek and a runner.  The Flash is a geek and a runner. He runs fast.  I want to run fast too. (Identity)

Our conversation over changing Internet companies is a perfect example of logical versus emotional buying, and which one really wins in the end:

Him: I just wanted to get your thoughts about switching…

Me: I hate our current provider.  They’re slow.  It stalls Netflix and Hulu all the time.  I don’t care if they offer unlimited data.  I hate them.

Him: Okay, but if they cost more, I’m not switching.

We switched.  It cost slightly more.  We switched anyway.  Why?  Because he had experienced every emotion I expressed while trying to stream Game of Thrones off Amazon Prime.

Your product or service has an emotion and that emotion should serve as the core of your marketing campaign.  It may even have a range of emotions:

  • The difference behind my vehicle choice versus my son’s actually had nothing to do with money.  He has enough cash set aside that he could buy a pretty sweet ride if he wanted.  And while I like the status of fast and stylish, my son sees himself as a no nonsense, everyday man: “I don’t care what it is as long as it runs.  It could be a box with four wheels for all I care.”
  • The i-phone (hip and cool) battled Samsung (I’m an individual against Apple’s controlling tendencies) in our house for years. I was the last folding card when Apple changed cards and cords because enough knock-offs had been made in China.
  • Aside from my son’s lactose intolerant girlfriend, ice cream boils down to Ben and Jerry’s (clever, experimental, and fearlessly political) or Tillamook (Mom’s great childhood memory of touring the factory).  Think that memory thing is silly?  I raised my family on Tillamook cheese, butter, AND approved my husband’s yogurt preference based on this single memory.  Why didn’t I choose their yogurt?  They don’t sell it in bulk, and in my opinion most yogurts are just “cow candy.”  For my husband, the shape of the container solved his frustration of efficiently scraping ALL of yogurt out.

The easiest way to find the emotion behind your product is to listen to the language your customers use and the stories they tell about your product.  If you have a chance to watch them use the product, you will observe these emotions firsthand. Emotions, even negative ones, can be the key to your next marketing campaign.

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