Tag Archives: emotions

The Emotions of an Innovator

The Emotions of an Innovator

GUEST POST from Dennis Stauffer

Your emotional state has a lot to do with how innovative you are, especially when those emotions are negative. How willing are you to act in the face of uncertainty and take those risks? How comfortable are you with new ideas and interpretations that may conflict with those you have? Can you overcome your biases to gain a clear-eyed understanding of the challenges you face? The fears and prejudices we all have can undermine our ability to find solutions.

Take a few moments to recall some of the negative emotions you’ve experienced in your life.

Things like:

  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Jealously
  • Resentment
  • Annoyance
  • Anger     …and that’s just the short list.

One thing they all have in common is that they make you feel bad. They undermine your happiness. They can also hamper your ability to innovate.

Now ask yourself: What prompted those emotions? I suspect you think of something that happened or that someone did that upset you, but there are deeper reasons for these emotions. They form when something isn’t what you expect or hope for. Someone isn’t doing what you want, or that you think they should. You think something needs to be corrected. You already have some outcome you’d prefer, an expectation that isn’t being met.

That’s your mindset—your beliefs about how things should be—beliefs that generate those expectations. You may think someone is doing something wrong. Perhaps they’re being mean or rude. But that means you have an idea in your head of what’s right—how you think they should behave. Or, something may not have turned out the way you hoped. Maybe you didn’t get the promotion you wanted. But that means you think you should have been given something you didn’t receive.

Change those expectations and your emotional response changes. What’s happening in your head has just as much or more impact on the emotions you feel, as whatever is happening around you—and that’s empowering. When you blame your emotions on what others do, you hand them control over your emotional state. They determine how you feel.

When you realize that your beliefs and expectations—your mindset—primes you to feel those emotions, you gain control over how you feel. Instead of anger, you can substitute curiosity about why someone would behave that way. Instead of annoyance at someone’s missteps, you can choose to be amused. Instead of disappointment, you can shift to resolve to learn from your setbacks. Instead of embarrassment, you can choose to feel humility. Instead of feeling the urge to punish someone, you can choose to feel compassion and understanding.

External events may not have changed. Those are things you don’t control. What changes is your mindset—something you can control. When you realize that you create your own emotions and take steps to create fewer negative ones, you increase your own happiness—regardless of what life throws at you. Skilled innovators have a mindset that minimizes their negative emotions. Because instead of focusing on what needs to be corrected—to restore the status quo—they focus on what can be improved. That enhances their capacity to enhance. Enhance a product or service, enhance their community and the larger world, and enhance their own lives.

Here is a video of this post if you prefer:

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Emotional Connections Drive Customer Loyalty

Emotional Connections Drive Customer Loyalty

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

There are many reasons a customer might come back to a business again and again that have nothing to do with loyalty. A repeat customer can come about because of a convenient location, a lower price, a bigger selection and more. But those don’t create loyalty. It just looks as if the customer is loyal.

Actually, you could say that they are loyal—but not to the company. They are loyal to the price, convenient location, etc. The customer who comes back again and again for those types of reasons can deceive you. Not on purpose. It’s their behavior that imitates loyalty. Consider a retail store with repeat customers (not loyal customers), and ask this: If a competitor moves into the neighborhood, has a more convenient location and advertises lower prices, would the customer switch?

If you want your customers to be loyal, you must find a way to create an emotional connection.

Meet Zhecho Dobrev, a principal consultant at Beyond Philosophy and the author of the newly published book, The Big Miss: How Organizations Overlook the Value of Emotions. I interviewed Dobrev for an episode of Amazing Business Radio, and he shared his insights on what drives loyalty.

According to Dobrev, “Emotional connection creates preference over the competition. Customers don’t just come back out of convenience. They see a difference between doing business with your company and other companies.” His research has found that the amount of business a company gets is dependent on its relationships with customers.

The relationship you want with customers is rooted in emotion. A good experience creates a positive memory. Dobrev is a fan of Professor Daniel Kahneman, who says that people don’t choose between experiences. They choose between the memories of their experiences.

Often, memory is based on interactions customers have had with a salesperson, customer support or a process that a company has. Ideally, it’s a good memory. And when the customer comes back a second time and third time and has similar experiences, the memories of those interactions become an owned experience. The customer expects it. They know it’s going to happen, just like last time. That’s where the relationship starts to solidify, with a consistent and predictable experience. It goes to an even higher level when the customer feels valued and appreciated. Ultimately, the brand becomes more important than just a place to stop and do business.

Dobrev surveyed more than 19,000 customers in the U.S. and UK and determined that emotional attachment was the biggest driver of value, being responsible for about 43% of business value. Compare that to a company that promotes product features, which came in second at 20%. “Customers don’t know what they really want,” says Dobrev. “They say they want a product, but what really drives business value is emotional attachment.”

Emotions can start to develop even before the customer chooses to do business with a company or brand. Emotions can be found in a marketing strategy. Consider the automobile manufacturer BMW, which in the 1970s used the slogan The Ultimate Driving Machine — a description of the car — until it switched its focus to the emotion of owning and experiencing the car with the slogan BMW is Joy. While BMW still includes The Ultimate Driving Machine in its descriptors, today’s slogan is Sheer Driving Pleasure. Joachim Blickhäuser, head of corporate and brand identity at the BMW Group, says, “The ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ slogan delivers positive emotions and does exactly what a claim should.”

While an emotional connection may help create customer loyalty, you can’t ignore other competitive features. While loyalty makes price less relevant, there is a breaking point. Being easy to do business is also a big factor, so eliminate the friction that will potentially cause customers to run to your competition.

So, here is your assignment. Ask your customers, “Why do you do business with us?” Their reasons will help you define the differences between features and benefits compared to feelings and emotions. Once you have your features and benefits in place, work on creating emotional connections, and your customers will come back for the right reasons—because they love doing business with you.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

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The Power of Emotional Connections in Customer Experience

The Power of Emotional Connections in Customer Experience

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

In today’s competitive business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to stand out and create memorable experiences for their customers. While product quality and efficient service are undoubtedly essential, there is another significant factor that can make a lasting impact on a customer’s journey – emotional connections.

Emotional connections in customer experience refer to the ability of a brand to tap into customers’ emotions, creating meaningful interactions that leave a lasting impression. When a customer feels a genuine connection with a brand, they are more likely to remain loyal, recommend it to others, and become advocates. Let’s explore two case studies that showcase the power of emotional connections in customer experience.

Case Study 1: Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign

Dove, a personal care brand, launched its “Real Beauty” campaign in 2004 with a mission to redefine beauty standards and promote self-acceptance. The campaign featured women of different ages, sizes, and ethnicities, focusing on real-life beauty rather than unrealistic beauty ideals portrayed in the media. By showcasing the diversity and authenticity of its customers, Dove successfully created an emotional connection with women worldwide.

This campaign resonated deeply with consumers who had long felt excluded or misrepresented in traditional beauty advertisements. People saw themselves, their mothers, sisters, and friends in Dove’s messaging, leading to a surge in positive sentiments towards the brand. The emotional connection established through the campaign resulted in increased brand loyalty and a significant boost in sales. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign demonstrated that by speaking to customers’ emotions and challenging societal norms, a brand can become a catalyst for positive change.

Case Study 2: Starbucks’ Personalized Customer Experience

Starbucks is renowned for the personalized customer experience it provides. Beyond serving a great cup of coffee, the company aims to create a comfortable atmosphere where customers can enjoy their drinks. One example of Starbucks’ commitment to emotional connections is the practice of writing customers’ names on cups. By personalizing each cup, Starbucks employees create a sense of recognition and importance for the customers.

In 2014, the company launched its “Meet Me at Starbucks” campaign, which featured short documentaries capturing genuine moments of human connection in their stores across the world. The emotionally-driven campaign highlighted Starbucks as a place where people can find common ground and connect with others. By showcasing the emotional value that Starbucks brings to people’s lives, the campaign reinforced the brand’s commitment to creating meaningful experiences for their customers.

Starbucks’ personalized approach and focus on emotional connections helped differentiate the company from its competitors. Customers often feel a sense of belonging and familiarity with Starbucks, making it their preferred choice even when competing options exist.


The examples of Dove and Starbucks showcase the impact emotional connections can have on customer experience. By understanding and addressing customers’ emotions, brands can become more than just a product or service provider. Companies that successfully build emotional connections foster loyalty, advocacy, and long-term customer relationships.

Creating emotional connections requires understanding customers’ values, aspirations, and pain points. Listening to their feedback and incorporating it into brand messaging and experiences allows companies to connect with customers at a deeper level. By emphasizing authenticity, inclusivity, and personalized experiences, brands can build emotional connections that transcend transactional relationships, leading to meaningful and enduring customer loyalty.

SPECIAL BONUS: Braden Kelley’s Problem Finding Canvas can be a super useful starting point for doing design thinking or human-centered design.

“The Problem Finding Canvas should help you investigate a handful of areas to explore, choose the one most important to you, extract all of the potential challenges and opportunities and choose one to prioritize.”

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The Psychological Impact of Change

Understanding the Emotions and Reactions Individuals Experience During Times of Change and How to Effectively Support Them

The Psychological Impact of Change

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Change, whether anticipated or unexpected, often triggers a wide range of emotions and reactions in individuals. Understanding the psychological impact of change is crucial for organizations, leaders, and support networks to effectively assist individuals in navigating these turbulent times. In this article, we explore the common emotions and reactions people experience during change, followed by two case study examples that demonstrate the diverse range of responses. Additionally, we offer effective strategies to support individuals during periods of change, fostering resilience and facilitating positive adaptation.

Emotions Experienced During Change

Change has the potential to instigate a rollercoaster of emotions. Fear, uncertainty, and anxiety are common responses as individuals face a shift from familiar routines and into the unknown. Feelings of sadness, grief, and loss may also emerge as people let go of what they once knew or valued. Conversely, excitement, anticipation, and hope can accompany positive changes, serving as beacons guiding individuals towards new possibilities. Recognizing and acknowledging these emotional responses is crucial to provide appropriate support during times of change.

Case Study One: Jenna’s Job Loss

Jenna had been working at the same company for 15 years when she suddenly received news of her redundancy. She felt overwhelmed by a profound sense of loss, as her job had been a significant part of her identity. Initially, Jenna experienced shock and denial, followed by anger and frustration. With the support of her colleagues, she gradually accepted the situation and embarked on a journey of self-discovery. By attending career transition workshops and receiving counseling, Jenna eventually embraced the opportunity to explore new professional avenues. With resilience and determination, she transformed a seemingly devastating change into a personal growth experience.

Case Study Two: Sam’s Relocation

Sam, a 10-year-old boy, was informed by his parents that they would be relocating to a new city due to a job transfer. Sam’s immediate reaction was that of fear and sadness. He worried about leaving his school, friends, and familiar surroundings behind. Acknowledging Sam’s emotions, his parents engaged him in open communication and involved him in the relocation process. They encouraged Sam to express his thoughts and concerns, reassuring him that they would provide support throughout the transition. By focusing on the positive aspects of the move, like new friends and exciting opportunities, Sam gradually became more receptive to the change, ultimately adapting to his new environment with a sense of curiosity and resilience.

Support Strategies During Change

To effectively support individuals during times of change, several strategies can be implemented:

1. Clear Communication: Open and honest communication is vital. Providing individuals with information about the change, reasons behind it, and potential benefits helps reduce uncertainty and anxiety.

2. Provide Resources: Offering resources such as counseling, dedicated support teams, or external assistance equips individuals with tools and guidance to navigate the transition.

3. Encourage Resilience: Foster a supportive environment that encourages resiliency. Highlight the potential for personal growth, emphasizing adaptability and strength in overcoming challenges.

4. Empathy and Active Listening: Validate individuals’ emotions and actively listen to their concerns. By acknowledging their feelings, you create a safe space for them to express themselves and feel heard.


Change brings forth a variety of emotions and reactions in individuals, ranging from fear and uncertainty to excitement and hope. Through understanding and acknowledging these responses, individuals can effectively navigate change and harness the opportunity for personal growth and adaptation. By implementing support strategies, fostering open communication, and validating emotions, we can create an environment that effectively supports individuals during times of change, enabling them to flourish and thrive in the face of uncertainty.

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