For decades, the marketing community has been aware that there are emotional and psychodynamic factors that drive brand selection and loyalty. Even in today's price-sensitive economy, the imagery attached to brands goes far beyond product attributes, functional benefits and price to sell products. All products and brands develop personas in consumers' minds. All project varying user images, which differ by audience. Members of one audience may buy a product because it makes them feel affluent. Members of another, which values thrift, buy a brand because it makes them feel like smart shoppers. Taking this another step, consumers buy products with imagery that is either consistent with their positive view of themselves (“I’m sophisticated and therefore buy this type of wine to complete my image”) or which conveys a plausible aspirational model - something they would like to be and believe they could conceivably achieve (“I can be a real ladies’ man if I drive a sports car.”)

How to quantify the elements of brand and user imagery that drive purchase and create loyalty

For decades, the marketing community has been aware that there are emotional and psychodynamic factors that drive brand selection and loyalty. Even in today's price-sensitive economy, the imagery attached to brands goes far beyond product attributes, functional benefits and price to sell products. All products and brands develop personas in consumers' minds. All project varying user images, which differ by audience. Consumers tend to buy products with imagery that is either consistent with their positive view of themselves, or which conveys a plausible aspirational model (something they would like to be and believe they could conceivably achieve).

Our experience as researchers and marketing strategists finds great mystique surrounding the concept of emotional drivers in marketing, and even more puzzling notions about how they should be assessed.

This article is the first in our series of essays regarding the problems, pitfalls, and available solutions for quantifying emotional end benefits/imagery and understanding how they relate to purchase, product features, & brand equity.

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