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Helpful Tools To Identify Emotional Triggers

Maya Angelou once said:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you’ve said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Take a moment and think. What was the last article or ad that you loved? How did it make you feel? Now think- what was the latest article or ad that made you feel nothing? Chances are you’ve probably already forgotten.

Maya Angelou’s wise words drive home an important point. To develop truly great messages that speak to the needs of your customers, it’s important to identify the right emotional triggers for your audience. After all, emotions can help shape brand affinity, and emotions are a key element to drive action.

How can you identify the right emotional triggers for your brand?

Each brand will benefit from communicating to a different set of emotions. What emotions will resonate best and have the greatest capacity to create change within your audience?

Take a look at these charts:

Chart 1 is usually given to children to help them identify their feelings in the moment. This chart may help expand your horizons beyond the most obvious human emotions (i.e.: sad, happy, angry, joyful), and might spark some ideas you hadn’t considered.

identify emotional triggers

Chart 1: Basic Emotions

Chart 2 is the “Wheel of Emotions” developed by psychiatrist Robert Plutchik. He theorized that there are 8 primary emotions, and he developed this wheel to show how all emotions stem from those 8. Once you’ve identified emotions you think might be the right triggers for your audience, look at this wheel to identify the “core emotion” you’re communicating to.

Wheel of Emotions

Chart 2: Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

While looking at these charts, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does your audience feel without your brand’s product or service? Do they know what they are missing? What pain points are they are dealing with?
  • How will using your product or service make them feel?
  • How will your audience feel if they stop using your product or service?

The answers to these questions should help you begin to identify your audience’s emotional triggers. When those triggers are used the right way in your messaging, and, of course, delivered in the right way, you’ll be able to move your audience to feel more deeply about your brand.

Do you help identifying emotional triggers for your target audience or developing the right messaging for your brand? Contact BRG Communications today!

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