Objective Measures of Emotion Related to Brand Attitude: A New Way to Quantify Emotion-Related Aspects Relevant to Marketing
While using quantifiable science to test subjects likes and dislikes toward a product seems relatively benign and even potentially beneficial, to use these methods to create better brand associations and marketing techniques borders on brainwashing. While I know these scientific endeavors wont stop, having control over their influence on me is my only line of defense as a citizen in a consumer world trying to retain core values not expressed in consumer marketing techniques. Omitting these messages and new techniques from public space allows us to retain a public identity outside of commercial influences.Abstract:
With this study we wanted to test the hypothesis that individual like and dislike as occurring in relation to brand attitude can be objectively assessed. First, individuals rated common brands with respect to subjective preference. Then, they volunteered in an experiment during which their most liked and disliked brand names were visually presented while three different objective measures were taken. Participant's eye blinks as responses to acoustic startle probes were registered with electromyography (EMG) (i) and their skin conductance (ii) and their heart rate (iii) were recorded. We found significantly reduced eye blink amplitudes related to liked brand names compared to disliked brand names. This finding suggests that visual perception of liked brand names elicits higher degrees of pleasantness, more positive emotion and approach-oriented motivation than visual perception of disliked brand names. Also, skin conductance and heart rate were both reduced in case of liked versus disliked brand names. We conclude that all our physiological measures highlight emotion-related differences depending on the like and dislike toward individual brands. We suggest that objective measures should be used more frequently to quantify emotion-related aspects of brand attitude. In particular, there might be potential interest to introduce startle reflex modulation to measure emotion-related impact during product development, product design and various further fields relevant to marketing. Our findings are discussed in relation to the idea that self reported measures are most often cognitively polluted.
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