Measuring Emotional Jobs To Be Performed

Measure emotional tasks that need to be done

The modern Mini Cooper, which is available in a variety of striking colors, appeared in 2001 as a chic version of an old British classic. It quickly became a fixture in trendy neighborhoods around the world. Even today, almost twenty years later, the car has not lost its freshness: the demand for minis has remained robust, and annual sales have risen steadily by 5.2% per year.

On paper, the Mini doesn't look like a complete success. While its modest size makes it ideal for city life, other cars like the Honda Fit or the Chevy Sonic are equally manageable in a confined space. The comfort values ​​of the Mini in the Kelley Blue Book match those of the VW Beetle and the Toyota Yaris. Gasoline performance is no better than that of competitors, and sometimes worse. And with a sticker price averaging around $ 5,000 higher than comparable rivals, the decision to buy a Mini seems pretty weak.

The Mini's surprising success is based on its unique, almost indescribable customer attractiveness. People just feel good when they buy one. For example, the owner stands out from the crowd with his sporty shape. The option of a convertible top gives an additional cool element. The mini colors and additives are also atypical and can be used as an expression of personality. A shocking yellow Cooper with racing stripes shows the world that you are brave and funny. a dark purple roadster signals stylish sophistication; A chocolate brown Countryman is for everyone who likes to be unbeaten.

By rewriting a car purchase as a bold act of individual expression, Mini has ensured that it will remain competitive in the small car market in the future.

Find out emotions

As the appeal of the mini-shows shows, people are not rational decision-makers. Our feelings and emotions influence our decisions more than our most logical justifications. We rarely articulate these emotions clearly, and even if we do, we may not openly recognize how important they are. But these emotions are at the heart of our decisions. If we look closely at the emotional and practical factors behind a purchase decision, we can more accurately predict whether a new proposal will be successful.

There is no doubt that emotions are notoriously difficult to grasp. In contrast to variables such as costs, size or ease of purchase, emotions are neither discreet nor concrete and therefore difficult to compare. What "pleases" one consumer can "inspire" another. The question is, what's the difference? And does the difference matter?

What is the solution? We have been able to understand customer emotions using a framework that builds on the work of the late professor at Harvard Business School, Clayton Christensen. Instead of trying to measure certain emotional responses, we focus on identifying the emotional tasks that consumers want to do.

In contrast to emotions, which are a sentimental reaction to an external stimulus, an emotional job is a specific emotional task that the customer tries to fulfill by buying or using a product or service in a defined context. Emotional jobs are robust because they appeal to root motivations and arise as a result of clear attitude-related or cumbersome factors.

For example, understanding that a car gives the customer the feeling of being something special can hardly be called knowledge. The feeling of being something special is too vague to mean anything. Realizing that “feeling special” means for a customer that solving his emotional task of standing out from the crowd in the context of a “hipster being who recently moved to the suburbs” opens up completely new fields of action. The emotional job serves as a kind of compass; It shows ways to create targeted, meaningful and relevant innovations.

Quantification of emotional jobs

Measuring emotions with a quantitative survey is difficult, but there is a way to do it. Our research into emotional professions is based on three principles:

Principle 1: Quality before quantity

It's tempting to examine all possible jobs when doing a survey. Nobody wants to risk missing an important insight because they forgot to ask. Filling out a survey full of questions is generally a bad idea, but it is exponentially terrible when it comes to emotions. Questions about too many emotional jobs at once tire respondents and reduce the reliability of their answers.

What should I do? We have found that there are two best ways to summarize your questions:

  • Perform qualitative research before designing the survey. This way, you can get respondents to create their own lists of high-priority jobs instead of giving them a list of opportunities based only on your original assumptions
  • Ask openly about emotional factors. If customers use nebulous terms such as "satisfactory" or "trustworthy", ask them to define what they mean. In this way, you can break down this feedback into a clear list of factors that can be tested and measured

Principle 2: Find a hierarchy of emotions

Functional tasks are often relatively obvious and easy to arrange in a clear hierarchy. Not so with emotional professions. Emotional jobs are often complex and can be heavily influenced by contextual factors, making it difficult to understand how they are sorted and compared. When emotional jobs and their relative priority get mixed up, you run the risk of addressing the wrong emotions.

For example, the Mini is cool and stylish, but these factors are less important than its uniqueness – the uniqueness of the target customer comes first, not those who want a stylish but more conforming vehicle. Style supports uniqueness in this case, but it does not replace it. In contrast, Fiat owners may have the opposite priorities.

To get this insight from a survey, ask respondents to weigh their priorities instead of just assigning them important numerical scores. For example, is it more important to be unique or stylish? This is a more realistic question than one that would force people to quantify the value of uniqueness, for example. Then you can compare prioritized emotions with functional benefits. Is it more important to be unique or to have high fuel consumption? In this way, you receive usable data that is accurate and traceable.

Hierarchy of orders to be completed

Principle 3: The context is key

Emotions are highly context dependent. The desire for uniqueness may manifest itself differently, for example, for a new parent who feels compelled to do routine, or for a professional middle-aged longing to rebel. Sometimes an emotion is absent at all until triggered by an event or other contextual change. When respondents respond based on different contexts, their responses can vary widely.

Control this variability by describing in detail the contexts in which you ask them to introduce themselves. You can also ask for a specific instance if they have used or purchased your product or service type. Think about it: Do you remember even more clearly why you bought your last cup of coffee or why you buy coffee on average? When answering a current concrete instance, the respondents are more likely to remember their decisions and feelings exactly. Make sure you capture the context by providing it or by specifying a handful of options.

Emotions can sometimes be best understood in relation to the decisions that motivate them. For example, if you estimate what causes people to choose one doctor over the other, you can accurately describe two hypothetical doctors who ask respondents to choose one and then let them assess the importance of different emotions in making that decision. In this way, you can normalize responses to a clear context and allow respondents to compare emotional jobs that may be tense, e.g. For example, a relationship with a doctor or the feeling of being safe about medical expertise. Then you can change the contexts and see how the roles of these factors differ.

Hierarchy of orders to be completed

Put something together

There are many advantages to following these principles:

  • Emotions are framed in a way that appeals to customers
  • Emotions are broken down into more manageable components that can be targeted via products, services and marketing
  • You will get a precise idea of ​​how important emotions are for functioning jobs and how much you have to invest to achieve the respective benefits
  • You can easily link complex emotions together and anchor your value proposition in a way that is both stimulating and uncomplicated

Emotions don't have to be opaque, and their quantitative analysis doesn't have to be inaccurate. When you deliberately approach emotional jobs, you can see their meaning exactly, as BMW did when it introduced its hip, customizable little car.

Contribution to Branding Strategy Insider by Steve Wunker and Jennifer Law. You can find more about these concepts in her new book Costovation.

The Blake Project Can Help You Grow: The Brand Growth Strategy Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service from The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy that specializes in brand research, brand strategy, brand growth and brand building

Free publications and resources for marketers