“Do you ever look at someone and wonder, “What is going on inside their head?” Well, I know. Okay, I know Riley’s head.”
Thus begins Pixar’s latest storytelling adventure Inside Out, which I had the pleasure of watching over the weekend. The line was stated by Joy, one of the characters and emotions living inside of us along with Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. I found myself amazed at how well the journey of 11-year old Riley could be replicated among all of us and captured on the screen. The audience laughed, cried, and nodded their way until the very end (myself included) and one of the core messages is that we as people aren’t simply a unified self. We are made up of all these different characters in different degrees. We ebb and flow with the world around us and each go on our own personal journey, discovering more about ourselves along the way. I’ll avoid stating any movie spoilers (only to strongly recommend you go see it!) and instead relate this thinking to what we as marketers, try to achieve. We desperately want to try and get into the mind of our customers and users and place them in categories. What are they thinking about our brand? What are they feeling? How will they react if I post this piece of content marketing? What if I take things too far? Perhaps more importantly, do they associate your brand with Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, or Anger?
Our users are not one singular entity when they (hopefully) enter our funnel or interact with our brand. They are also not just one point of data when they leave our funnel or purchase something from us. Much like Riley’s evolving journey, think about your customers along the pathway of interacting with your brand. Each new touch-point with your user is an opportunity to reinforce the emotion you want them to come away with, no matter how big or small. Your emotional state is a collection of experiences all brought together by the tapestry of life. The brand you are presenting is no different. What are you doing differently to keep your brand at the forefront of customer experience, each step along the way?
What emotions do you have the most difficultly conveying to your users? What has worked for you in the past? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!
This post originally was written for Growler Analytics, another project of Samuel Itin