Hearts and Minds: Why Does Emotion Matter in Business?

Recent shifts in consumer values have led to a demand for more responsible business – and it's time for companies to start taking notice.

A recent report by Positive Luxury reveals that emotion in its purest form will become the most powerful and persuasive feature that drives consumer behaviour. This means that companies must learn how to influence through emotion in a genuine and engaging way in order to succeed.

When building and developing a business, emotional intelligence is the order of the day – and never have these qualities been more integral in understanding their workforce and consumers in order to create lasting brand loyalty. But how can companies factor emotion in an honest and authentic way?

Embracing a new mindset

Being responsible global citizens matters to today’s consumers, with 87% of adults saying that ethical and sustainability-related concerns impact their purchasing decisions. Social media has made it much easier for us to find like-minded people and join movements that give us a powerful sense of identity. This also provides the business opportunity to secure a steadfast segment in the growing millennial market, which now represents $2.5 trillion in spending power and will be the dominant force in both the luxury marketplace and workforce by 2020.

Digital and physical human interaction and the sharing power of meaningful content is likely to create repeat business, brand loyalty and build real success. New evidence suggests 50% of people would remain loyal provided they felt integrated into a brand’s community, especially around social and environmental factors that spark an emotional connection.

A strong brand community can provide a long-term support mechanism that increases the value of existing customers by turning them into advocates. This is very important in the age of transparency, as brands may face criticism more regularly than before and loyal customers are those best placed to put up a spirited and vocal defence.

Emotions aren’t just motivating consumers at the point-of-sale, but rather driving influencers to raise their voices online and proclaim an identity, as well as align with the brands that echo their own world-view. Companies must then start operating like their audiences, positioning authentic sustainability at the very heart of corporate infrastructure.

Tech-driven cultural shifts

Extraordinary technological advances are having an impact on every conceivable sector of luxury, from retail to manufacturing, as well as bringing about a subtler and more sophisticated – but no less significant – cultural shift. This shift means that companies must have a cultural positioning that stakeholders can easily identify and positively engage with, forging and strengthening their emotional connections to the product, the brand and its shared community.

It is no longer enough to utilise technological breakthrough to surpass competition, and profitability alone will no longer guarantee market positioning. To remain credible and socially relevant, a brand must innovate in its product and business model, and of course, it must be genuinely sustainable in the broadest sense of the word.

The world is constantly in a state of increasingly dramatic flux. As a response, we’re seeking our people, our kindred spirits, and have embraced hibernation with hygge, meditation through mindfulness and now welcome ikigai, the age-old Japanese ideology all about finding joy in life through purpose. As Tokyo-based neuroscientist Ken Mogi explains, ‘that if you can find pleasure and satisfaction in what you do and you’re good at it, congratulations you have found your ikigai.’ In other words, your ikigai is what gets you up every morning and keeps you going.

It’s evident that brands and consumers alike are seeking powerful emotional connections through authentic purpose and pleasure, and the stories we tell each other. And whether it’s the power of acceptance or shared identity or love, we all need it – now more than ever.

Positive Luxury believes that business can be a force for good. The platform connects consumers that care with luxury lifestyle brands that share the same positive values.

Emotions, Community, Leadership, Technology, Work Culture, Corporate, Purpose

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!