We have been wrestling with this question at KS&R for the past 18 months. Given the industry's shift towards 'empathy' and connecting with buyers (consumer or business) in a more real, authentic fashion... we believe this special, empathetic connection is ONLY achieved once you understand the buyer's emotional state.
The challenge has always been around the idea of actually measuring that emotional state. Up to this point, emotional measurement focused on electrodes, brainwaves, and eye flutters... maybe more appropriate for a Netflix espionage series than a market research setting (especially in the COVID-19 era, which makes much of those traditional tools irrelevant).
In trying to be good social scientists, we decided to run a few experiments around different survey measures and approaches to identify buyer emotion. We partnered with our friends at The Rational Heart (therationalheart.com) to investigate and conduct online research with a panel audience in the US. We created two unique approaches - one modeled after the System 1 philosophy and the other approach modeled after the System 2 philosophy.
In the System 1 approach - respondents are given a 'forced choice' between two emotions at a time and have to respond within 3 seconds (e.g., 'thinking fast'/instinct/intuitive, etc.). With the System 2 approach - we showed respondents four emotions and asked 'most and least' representative of that particular occasion (e.g., 'thinking slow'/more deliberate/reflective, etc.).
Nearly 2,000 consumers were asked to consider their emotional memory when making specific purchases:
What did we learn...?
With these System 1 and System 2 survey approaches, we now feel even more prepared to tell the full customer story, and help our clients drive those meaningful customer engagements.