Emotion Science: It’s 90% of What You Don’t Know

Emotion Science: It’s 90% of What You Don’t Know

THE LOGIC OF EMOTION SCIENCE

Like many successful business leaders, you’re proud of your ability to analyze complex situations and make good decisions. It’s a skillset you’ve developed for decades — a lot of logical, left-brain stuff. So far, you’ve done it without emotion-science.

Logic plays a critical role in the advancement of humankind. We often grow personally, societally, and spiritually by overruling initial emotions that may be selfish or fear-based. Instead, we think through potential outcomes and may replace our initial inclinations with actions based on a higher good — for ourselves and others.

AI-ASSISTED LOGIC

We’re now in an age where the conscious process of evaluating outcomes is being accelerated by artificial intelligence. Advanced computers with human qualities are speeding up logical analysis and decision-making. Siri is just in her infancy.

If that’s the playing field on which humans must compete in the next hundred years, why would we want to study emotion-science? Isn’t that a misdirected diversion? Isn’t that going backward?

EMOTION-SCIENCE — THE OTHER 90%

Neuroscientists estimate that our conscious, logic-driven decision-making process accounts for only about 10% of decisions. For the other 90%, our unconscious emotions are driving our actions.

It’s the same for your employees and customers too.

Our emotional brain is at the core of everything we decide. It makes instant decisions on what it wants to see happen. Then our logical brain is expected to rationalize the details. Sometimes it overrules. Most of the time it doesn’t.

EMOTION-SCIENCE PROVIDES THE FULL PICTURE

Isn’t it critical to know the underlying feelings that drive 90% of decisions for your employees, customers, and potential customers? Before you can change their minds with logic, or appeal to their inner feelings with a more appropriate emotional pitch, don’t you need to know their starting points — their true feelings?

That’s why emotion-science is so important. Consider these examples:

  • You’re trying to build loyalty among a segment of employees by offering bonus opportunities for exceptional performance, team-building exercises, and on-site perks. But there’s a mismatch because they really crave quality of life, vacation time away from the office, and a higher sense of purpose in their work.
  • Your marketing efforts pitch potential new customers on the advanced functionality of your products, their time-saving features, and cost-competitiveness. This seems logical; but it misses the mark because they’re really seeking the emotional validation that comes from a perceived higher status.
  • Your product team rolls out a new self-service forum for tech support questions and faster self-checkout for existing customers. But what if the thing customers crave most — that attracted them to your brand — is a feeling of belonging? They may prefer old-school, human-to-human contact if you want to keep them.

EMOTION-SCIENCE USES AI TOO

There are now many ways to gather emotional intelligence — all of them ethical, non-invasive, reliable, and affordable. An entire ‘Emotion AI’ industry is springing up to help researchers and business leaders better capture, interpret, and understand emotional indicators.

Emotion-science provides the starting point and emotional coordinates of the people you’re trying to influence. It tells you what motivates them, what they’re experiencing, and where their heads and hearts are at — right now.

By knowing this, you’re in a better position to make the correct logical arguments to reinforce employees’ and customers’ emotional preferences. You’re also better equipped to offer a different way of thinking, if needed, to support their higher good.

That’s what Brand Aura does. We provide the emotional coordinates for you to understand where your people are coming from. You can then apply the right logic to connect with them at a deeper level.

Imagine how reassuring that will feel.

Brand Aura is a marketing research, publishing, and strategy company that helps business leaders to improve employee retention, customer acquisition, and customer retention to achieve sustained growth. Our most recent research study, Employee Retention, Motivation & Culture: The Intelligence to Build and Lead an Emotionally Connected Team, is available at BrandAura.com. Brand Aura also offers custom research and strategy engagements to assist clients.

Customer Conversion: Roar If You Know Why Buyers Buy

Customer Conversion: Roar If You Know Why Buyers Buy

Emotion-Science Can Reveal The True Reasons That Buyers Buy

 

I love my family. And I believe in lots of life insurance. Therefore, customer conversion for someone like me should be easy for an insurance company.

Not necessarily.

Without knowing the real reasons I buy, most insurers would promote the assumed benefits. I’d be doing the smart thing for my family, and I’d save money by choosing them. They also might throw in the types of products they offer, how much replacement income is needed, and their ability to generate a fast quote.

MY TRUTH

Customer conversion is elusive. My original purchase intentions reasoned that my family would be taken care of. They wouldn’t have to worry. And I’d have done the right thing for them. All spot on.

However, when I connect with my deeper emotions, I realize there are other reasons hiding behind the obvious. First, it’s my legacy. (Translation: My inner Leo?) I want this to be an act of love that’s appreciated and enjoyed every day, long after I’m gone. And I want it to be life-changing for the next generation too.

Secondly, it’s about the feeling that I get now, in this life, knowing I’ve invested in this gift.

I’m buying the fantasy of how I want my family to live, to feel, and to remember me after I’m no longer here physically. And I’m satisfying my need to feel generous, caring, and accomplished, now.

It’s not about comparison shopping and fast-quotes. In fact, that’s a turnoff. I want to feel like I’ve joined a special club by being able to buy the right amount of coverage from the right company.

YOUR TRUTH

So how is this a metaphor for your business?

When customers are drawn to your products or your brand, it’s essential to know why. In most cases they’re not coming just for the features, functionality, and potential savings.

Customer conversion is tied to a buyer’s longing to replace a current feeling with an emotion or set of emotions that makes them feel better. It’s their inner self — their emotional core — that’s driving the decision. It’s a place where logical-brain surveys don’t go.

I have no doubt that many people view insurance as a begrudging necessity. They just want to get the purchase over with as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. And that works for many.

But how do you convert customers who are looking for something more transformational — not just for their families, but for their inner selves? Unless you research this with the right techniques to uncover buyers’ deep emotional needs, you won’t know how to market to them. And they’ll buy elsewhere.

Knowing customers’ true motivations is essential. Messaging potential buyers about product specs, functionality, ease-of-ordering, and prices could be the wrong approach. Brand connection can still play a huge role, even if your products are utilitarian in nature.

CUSTOMER CONVERSION

Emotion-centered research can help you know for sure what motivates your customers. It can also reveal what they feel about their purchase experience, your marketing, and your brand. These research techniques can improve your conversion of first-time buyers and your ability to retain existing clients. It works for B2C or B2B.

That’s the research that Brand Aura does. We’re here to help you connect with new buyers at a deeper level. We can help you convert more of them. And we can help connect existing customers with your brand. How great would that feel?

Brand Aura is a marketing research, publishing, and strategy company that helps business leaders to improve employee retention, customer acquisition, and customer retention to achieve sustained growth. Our most recent research study, Employee Retention, Motivation & Culture: The Intelligence to Build and Lead an Emotionally Connected Team, is available at BrandAura.com. Brand Aura also offers custom research and strategy engagements to assist clients.

The Cultural Retention Index — A New Model To Score Employee Retention And Risk

The Cultural Retention Index — A New Model To Score Employee Retention And Risk

Are they swinging toward you? Or preparing to leave? Employee retention may be the challenge that impacts your business success more than anything else.

Now, imagine having insight into the deepest thoughts and feelings of your employees. Envision a tool that shows whether they're more likely to stay with or leave your company. How valuable is that?

Think of all the ways you could use it.

It could guide your compensation and benefits strategies because you’d know exactly what matters most to employees. You’d invest more in the things that keep people loyal and less in the benefits, or perks, that matter less.

You’d know what female employees care about vs. males. You’d also know it for age 22-34 employees vs. 35-44 vs. 45+. Extroverts vs. introverts. Engineers vs. business and finance professionals vs. sales vs. marketing. It would all be there.

You could better communicate and, if needed, strengthen the stability and security of your organization. The tool showed you these are the highest retention factors of all.

Your workplace could be modified so all employees felt more comfortable — including introverts, millennials, and women.

You’d understand better how to recognize people for their good work, and how to provide the opportunities they need for growth. You’d help your leadership team create a more positive and emotionally connected culture. Employees would be passionate about the mission and dedicated to serving the needs of customers as their highest priority.

And you’d reduce the office politics and stress that are so damaging to your culture and to your efforts to retain great people.

THE BRAND AURA CULTURAL RETENTION INDEX — BUCKLE UP

The good news? That tool already exists.

Brand Aura has created a proprietary Cultural Retention Index™ which does all of the above, and much more. It’s our gift to you and other business leaders who understand that in order to achieve sustained revenue growth, you need 3 things:

  • emotionally connected culture where employees work as one team, passionately committed to their mission and to each other,
  • emotionally connected innovation that builds products to satisfy customers’ deepest emotional needs, and …
  • emotionally connected marketing that resonates in the minds and hearts of customers.

That all starts with employee retention and building a stronger culture.

Brand Aura’s Cultural Retention Index™ scoring model examines 57 Retention Influence Factors across 8 categories: Stability & Security, Compensation, Workplace, Perks, Recognition, Company Leadership, Personal Role, and Relationships & Climate. The scoring is derived from 57 questions where employees record their feelings on a 1-7 scale about the factors that cause them to want to stay with or leave their present employer.

Brand Aura - Cultural Retention Index - Example Graph

From this, 3 important indicators are derived. Cultural Retention (CR) is the combined score of a person’s likelihood to stay with their company. The highest possible score is 100, and the lowest possible is -100. The CR score is calculated by adding the percentage of Strong Stay responses (6+7) minus the percent of Strong Leave (1+2). These are the most passionate responses on both ends of the scale.

Ambivalence Risk (AR) totals neutral and mid-range answers (3+4+5). Possible outcomes are from 0 to 100. The AR score represents employees who are ambivalent (not passionate in their answers), so there is greater risk (and opportunity) they can be swayed to change their opinion on any of the 57 Retention Influence factors.

Here’s an example. A combined CR 55/AR 35 score means a net 55% of employees were more likely to stay because of a particular Retention Influence Factor. But another 35% are at risk to move negative. It’s essential to work on aspects of the culture that will move employees to a more positive and committed state. By doing so, the 35% at risk could also potentially increase the CR score by that same amount.

HOW TO GET THE TOOL

The Cultural Retention Index™ is already a core component of Brand Aura’s research reports and methodology. Brand Aura's recently announced groundbreaking studies on organizational culture are available in 4 versions on under the title: Employee Retention, Motivation & Culture — The Intelligence To Build And Lead An Emotionally Connected Team ©. You can find the reports here at BrandAura.com.

Brand Aura can also help you with custom research of your own employees, using our emotion-centered research methodology and proprietary Cultural Retention Index™ scoring, or custom research of your customers. We can be reached at ClientSupport@BrandAura.com. We welcome the opportunity to help you.

Download a free Employee Retention Assessment below.

Brand Aura is a marketing research, publishing, and strategy company that helps business leaders to improve employee retention, customer acquisition, and customer retention to achieve sustained growth. Our most recent research study, Employee Retention, Motivation & Culture: The Intelligence to Build and Lead an Emotionally Connected Team, is available at BrandAura.com. Brand Aura also offers custom research and strategy engagements to assist clients.

Hope vs. Doubt … Leadership Conversations on Employee Retention and Growth

Hope vs. Doubt … Leadership Conversations on Employee Retention and Growth

As a business leader, the wrestling match in your own mind is sometimes the biggest challenge before you can make a difficult decision. This process is amplified when you must admit to a problem that could benefit from outside help.

Insufficient revenue growth is one of those problems. You know deep down you should be growing faster, and that you should be attracting and retaining more customers.

Employee retention is another such problem. If you’re losing talented people, particularly those you need to sustain growth, their loss can impact revenue, profitability, and morale.

In both areas, you may feel it’s your job to solve things. Seeking outside help can feel as if you’ve failed. Still worse, you may not believe outside help will turn things around. It’s a lot to tackle.

So, we’ve written a book, a short story really, that illuminates some of these real-world leadership conversations. Perhaps you’ve already had them … in your company or in your mind. Here’s a link to the book. It’s free on BrandAura.com.

Hear Their Hearts — Leadership Conversations on Growth. Transform Your Culture, Innovation & Marketing With Emotional Intelligence.

Insufficient revenue growth and employee retention problems aren’t exclusive to you. But we can help you solve them. Here are the questions we ask you to consider.

  • Are you growing as fast as you should be — by double digits or multiple double digits each year?
  • Do you know the deep emotional needs that drive the buying decisions of your customers? Do your products satisfy those needs?
  • Is employee experience in your company a competitive advantage? Or a disadvantage? Do your people work as one team, with a common set of goals? Or are they competing with each other, instead of with competitors? Do they come to work with passion?
  • Have you lost good people recently? Do you know the real reasons they’re leaving? Do you know what motivates the people you have? Do you know if they’re emotionally connected to your mission, and your company?”

We’re guessing your first reaction might be to figure this out on your own, or with your team. But you’d be doing so without the invaluable emotional insights we can provide. Insights that can help you solve these issues faster. And with more lasting results.

If you go that route, and we were to check back in 6 months, how much improvement will there be?

We offer this: You chose this role because you wanted to make a difference. You wanted to do something amazing. You wanted to improve the lives of your customers, your employees, their families, and your own.

Are you now settling for something less? Are you deciding to struggle instead of accepting the right help?

Let’s start the journey back. You’ll have support. You’ll know the right path. You’ll have confidence. You’ll grow.

It’s time to hear what’s in the hearts of your customers and your employees. And maybe, your own. It’s time for inspired action. It’s time for courage. It’s time to believe your company can do better.

We’re to help you in that effort. Here are two ways to start.

Brand Aura is a marketing research, publishing, and strategy company that helps business leaders to improve employee retention, customer acquisition, and customer retention to achieve sustained growth. Our most recent research study, Employee Retention, Motivation & Culture: The Intelligence to Build and Lead an Emotionally Connected Team, is available at BrandAura.com. Brand Aura also offers custom research and strategy engagements to assist clients.

Emotionally Connect Your Company Culture — Why It’s Your #1 Priority

Emotionally Connect Your Company Culture — Why It’s Your #1 Priority

A TALE OF TWO CULTURES

I’ve worked in some truly inspiring company cultures with phenomenal people. Together, we’ve accomplished amazing things. I’ve also suffered through painful work environments that drained the life out of you. Daily. Most likely, you have too.

There’s a huge difference between a company culture that’s emotionally connected and one that’s not. When culture is in sync, employees are emotionally engaged in their work and committed to the larger team’s — or their company’s — success. Communication is more positive, and the collective energy, work effort, and results far exceed expectations. Employees are uplifted by their work and by the team’s accomplishments.

When not in sync, company culture is like a weight around your heart. Everything feels heavy — a burdensome chore. Purpose is a distant memory. The goal is getting through the day versus taking the company to a higher level.

I’ve experienced this tale of two cultures many times in my career, perhaps most memorably in the story to follow.

I had just joined a high-flying tech company. I’d come from a much larger competitor — one that had let me go (and many other talented people) after politics had overtaken their culture. It was a highly stressful experience where employees were regularly berated by a senior executive, while department heads with under-performing fiefdoms worked harder to protect their turf than improve the company. The result: The company barely mustered single digit growth, while its main (much smaller) competitor — the one I joined — was growing 40% and gobbling up market share.

When I joined the smaller competitor, I was shocked to learn that 70% of the company’s business was international, yet they had only one or two employees outside the US. Instead, they relied on online sales and about two dozen amazing, multi-lingual salespeople on the phone in New York City. No 600-person sales team. No offices outside the US. No sales calls in local markets. No marketing in foreign language. Just an energized culture, a team that was challenged, pushed, and coached to believe they could do anything. And one that was rewarded for team success almost as much as individual success.

In my two and a half years at this smaller competitor, here’s what I did and saw. I created the company’s first Team Subscription products. They launched in 3 weeks — not 3 months, or 3 quarters — and quickly became top revenue producers for Inside Sales. I built the business plan and strategy for a new premium content website, one that took direct aim at the flagship asset of our larger competitor. I built the strategy to scale the Enterprise Sales business and was then asked to help run it. I built an account management/sales operations/content research team from 3 people to 36 in a year and a half.

Enterprise Sales grew 100% year over year, twice. The company grew 40% each year. The company went public after my first year, and the stock went from $17 to $103 in about 16 months. The company more than doubled in size in two years.

It was a magical, exhilarating, emotional high where hundreds of people committed to a higher purpose — to be the best in the industry at serving our customers. They also committed to each other — pushing their coworkers to reach higher, stretch farther, and go beyond what any of them would have thought possible individually.

We laughed, learned, complained, debated, created, complemented, supported, and loved each other. And we decimated our largest competitor who shrank to almost half its size under a mountain of debt during the same period.

Happy ending, right? Not exactly.

A magical culture can be a fleeting thing. Whether it was the pressure of being a public company or perhaps some people putting themselves above the team, the culture started to change just before I left. A lot of great people, including most of the senior executive team, left within 6 months around the time their stock became fully vested. Huge swaths of engineering and creative talent left for other companies. The stock dropped to $29 within a year. The company is still growing, but now at a much slower pace.

What happened to that larger competitor? With new leadership at the top, they’ve turned themselves around. Their content is great again, and their fortunes feel like they’re on an upswing.

An emotionally connected culture is a precious thing. It’s the soul of the company. It must be nurtured, coached, practiced, respected, and protected.

It’s really hard to fix other areas such as product innovation or marketing if your people are not emotionally committed to the mission. It’s even harder if they’re leaving for other companies. You’re constantly recruiting and on-boarding new people — not as additional help but as replacements for talented people who’ve left. That’s why there is nothing more important that investing in your culture first.

You owe it to your company, to your employees, to their families, and yours, to do that.

Download a free Employee Retention Assessment below.

Brand Aura is a marketing research, publishing, and strategy company that helps business leaders to improve employee retention, customer acquisition, and customer retention to achieve sustained growth. Our most recent research study, Employee Retention, Motivation & Culture: The Intelligence to Build and Lead an Emotionally Connected Team, is available at BrandAura.com. Brand Aura also offers custom research and strategy engagements to assist clients.