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Beyond Reason November 9, 2010

Posted by alessiofalcohse in Blogroll.
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Imagine the following scenario: it’s evening time at the supermarket. A multitude of similar products are displayed on the shelves and the clock is ticking. Weighting up all the possibilities would be cognitively unfeasible and unrealistic. Nevertheless, choosing won’t be so challenging and in a blink of an eye the popular brand is visualized and the product bought. The choice is immediate, clear and appears rational. However, what if the brand has recently been involved in an international controversy?

In the current economy the market is saturated with products and services that overlap and competition is fierce. For the company to market on prices alone just won’t’ be enough, for the consumer with a conscience times are surely hard (C. Smith 1998).

Does the above description sound familiar? If so, common wisdom about choice decisions suddenly appears inappropriate and leaves space for the two following quotes: “reason leads to conclusion, but emotions lead to action”(Donald Calne); one might add that “love is also blind” (William Shakespeare).

My opening scenario indicates that decisions are based upon emotions, not logic. As documented by M. Lindstrom (Brand Sense 2006), these emotions represent the sum of all the minds and souls of every single person that comes into contact with your company over time (M. Lindstrom – Brand Sense 2006). In a nutshell: corporate reputation.

However, since emotional processes operate often outside awareness, it could be also assumed that specific sensorial channels could be more effective than words in shaping the buyers’ perceptions.

If specific channels and channels combinations together with emotions speak lauder than words, the relations between emotions, corporate reputation management and social networks could be re-conceptualized.

In other words: what channel(s) should be preferable to convey a positive online reputation? 

How could companies better use emotional responses in order to gain reputation?

More interesting: what channel provides a better readymade aid in case of an unexpected international controversy?

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Comments»

1. salla - December 10, 2010

Several social media experts say that social media is not a channel but should be seen as a place or as an arena. I find this actually very useful as a metaphor since I think it gives more importance to things such as relationships and feelings – it’s certainly not about transferring information and about magic bullets, but about creating relationships, and relationships have a lot to do with emotions.

As you write, I do think that certain sensoric channels to the individual can be more effective in “affect-mind”. But one thing very special on online arenas is the sense of presense, which can be created through dialogue and through conversation. If the organization seems to be present and seems to communicate, I believe this leads to positive emotions.

On the other hand, I think I’ve read that visual material and videos especially are very good on eliciting emotions. I bet some people in the advertising industry alredy know this :)


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