along the consumer decision journey popularized by McKinsey, I think there are a number of opportunities to take advantage of both integral and incidental emotion – as consumers consider their options they may experience a range of feelings from being overwhelmed or uninformed during the awareness and consideration phases, to feelings of pride and regret post purchase, or they may just be transferring emotions from one situation to another. Smart businesses will protect against incidental emotion by building in transition moments, or transformative emotional experiences into their brand strategy and will take advantage of integral emotion by recognizing the emotions consumers experience when they decide to make a purchase.
Despite the wisdom of marketers, emotion has not become a key aspect of the business strategy or organizational structure of very many brands. Product development and the priorities of big businesses across a spectrum of sectors (from financial services, to retail, to healthcare, to technology products and services) are all missing the importance of putting emotion at the center how they run their business (with a few notable exceptions like Virgin and Apple). This is counter-intuitive. Just think about it: most of the decisions we make, whether they are a purchase decision or an investment decision or healthcare decision, are emotional decisions.