emotional barnding brand agency oxfordshire

The Science Behind Emotions

The science is quite simple on one level…

Here’s the important stuff – only emotions drive our actions, not our thoughts. So to influence anyone’s behaviour we must consider which emotions will trigger which behaviours and then identify those thoughts or experiences needed to create those specific emotions.

It’s as simple as T.E.A.

Thoughts – Emotions – Actions

Thoughts drive emotions, emotions drive thoughts. But only emotions drive actions just as actions only create emotions. Thoughts in themselves do not drive actions.

“Emotion serves as a cognitive guide and helps adults make decisions every day” (Goleman, 1997)

Extensive research has shown that emotional campaigns outperform functional ones by up to 11x (Marketing in the Era of Accountability – IPA Datamine). We are emotional beings. Everything we do is driven by emotion. Our actions. Our decisions. Our memories… as Donald Calne, Neurologist said,

“The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions”.

As John Medina, Neuroscientist further explains, from the relationship between emotions and memories in the brain

“The brain remembers the emotional components of an experience better than any other aspect”


The New Science of Customer Emotions – Harvard Business Review

Published 2015

An Emotional Connection Matters More than Customer Satisfaction

Published 2016


Emotional Branding

Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success

One comment

  1. 1. Mood freezing experiments (Manucia et al, 1984, Bushman et al 2001, Tice et al 2004) refute this.
    2. Work by Baumeister et al and Carver & Scheier show emotions to be stimulated by actions and outcomes, not the other way around. They are a feedback system to guide future behaviour.
    3. Common view in psychology is; evolution advanced based on behaviour, not on emotion.
    4. Emotional vs rational is a false dichotomy. It’s not binary.

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