Breaking down emotions

Even in a Data-driven world, human beings remain slaves to emotions. There were made numerous research proving that mood, feelings, and emotions are related to nearly all aspects of consumer behaviour. Surely, such variables like behaviour, decision-making processes, emotions, experience, satisfaction, or loyalty are necessary to understand consumer psychology. Having these variables in mind, we’ll concentrate mostly on the importance of our emotions in customer experience. 

People want to believe that they make rational choices. In reality, however, emotions can disrupt reasoning and become an integral motivator (Franken defined motivation as the “arousal, direction and persistence of a person’s behaviour”) of any decision.  According to a study by the University of Southern California, people are not able to make decisions if they have no understanding of how they feel about their options.

Harvard Business Review has provided interesting insights about emotional motivators. Companies realize the importance of emotions in creating customer loyalty and understanding their behavior, but can’t figure out a consistent way to define them, connect with them, and link them to results.

HBR has come up with 300 emotional motivators. Below are the top 10 motivators that significantly affect customer value across all categories studied.

Questions arise:

How can brands determine the emotional motivators of their customers?

It is crucial to find out what motivates customers by conducting in-depth research. For a successful research, companies can focus on qualitative methods.  Qualitative research allows the researchers to study “why” and “how” something is happening using images and words. It is helpful to categorise qualitative methods into 5 groups: 


Ethnographic research is a qualitative method where the researcher gets “under the skin” of the target participants to observe them in their real-life environment.

Data collection techniques that are available within an ethnographic study include participant observation, interviews, and surveys. 


With the help of Narrative inquiry, researchers investigate and explore the lived experiences of individuals.

Here researchers can implement various data collection methods, and a result they got data in different forms: notes, interview transcripts, stories, autobiographical writing, documents, newsletters, and other texts, such as rules and principles, and pictures.


Through this method, the researcher focusing on similarities in a lived experience within a particular group may construct the universal meaning of the event, situation, or experience and arrive at a more profound understanding of the phenomenon. 

In a phenomenological study, the primary data-gathering method involves primarily in-depth interviews with participants.

Grounded Theory

This methodology is used primarily to generate theory. Researchers use primarily interviews and existing documents to build a theory based on the data.

Case Study

A case study is a description and analysis of an individual matter or case. In a case study, one or more cases can be investigated. 

For successful case studies, researchers execute interviews and surveys. 

Data collection techniques of these methods include observation and immersion, interviews, open-ended surveys, focus groups, content analysis of visual and textual materials, and oral history

Having this type of data, brands can craft targeted messages and campaigns to touch the hearts of their customers, express their worldviews and eventually increase brand loyalty and engagement. 

For more concrete techniques of crafting targeted stories and messages, stay tuned on our blog.

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