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Emotional resonance has a keen role to play in marketing, driving areas as diverse as video advertising effectiveness to premium product perceptions. With the customer experience such a keen focus these days, a study from InMoment [download page] set out to discover the emotions that customers feel most often when they have a positive brand experience.

By far the most commonly cited emotion (of the 8 listed) was feeling satisfied, cited by 38% of the 20,000 respondents surveyed across 12 countries. This emotion is particularly important in the US and Canada, where almost 46% of respondents named it the one they feel most after a positive experience.

This result aligns with research from MarketingSherpa, in which satisfied customers of brands said that consistently having good experiences was the reason for their satisfaction.

Beyond feeling satisfied, secondary emotions felt by consumers around the world include feeling safe and reassured (14% share), important (12%) and relaxed / at ease (11%).

Interestingly, positive experiences with brands aren’t as associated with excitement (5%) or entertainment (4%). This suggests that good experiences are about utility first: indeed, separate research has shown that meeting basic requirements – such as fast and accurate responses to inquiries and a simple purchasing process – are central to consumers’ notions of an ideal consumer experience.

Meanwhile, when brands were asked the same question as consumers, they also pointed to satisfaction first. However, brand respondents were much more likely than consumers to believe that a positive experience would be associated with being “part of something special.”

Turning to loyalty, and consumers once again were most likely to link it to the feeling of satisfaction, as cited by 4 in 10 respondents. Once again, feeling safe and reassured (18%) was the next-most cited. Compared to positive experiences, though, consumers are more likely to associate feeling of relaxation with loyalty, and less likely to ascribe feelings of importance.

Brands, for their part, matched consumers’ top 2 emotions – satisfaction and reassurance – in their rankings. However, brand respondents once again gave much more weight to feelings of being part of something special, and this time also ascribed much more significance to feeling important.

The analysts note that there’s danger for brands in trying to evoke these stronger emotions of importance and feeling part of something special – if they miss the basics in doing so. As such, the study’s authors recommend that brands focus on understanding their promises and then meeting consumer expectations.

See here for the list of brands that are best meeting consumers’ expectations this year, according to research from Brand Keys.

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