How emotions drive purchasing decisions - Martec (2023)

How do emotions influence purchasing decisions? Understanding customer emotions can guide purchasing decisions and increase sales and loyalty.

Recent research reveals new information about thewide range of emotionsthe human brain (or heart, if you prefer) is capable of processing and expressing. (And if you've seen thisdisney animated movieinside out(They were reminded how different they are in terms of motivation, intensity, and expression.) As much as our intellect drives our ability to process information, our emotional triggers and responses are equally, when notadvance— capable predictors of how we will react or act to the events that come our way.

The purchase decision is one such event.

(Video) Monetizing the Customer’s Emotional Journey - A Webinar by The Martec Group + Quirk's

While brands are often tempted to defend their product or service intellectually (against a competitor, for example), they often miss the real motivation behind most purchasing decisions:Emotion. And even the brands and marketers who recognize the powerful influence of emotions on the customer journey... many of these savvy marketersyetYou run the risk of creating a marketing message or customer experience that doesn't align with that person's true and subtle emotional state. Or, to be more precise, the individual.wantedEmotional state

Assigning the message to the motivator

NoAutomotive Communications Council Annual MeetingIn "How Emotions Influence Customer Behavior," I shared some of the science behind the art of creating stories and experiences that align with customers' impulses and emotional states. While the talk was specifically aimed at aftermarket brands, the theories and perceptions are universal, as universal as the emotions we feel as humans, despite our industry, demographics, geography, etc.

I showed the group that simply knowing the different and varied emotions we all experience as human beings and how these emotions affect our desire to buy a product or service is not enough. The real value comes from understanding and applying the underlying science.backtap into those emotions, use the emotions as a driver of customer loyalty, and ultimately maximize customer loyalty and attraction.

And it all starts with a card.

Yes, science now tells us that there are many more emotions than previously thought. But we've long understood the complexity involved in categorizing human emotions, even when science believed there were far fewer truly distinct emotions.

You see, emotions are not just buckets that you can clearly sort and categorize. For example, there are gradients and categorical overlays that must be understood to use. We'll go deeper into this emotion mapping in a future article, but for now let's break it down like this for illustrative purposes...

At a high level, emotions can be divided into two broad categories:pleasurableYdisgusting. Obviously, pleasant emotions are reactions to things we like and unpleasant emotions to things we don't like. Easy enough.

(Video) 35. Winning With Emotion: How To Become Your Customers’ First-Choice

But within each of these broad categories, there are two main subcategories:internalYexterior. In short, an internal emotion is one that reflects something that happens or occurs within oneself, while an external emotion processes some kind of exteriority. At thedisgustingFor example, a nasty categoryinternalThe emotion might be the disappointment and shame I feel about my recent weight gain. a nastyexteriorThe emotion can be disappointment and anger that my favorite team just lost the big game by conceding a last-minute field goal. It was an external event (for me), but it still evoked uncomfortable emotions.

It's still pretty simple, but it gets more complex from there.

BothinternalYexteriorSubcategories have their own child subcategories. Each can be further characterized according to whether it is an emotion.passiveoactive. For example, staying in the uncomfortable inner emotion channel for a moment, my inner uncomfortable emotion related to my recent weight gain could be grief (passive) or actual discomfort (active). Or, in the field goal loss example, my uncomfortable external emotion might be fear (passive) or a feeling of contempt (active) that my home team has ruined another Sunday afternoon for me.

One more nuance. Each of these four child subcategories (dor,slight pain,temerYcontempt) receive four levels of intensity (withvayaYcontemptbe much more intense thandisinterest, say) as shown below:

How emotions drive purchasing decisions - Martec (1)

Likewise, the four minor subcategories on the pleasant side of the emotional equation (in this caseloyaltybeing an emotional state more intense than simplyInterest):

How emotions drive purchasing decisions - Martec (2)
(Video) Marketing To Emotions The Humanity In The Data

So while science finds new waysidentifyemotions, it's so important to find the right pathspull apartthem by intensity. This gives us a very sophisticated way of accurately mapping emotional states and understanding the motivators (and demotivators) present in any given emotional state.This is perhaps most significant when used to assess the emotional state when making a purchase decision - or not!

How emotions drive purchasing decisions - Martec (3)

Think about this the next time you hear a salesperson or brand representative say something like, "We want our customers to feel comfortable working with us" or "Our job is to make customers happy" or "Our customers love us!"

It's not that these activities aren't worth it...they are. It's that they don't even begin to tell or capture the full story, the real picture or the real science behind what drives them to become your customers... and what drives them to do this.stayYour client.

What's wrong with guessing?

A lot of money is being invested, a lot of resources are being used, and there's a lot of treasure at stake to play guessing and guessing games. Still, many rely on good faith assumptions when it comes to crafting marketing messages or creating customer experiences designed to attract and retain customers.

Even worse, others play follow the leader. They imitate industry stars instead of trying to find ways to differentiate themselves. You realize there's little risk in copying what works for "the big players", so what's the problem? That too might be obvious, as evidenced by something I shared with the automotive aftermarket.

For clarity, just focus on the green bar in the chart below:

(Video) The Proven Psychology Behind Video Marketing, Emotions and Sales

How emotions drive purchasing decisions - Martec (4)

This green bar represents Amazon. See how customers express their emotions in different buying scenarios. Amazon is the undisputed leader when it comes to bringing "joy" to customers when purchasing aftermarket automotive products. No wonder, after all, this is the company that invented the term "good luck". Low prices, hassle-free door-to-door delivery, and hassle-free returns can evoke emotions associated with joy in the customer.

But when it comes to customers wanting and experiencing "serenity," Amazon is outclassed by traditional retailers like AutoZone, NAPA, and Advance Auto Parts. Why? Probably because these customers need a sense of peace of mind and confidence that they are buying the right part or product for their car and need an expert in the field to provide them with personalized attention and experience. Amazon can't do that, but it can offer ease, convenience and low prices to customers looking for joy.

Likewise, these brick-and-mortar retailers shouldn't compete with Amazon on the battleground of joy. You will never win. But what certainlyhave tois to provide a customer experience based on helpful staff, expert knowledge, thoughtful advice and a friendly concierge. And indeed they do! (Where do you think NAPA know-how comes from?)

To get the feeling?

Simply "appealing to the emotions" is not enough when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. You must understand them. You need to match them with behaviors and motivators. And you need to make sure you align your mission and message with those of the customer's desired emotional channel.

Doing less means putting business on the table and leaving customers behind for your competitors to steal!

To learn more about how we analyze and harness emotions for brands and marketers, I invite you to take a look atMartec Emotionscore. MES provides emotions with numerical values ​​to distinguish between pleasant and unpleasant emotions and understand their intensity in relation to brand interaction. It's a powerful way to connect emotions with rational motivators (features and benefits). Understanding how emotions influence purchasing decisions can help brands increase sales and loyalty.

(Video) In Clear Focus: Decoding Human Emotions for Deeper Consumer Insights


How do emotions affect purchasing decisions? ›

Emotion-led decisions

Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand also have far greater influence on consumer loyalty than other judgements that are based on a brand's more rational attributes. In reality, emotions are the primary reason why many of us opt for brand name products.

What is the Martec emotion score? ›

The Martec Emotion Score is a numerical representation of the emotions that are associated with a specific topic. This could be a product, brand, or even an experience. Typically, the majority of emotion research is qualitative or presented in a highly scientific mode that is hard to digest and understand.

Is emotion what really drives the purchasing behaviors? ›

Emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors, and also, decision making in general. Studies completed by neuroscientists have found that people whose brains are damaged in the area that generates emotions are incapable of making decisions.

What are the six emotions that drive people to purchase things? ›

According to sales expert, Geoffrey James in his piece for Inc., “6 Emotions That Make Customers Buy,” there are six emotions playing a part in all of our buying decisions: greed, fear, altruism, envy, pride, and shame.

What is an example of an emotional buying decision? ›

He doesn't really feel hungry at all, dinner is supposed to be in three hours, but he takes a big bite and thinks, “yes, that's exactly how I imagined it!” He doesn't necessarily need to eat right now, but he went ahead and purchased anyway. That is an example of an emotional purchase.

Which three emotional factors impact a consumer's purchasing decisions? ›

Image, fear, wants and dreams are all powerful emotional forces that drive the decision to buy. If used in a timely fashion, they will be the forces behind higher down payments and profit.

Are reasons to purchase based on feelings or emotions? ›

Emotional motives are reasons to purchase based on feelings and emotions.

What are the 5 dimensions emotional quotient? ›

That's why emotional intelligence is split up into five different categories: internal motivation, self-regulation, self-awareness, empathy, and social awareness.

What is the emotion regulation strategy scale? ›

The Emotion Regulation Scale is designed to measure the tendency to regulate emotions by cognitive reappraisal and/or expressive suppression. Items on the scale involve two distinct aspects of emotional life, namely: emotional experience and emotional expression.

What is the emotion code technique? ›

The Emotion Code is an energy-based therapy that is used to quickly and easily identify, and release trapped emotional energy. Dr. Bradley Nelson developed the Emotion Code over twenty years of practice as a chiropractor. The Emotion Code works by literally getting rid of emotional baggage.

Are 95% of purchase decisions based on emotional factors? ›

95% of Purchasing Decisions are Emotional – what that means for FIs. Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says in his book, How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, that 95 percent of our purchase decision-making takes place in the subconscious mind.

How can emotion and mood affect decision making? ›

But moods can also affect how we engage and understand research. George and Dane found that decision-makers in a negative frame of mind tend to be more focused when facing a high-risk situation. Decision-makers who feel more upbeat tend to be less focused in their information search.

What factors influence your purchasing decisions? ›

Keeping that in mind, the following are three of the biggest factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions in today's digital age:
  • Product/Service Reviews.
  • Peer Recommendations.
  • Social Media.
May 21, 2019

How does mood affect shopping? ›

The impact of negative moods on shopping behaviour

Evidence suggests that feelings of sadness are often associated with a loss of control, explaining why shopping may be used as a tool to regain personal control and provide comfort to the individual.


1. The Logic of Appealing to Emotions in Marketing - Ray2Go Ep. 8
2. Emotional Journey™
(Decision Resources Group)
3. Building an Emotional Connection with Customers - Ep. 22
(Joe Vega)
4. Martec: Juggling physical and digital sales leads
(Car Dealer Magazine)
5. Engineering Emotions
6. Creating An Emotional Connection To Gain and Keep Loyal Customers
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Last Updated: 04/17/2023

Views: 6588

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Birthday: 1993-07-01

Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

Phone: +22014484519944

Job: Banking Officer

Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.