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The Impact of Emotions on Consumer Behavior

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Lina Kabarowski

Emotions That Motivate Consumer Behavior 

Today’s consumers are more emotionally connected with brands and making purchases than ever before. One could attribute this to the internet and accessibility of information about brands. Today they're on display, showing personality, taking stands and becoming much more than just a stick on a box. 

Companies can’t afford not to appeal to this low-hanging fruit. With the direction of a few proven “emotional motivators” there’s never been a greater opportunity to capitalize. 

Full emotional connection with a brand makes a consumer up to 52% more valuable, frequently over-indexing their share of revenue generation, compared to an average, satisfied consumer. It isn’t enough to just be a well-liked or a trusted brand. Strong emotional connections consistently outscore satisfaction and brand differentiation. Even mundane products like canned goods and cleaning supplies are capable of capitalizing in this domain. 

So, what are these emotional motivators? The Harvard Business Review conducted consumer behavior research that identified 10 high-impact emotional motivators tracking consumer behavior across all industries. It operates on the basis that each consumer is “inspired by a desire to ______”. Some are inspired by a desire to “stand out from the crowd” while others might rather desire to “feel a sense of belonging”. Other popular emotional motivators include desires to “feel a sense of thrill” or “feel a sense of freedom."

 A consumer who’s inspired by a desire to “feel a sense of belonging” might be emotionally motivated by a company that uses relatable models in their ad campaigns. Apparel companies can appeal to a consumer’s desire for thrill by creating an exciting shopping experience with personalized alerts and messages for the consumer. Automotive brands can target their prospective customers by appealing to their desire for freedom or thrill in their advertising.

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Consumers are rarely cognizant of the emotional motivators driving their behavior.

They tend to identify some things as being more important, even if those things don’t end up influencing their purchase decisions much. People opening an account with a bank might say they value ease of funds transfer- a consideration with little emotional connection, however, personalized welcome notes and educational videos have a much bigger impact.


Shape the consumer experience by honing in on these emotional connections and their touch points to truly add value to the consumer. By prioritizing emotional connections as the goal for consumer experience, companies can more effectively allocate their investments and reap the financial gains.


To read more about the consumer experience and how brands can capitalize on emotional connections, check out CX Doesn't Exist without Emotion by MDRG, a market research company from New Orleans focused on unlocking the whole mind for deeper insights!


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Emotions That Motivate Consumer Behavior 

consumer behavior and research; consumer behavior market research, consumer feelings, tracking consumer behavior 

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