The algebra of emotions in concept development optimization
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'The algebra of emotions in concept development & optimization ' Howard Moskowitz Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. Samuel Rabino Northeastern University Jacqueline Beckley The Understanding & Insight Group Why emotions in concepts? The changing focus

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'The algebra of emotions in concept development & optimization'

Howard Moskowitz

Moskowitz Jacobs Inc.

Samuel Rabino

Northeastern University

Jacqueline Beckley

The Understanding & Insight Group


Why emotions in concepts?The changing focus

  • Traditional marketing and consumer research deals with the 5 P’s

    • Price

    • Place

    • Product

  • Increasingly business is recognizing that we need to ‘bond’ with products

    • A word where products are cheap

    • Brand names aren’t necessarily working

    • Competition is fierce


Perhaps we should excite emotionsThis might make a stronger connection

  • Instead of communicating benefits and features we should communicate emotions

  • But ..how

  • A lot of what we know about emotions comes from clinical psychology


The traditional strategyAsk lots of questions to understand emotion

  • Consumer researchers often come from a sociology or business background

    • Interested in percent of people who behave a certain way

  • The background leads them to ask questions

    • So questions could be about emotion as well as about anything else


One strategy ‘profiles’ statements

  • Present ideas to consumers

  • Ask consumers to rate the ideas, one at a time on a set of scales

    • Happy vs Sad

    • Exhilarated vs Subdued

  • Assumption … consumers ‘know’ the emotional content of ideas

    • Is this true?


Response to ‘emotion’ elementsUsing experimental design

  • Let’s be more direct

  • Create concepts having known components

    • Use experimental design

    • Systematic variation

    • ‘Mix and match’ components in known ways

  • Some of these elements have emotion

    • At least we believe them to have emotion

  • How do the elements perform

    • Any special pattern emerging with the ‘emotion’ elements


Examples of silos & elementsThese will be mixed/matched by design


Example of experimental designFour silos/buckets, 9 options/siloOr silo absent from concept (value of 0)


Respondent invited to participateEncouraged to select an interesting topic


So..what did we find?

Can we find responses to ‘emotion’ elements

What about segments (groups of like-minded people)

What about individual people

Emotion as a person/stimulus emergent response


Emotion elements don’t do well .. or poorlyThese are the elements in yellow & italicized


Looking for emotions in segments

Maybe we can divide respondents into ‘homogeneous groups’

And .. Maybe one of these groups really responds (resonates) to emotion!!!


Segmentation by patterns ..no ‘emotion’ groupNo group respondents strongly to emotion elements


It must be at the individual person level

Let’s look at one element (e.g., C1) .. A reward as a snack or a treat

Do people who are positive to this emotion element also respond positively to other emotion elements?


People

Negative

to C1

People

Positive

to C1

Let’s look at responses to a specific emotion element (C1)


How emotion elements performTwo groups – based on reaction to C1‘A reward as a snack or as a treat’

Respondents positive to C1 tend to be slightly positive to other emotion elements

Respondents negative to C1 tend to be slightly negative to other emotion elements”


What we have found thus far

  • Emotion elements are weaker than elements which present product features

    • Emotion elements tend to be generally weak

    • Product features may be weak or strong ..

  • There is no segment that is ‘emotion driven’

  • We can identify individuals strongly positive or negative to an emotion statement

    • Slight, not strong, generalization to other emotion elements

    • Positives to one emotion element are positive to other emotion elements

    • Negatives to one emotion element are negative to other emotion elements


One final topicWhat other elements work with emotion elements

  • So far we’ve concentrated on emotion elements

  • But what if we want to build a product concept featuring a specific emotion element

  • What other elements work with that element?

    • What works with those people who are positive to the emotion element

    • What works with those people who are negative to the emotion element


The notion of ‘scenarios’

  • A scenario is a set of data with one element held constant

  • Let’s filter all the data and work only with element C1

    • A reward as a snack or a treat

    • We reduce the 10,000 concepts to 905

  • Now that we have only C1, lets then focus on those positive to C1 and negative to C1

    • Further reduction from 905 to about 200-225

    • Now what works


Green.. Works strongly with C1Orange…Works poorly with C1


A suggested first approximation

  • We haven’t found ‘emotion’ in concepts

  • Emotion may be emergent coming from

    • A specific element

    • A specific mind-set of consumers

      • But not a segment

      • There is no segment that appears to be sensitive to emotions

    • A momentary response when the right consumer and the right element come together

      • There is no general rule to tell us which element works to drive this emotion response

      • People positive to one emotion element may be indifferent to others


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