How to Improve Business by Showing Emotion
My sister used to call me a robot. We would watch the saddest movies and I never shed a tear. During scary movies or haunted houses with friends, I prided myself on how I didn’t scream. A lack of emotion is often associated with power. Then there are those rebels without a cause, who dismiss the world. We find this appealing.
I want to show you the flip side -the power of expressing emotions. The first time I cried in front of my current boyfriend was because of a commercial. Seriously, if there isn’t a Thai Life Insurance commercial out there that doesn’t play with your heartstrings like they’re a plucky fiddler, I have a hunch you’re a robot.
These commercials take a big corporation and humanize it. The brand is represented as truly caring about your needs and special circumstances. As explained in the book Designing For Emotion, “when you present your brand’s personality clearly, your audience can relate to it as if it were just another human. It creates empathy and helps your audience see a better version of themselves.”
Furthermore, it makes you remember it. There is a strong connection between emotions and memory. Molecular biologist John Medina describes how “The amygdala… uses dopamine the way an office assistant uses Post-It notes. When the brain detects an emotionally charged event, the amygdala releases dopamine into the system. Because dopamine greatly aids memory information processing, you could say the Post-It note reads “Remember this!”
Displaying emotion, rather than trying to look like the world’s most professional company, can help you too. People don’t just like actors or actresses because of their movies. They like to watch these people laugh in interviews or cry when they receive an award. Fans will forgive a live singer for messing up a few notes if the song is about a departed loved one and they were emotionally choked. We’re less likely to forgive bad autotune.
If your business tweets, don’t just talk about sales and upcoming events. Show some personality! Maybe you’re a small, local business in a cold area. Then go ahead and tweet some memes that make fun of the snow. No matter what your business, it’s always a good idea to study your competitors. If you see that they all send the same generic emails to consumers, then you better make sure your emails are memorable.
Make me think you’re funny. Or cute. Just make me think of you! I’ll buy girl scout cookies from a nervous elementary-aged girl, but not a stoic old man. Your personality and emotions are your brand.
How will you use emotion in business?
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