Monday, August 27, 2007

Emotionomics Summary

Emotionomics - Winning Hearts and Mind

Author: Dan Hill
Publisher: Beaver's Pond Group
Release: September 18, 2007
ISBN 13: 978 - 1-59298-182-3
ISBN 10: 1-59298-182-8
313 pages
List price: $ 25.00

Emotionomics truly is a vast supply of helpful, provocative and amusing insights about human nature. In the tradition of Blink and Emotional Intelligence, Dan Hill takes a concise, incisive look at how breakthroughs in brain science have mind-opening implications for how companies should be conducting business in the 21st century. Gone is the old consumer and worker model in which appeal to utilitarian benefits alone will carry the day. Instead, making a sensory-emotional connection through superior creativity and empathy becomes the key to winning over the audiences on which profitability depends. Emotionomics is a new, groundbreaking book that provides valuable insights for everyone in the business world.

Step closer to your customers and employees, step ahead of your competitors. How? First, by acknowledging the frequent disconnect between what people say versus how they feel and what they will actually do. Then by adopting a new approach to measure and manage emotions so you can achieve success by ensuring that your efforts avoid the say/feel gap into which most of the business world falls.

Emotionomics is a product of the recent combination and blurring among biological sciences, psychology and economics. As these disciplines continue to merge – and even intersect – organizations must begin to understand the emotions of business and appeal to people’s basic gut reactions rather than simply appeal to employees and customers via rational arguments.

What can bridge the say/feel gap of rationalization (intellectual alibis) that often masks people’s true, intuitive gut reaction? It’s facial coding, a research tool so powerful that both the CIA and FBI rely on it and so universal that, as Charles Darwin first realized, even a person born blind signals feelings to others using the same facial muscle movements. But it wasn’t until the mid-1960s when Professor Paul Ekman created the Facial Action Coding System that facial coding became a tool useful in quantifying emotional response. Mr. Hill has been using Professor Ekman’s system since 1998 to provide clients with additional insights regarding the emotional aspects of advertising, direct mail, product design, and employee training and hiring, as well as providing facial coding analysis for the 2004 Presidential election.

Facial coding allows individuals to detect a range of emotions that are displayed through facial movements of muscle units located on the face. In fact, most people in the general population are already able to detect some of the core emotions that are displayed on the face without any formal training. But with a small amount of training – or simply reading Emotionomics – most people will be able to begin to more clearly understanding the emotional reactions of those around them.

As the originator and decade-long veteran of applying facial coding to business issues, Mr. Hill is uniquely qualified to quantify the extent of the say/feel gap and instruct companies on ways to maximize emotional buy-in so they can survive and thrive in today’s extraordinarily competitive environment.

The tools and concepts presented in Emotionomics are useful for everyone in the business world. There are valuable insights for market researchers, brand managers, human resource professionals and everyone in between. Emotionomics provides the entire business community with a new approach to doing business by harnessing the power of emotions. Throughout Emotionomics, Mr. Hill provides unique findings from numerous studies he has conducted as President of Sensory Logic along with a wide array of examples and case studies in which emotional associations are maximized to provide the most relevant and meaningful offers to the customer.

Emotionomics covers a broad range of business topics and applications, some of which include:

In today’s economy, nothing has become more important the “power of the brand.” And that’s exactly where Emotionomics begins. There is nothing less tangible and therefore more emotional in the business world than branding. It’s impossible to create a winning brand without creating a unique personality and image that has an emotional connection with the target market. But connecting with individuals is not enough; brands must also reinforce social associations and standing, ultimately creating a unique brand community. When done correctly, branding coupled with the use of emotional messages and associations can enhance brand equity as well as customer loyalty by creating a relevant brand message.

Product Design
Product design and usability is an area where emotional connections are frequently neglected. Design engineers often focus on what the product can do, rather than what the product means to the customer. Using emotional insights and incorporating them into product design can take a nearly emotionless product and turn it into a product that is both emotionally powerful and meaningful for the customer.

Advertising, and marketing messages in general, have entered a new age – the age of clutter. In order for advertisements to effective, they must not only be seen but must also be felt. Advertising messages must provide the customer with an emotional attachment to the offer. The goal of advertising has shifted, it is no longer enough to be merely recognized, now, advertisements must also be emotionally potent. In this new age, the messages that resonate emotionally and motivate customer behavior are the ones that are most meaningful.

Sales & Customer Service
There may be no other aspect of business that is more directly linked to emotion than sales. As a salesperson, it is imperative to understand the nuances of client emotions, read those emotions, and provide offers that fit correctly with those emotions. And in order to truly become a successful relationship-based sales organization, the sales force must be in tune with the emotional needs of current and prospective clients. The only way to create a true and lasting emotional connection with clients is to tailor the entire purchasing decision around the client, and meet both the emotional and rational needs of the client to the best of your ability.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, organizations must provide opportunities for customers to tell the organization about the service – or lack thereof – and work toward improving that service. The key is to welcome the customer and bring the customer into the satisfaction process. Sometimes, the only thing a customer really needs is to feel that the company and the support agent truly care about their personal problem and is willing to help. But that emotional connection is always necessary to provide truly great customer service.

Leadership & Management
Finally, emotions are constantly present in employee management and leadership. In order to successfully lead employees, managers must be attuned to not only overall employee morale, but also the emotional needs of individual employees. When hiring new employees, it is important to allow them to tell their story and create an open atmosphere where emotional needs can be discussed. As well as the ways in which organization will meet those needs as the employee’s position and circumstances evolve throughout the employee’s service at the company. But the most important factor is that employees feel as though they are treated fairly and as a legitimate contributor within the organization.

Leaders must also be aware of the emotions that they are projecting during interactions with employees, as those emotions will quickly disseminate throughout an entire organization. Therefore, any change in top leadership provides a huge opportunity for gains or losses in productivity and performance as a result of regime change. And emotions are never more important than during times of change – a.k.a. mergers and acquisitions. During these times, it is imperative for all managers to understand the emotional resistance that their team members may be feeling and to work with everyone to cope emotionally with such radical circumstances.

When looking to the future, emerging brain scan technologies have been providing striking evidence about the essential role that emotions play in the decision-making process. Knowing this now gives you a leg up on the competition. And by applying some of the concepts and tools from Emotionomics it can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage for your organization.

For successful individuals and organizations, Emotionomics is a must read, as it represents a shift in the business paradigm: away from rational, utilitarian appeals alone and toward powerful although lesser understood emotional appeals paired with rational appeals. Armed with the emotional knowledge provided in Emotionomics you’ll begin to see and identify the intellectual alibis that are present everywhere. Dan Hill’s advice is to connect emotionally and then provide rational support. Because changing peoples’ beliefs is hard work, but selling them on what they already believe and feel is far easier. After all, the “facts” are malleable but our gut instincts are unyielding.