Byron Sharp Suggests “Hot Blooded Emotions” Don’t Create Loyalty

I’m usually committed to writing all new content on my blog – even if I’m discussing statistics or research from another source. But a recent blog post by Byron Sharp (link here) says a lot – and I recommend that you check it out yourself.

Sharp looks at an area where the marketing world has lost control of its language. Namely: “Emotion” – a powerful idea bandied about with language that’s far too loosely defined.

As Sharp notes, we tend to forget that there’s a wide range of emotions in the world. Yet when the word is used, hot blooded emotions are those that most often come to mind. But his research finds that far subtler emotions are the ones at work in advertising – the ones that create the biggest business profit for clients.

So I’ll say no more. Read Byron Sharp’s post with this link.

And then go out and get his book. His sane, human understanding of advertising and consumers moves far beyond the flakey enthusiasm of most modern advertising commentators.

Copyright 2011 – Doug Garnett – All Rights Reserved.

About Doug Garnett
Doug Garnett is an expert introducing innovative consumer products and services to market while driving higher return on innovation investment. His career has been spent in innovation and he is the president of Protonik, LLC - an innovation consultancy focused on marketing and innovation. Prior to founding Protonik, he was founder and CEO of ad agency Atomic Direct.

2 Responses to Byron Sharp Suggests “Hot Blooded Emotions” Don’t Create Loyalty

  1. Sophie says:

    Thanks for the post, Doug, and for the links. The review of the Sharp talk on Fronteer Strategy is worth a read, if only to see that the Pareto rule is not rock solid.

    I found this Gary Goldsmith (of Lowe & Partners) quote in Cutting Edge Advertising (Aitchison, 1999) and I think it’s relevant to the whole emotions v science debate:

    ‘I don’t think you need to offer a rational benefit. I think you need to offer a benefit that a rational person will understand.’

    Perhaps he was just being facetious. But it highlights the fact that people do make rational decisions when making a purchase – even if it’s a rational decision about an emotional need. ‘I want to appear confident so I will buy that hair dye’ – or similar.

    If you are buying in the heat of emotion then it’s not actually about loyalty to a brand – it’s about your particular craving at one point in time. Technically, anything could satisfy it.

    • Doug Garnett says:

      Sophie – thanks for the link – a great story about both Sharp’s sanity and the strangely mutated way the modern ad business views itself.

      How can people get so far off base as to expect it all to be about “love”? Probably because campaigns are almost never evaluated within terms that matter most – their impact on behavior. Sharp’s sanity comes from his dedication to that discipline.

      Consider: A machinist follows a blueprint and crafts a shaft then takes it to his boss. The boss gets out the calipers to measure it. The shaft is either right or wrong and it’s not a matter of opinion – because the calipers tell the truth. That’s a highly productive world where people learn to get things done that have an impact.

      But in advertising, we lack that feedback. Even worse, creative teams have spent 20 years convincing themselves that when we do have that feedback from research, that it must be wrong.

      I enjoy tht Goldsmith quote. From my days in sales, I believe in selling “heart and mind”. It doesn’t mean logical proof, just establishing both an overt and emotional desires to buy the product we are advertising. Too often advertising forgets that the consumer has a mind that is as fully integrated in their humanity as are their emotions.

      Thanks for the thoughts… Cheers…


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