The Bulldog Reporter posted a thought-provoking story last week titled
“Why do people buy? Emotional Triggers Drive Consumer Behavior and Can Reframe PR Research”
The ‘dog has a recap of the article along with an interview with its authors, Michelle Helin & Linda Goodman. While the Bulldog Reporter focuses on the PR trade (and does an excellent job of it) I thought there were some take-away lessons here for anyone who runs a retail business. Here are the highlights:
What was a big surprise for your research that destroyed long-held marketing beliefs?
The big surprise, frankly, is that interviewees are often unaware of their own thoughts and feelings. Very often they are surprised at where the conversation has led them and how emotional they are. This dispels the tradition that customers are able to tell us how they will react to a new product or service. They act instinctively based on emotion but when asked to explain their actions after the fact the answers are often part fact, part re-invention and part wishful thinking.
How important is “storytelling” and narrative in inciting emotional triggers? Why?
Storytelling is important because it allows the “teller” to speak in a deeply personal way, revealing the heart felt feelings or emotions that drive or influence their behavior. While someone might not say, “I was so angry,” they will, in telling the story, invariably, allow those angry emotions to show.
Since these responses are neither deliberate nor planned they elude quantifiable explanations. Emotional triggers are important because they strike at a deep-seated chord. They are what connect with at a level that goes beyond reasoning because in our gut it feels right or familiar.
The rest of the story is focused on Emotional Trigger Response, a PR effectiveness testing method. Read the rest of the story here.