Each week we’re sharing one of the 16 fundamental drivers of opportunity in our Accelerate model.


This week… Experiencing richer EMOTION


Fundamentally we are driven by our emotions. Yet we live in a world where much of what we experience is reduced to the illusion of facts, logic and rational decision making. There is an opportunity for brands to help people to experience richer emotions, express themselves, and feel fulfilled in their day-to-day lives.


This can be done by simply bringing more joy to life – whether that’s on a small, or big, scale and giving people the ‘permission’ to give in to their desires and indulgences. Or it could simply be about encompassing a more passionate or emotional ethos. Another articulation of this driver is in nostalgia and an emotional connection to the past. Culturally this can be observed in the perennial obsession with the retro. From the TV we watch to the music we listen to, there is a rich seam of media inflected with and influenced by the past.


One way – for better or for worse – that brands attempt to connect emotionally can be seen in the prevalent ‘conversational brands’ trend on social media. Brands are no longer silent monoliths that communicate in one direction from adverts – they want to be your friend and to open conversations. This this is more appropriate for some brands than others.


Other examples of brands seeking to make a strong emotional connection are M&S and John Lewis (think Christmas), McDonalds (their TVCs are now largely in an emotive register and about connecting with others – romantically or intergenerationally), WeWork (whose ‘Do What You Live’ strapline communicates their emotionalisation of the working environment), Supreme (for the obsessive relationship it has cultivated with their consumers, or fans) – and Apple. But there are many out there – the emotional tone is a popular one to strike when it comes to communications and positioning.


We’ve also explored the human psychology of the EMOTIONS driver. This suggests there is an opportunity for brands to enhance their emotional connections with people in a number of interesting ways; Finding and focussing on the triggers of emotional responses, exploring the physiology of response to emotional arousal, heightening and sustaining the feelings associated with these emotional states and reflecting the actions and behaviours that occur in responses to emotional states and how these emotions are then expressed by people and received by others


There are no shortage of brands trying to make am emotional connection with people, but despite this in our projects we continue to find a gap between the rich emotional lives that people experience and aspire to in their day to day lives and what categories and brand typically give them. This means EMOTIONS continues to be a big driver of opportunity going forward.


Follow this link to read more about our Accelerate model and the 16 human drivers of opportunity


Next week: Engagement

Marc Cohen

Written by Marc Cohen

Successful entrepreneur and executive within market research, data and subscription/SaaS businesses, including venture-capital backed companies. I have built and led a number of market-leading products and consultative research companies, and led several successful exits. I have worked and lived in UK, US, continental Europe and Asia.