Emotions drive engagement
Much has been written about the evolution of marketing in the age of the consumer and how brands need to adjust to the new environment. Brand measurement, too, needs a new focus and, according to “Emotions Fuel Your Brand Energy”, a recent report from market research firm Forrester, brand energy should be at the core of measurement.
Forrester’s brand energy framework is a new way of measuring brand power. According to the report, brand energy is “the power behind a brand that translates into consumer action when consumers buy your products and services, advocate your brand to others or share it socially”. Emotion, says the report, is responsible for more than half of a brand’s energy.
The big take-out:
Old ways of measurement no longer work in a new consumer environment, where emotion is key driver of brand engagement. Forrester’s brand energy framework is a new approach to measurement, which looks to brand energy as a way to determine success.
The report says that the traditional model of top-down branding is no longer relevant to today’s consumer: the very act of pushing down advertising to create awareness and drive sales stopped working once consumers became active participants in the brand conversation. Today, emotion is the greatest predictor of how consumers connect with a brand, yet the emotion-based metrics currently in use are too basic in this new environment.
Forrester takes a quantitative approach that relates all the components of brand building to outcomes that foster financial value. The framework was built using data around brand engagement in banking and retail industries, and asking both customers and noncustomers how they perceived various brands and brand experiences.
The framework highlights the factors that contribute most to brand energy: emotion, salience (being top of mind in a certain category) and fit (how well a brand meets the needs of consumers).
Brand energy is related to four outcomes: brand advocacy; preference for one brand over another; the willingness to pay a premium for brands with high energy; and fostering the intent to purchase. Emotion, salience and fit play crucial roles in each of these, with emotion having the greatest effect. This is because, as the report explains, successful brands are those that build relationships with their consumers based on emotional connections.
The report concludes with three recommendations for chief marketing officers: to build brand energy by creating emotional connections; to make brand energy a key metric for measurement; and to link brand energy back to customer experience.