To most marketers, this is an age-old axiom: emotions drive brands. And emotional motivators, like pixie dust, are sprinkled by the likes of Apple, Harley, Lego, and Patagonia to create a frenzied devotion that, on a good day, can give the Star Trek fandom a run for its money. But how does one create pixie dust? Budweiser tried it with the adorable puppy that got lost. Mountain Dew tried it with the less-than-adorable puppymonkeybaby that lost many of us. But to build an emotion-driven branding strategy takes more than heart-wrenching creative. It requires an understanding of emotions, which is head-spinningly more complex than puppy love. And it requires a rigorous, analytical approach that connects emotion to brand, and brand to results. And that's what my colleagues at Forrester and I set out to do - to build a pixie dust laboratory of sorts.
Our inquiry proceeded along three dimensions. First, we asked a simple yet crucial question, one that held up the entire edifice of emotions-based branding: does emotion matter? We also wanted to determine emotion's magnitude of contribution to assess the claim of its primacy. Second, we wanted to provide marketers a holistic way to represent the power of brand by blending emotion with other traditional factors. And third, we wanted to ensure that we picked the right brand metric - one that moved in lock-step with financial results such that improvements to the brand metric would manifest in real value for the company.Read more