FIIB Debate Series: Do you think it has now become important for companies to identify Emotional Quotient (EQ) of their customer?

These days marketing is not only an activity which involves heavy monthly budgetary allocations but a mental health business. It has evolved from the days of “hard sell” and “USP” with the recognition that people just don’t simply buy products, they buy aspirations. This is quite evident from the recent commercials e.g. Google’s reunion commercial where a granddaughter in India decides to surprise her grandfather on his birthday by reuniting him with his childhood friend (who is now in Pakistan) after over 6 decades of separation, with a little help from Google Search. We are sure this has made a strong impact in the audiences of both India and Pakistan.

Like Google many other brands believed in the concept of “Emotionality of Brands” and many of them turned to be quite successful. But negative consequences cannot be ignored.

FIIB community debated and shared their opinions on the significance of emotions while promoting a brand. This debate turned out to be very exciting with many interesting thoughts and comments shared by FIIB’s faculty, staff and students.

Agreeing with the statement Prof. Monica Mor said, “Companies have been doing it for a while with Mother & Child (Mummy bhook lagi hai! – Maggi) to (Daag acche hain na! – Surf Excel). Such campaigns however were looking at very close relationships like that of parent child or grandparent-grandchild, however with “Har ek friend zaroori hota hai” Airtel campaign; companies are increasingly transgressing relationship boundaries & exploring emotional strings across a spectrum of relationships. As a generation, the Gen Y is quite high on EQ and so it’s a logical connect here & a smart marketing move on the companies’ side.”

Neelanshu Bhardwaj and Sanjay Chauhan, both 1st year students also agreed to the statement by focusing on gripping customers’ loyalty. According to Neelanshu and Sanjay, “As EQ helps in monitoring one’s own and other people’s emotions, correctly researched advertisement will gives a sense of belongingness to customer. With the availability of endless options which customer has, it is very important to understand the buying intention of the customer and here emotions cannot be ignored. Therefore, to be profitable it is very important for the companies to understand emotional quotient of customer.”

Ms. Anuja Bedi from admissions department also agreed with the statement however suggested the marketers to be cautious of false market research. According to her, “Today in this harsh world, people are extra sensitive emotionally. The companies need to focus on their approach for such advertisements so that they do not hurt customer’s sentiments and end spoiling their image in the market. So focus need to be maintained on detailed research of target market”

Manish Saraswat a 2nd year student, was also a  believer in the concept of “Emotionality of Brands” quoted interesting example to demonstrate his point. He said, “In order to uniquely position themselves in the mind of customers, companies focuses creating an emotional connect with the customer. The latest commercial by Bournvita – ‘Tyari Jeet ki’ is quintessential example of emotionality. The epic line by mother ‘ Jis Din wo (his son) mujhe harayega, mein jeet jaungi’ establishes a profound interest of Bournvita in mothers- son bond. There are many more ads which are solely focused on evoking the emotions of customers, since everyone knows Indians are too ‘Jazbati’ and their ‘Jazbat’ drives them most of the times.”

With her focus on attention grabbing commercials, Aakanksha Bhatnagar a 2nd year student disagreed with the statement and said, “I think it’s not necessary to identify the emotional quotient of the customers and act upon that because it may go wrong many a times. I would like to quote an example of advertisement which did catch the consumers’ attention but without any emotional content in it.

I found Nestle Kitkat ad very catchy with two squirrels expressing their love for each other and singing a famous old Hindi song. It is very cute and simple yet attention grabbing.

So I think it’s not always necessary to build an emotional quotient but incase a company plans to adopt EQ, then it should carry out an exhaustive research so that the advertisement doesn’t fail.”

Companies working with emotional intelligence are more self-aware, motivated, and aware of their customer and environments. They are able to think outside of the box and more willing to take risks. But it is also advisable to understand the political, economical, social, geographical and other aspects of your target market, so that all efforts of marketing and positioning a brand go in a right direction.