affective design

Exploring Emotional Design

Purchase Decisions are Based on Emotional Meaning

ABC News has an article about how marketers use the emotional associations we have with their brands to influence our purchase decisions…

The article highlights the idea that it is the meaning we attribute to things that creates the emotions we feel, rather than the objects, brands or people themselves.

“It’s not necessarily the brand identity that resonates with people, but the meaning within that matters,”

The emotions are created by the meaning, but the meaning we attribute to things changes based on our previous experiences and associations. In this case, simple familiarity and a positive, or even neutral past experience means that the object is known, and safe. This alone is enough to create pleasurable emotions. Brands that are unfamiliar are unknown and potentially dangerous. This sense of the unknown provokes enough of a negative response to dissuade many people.

Obviously there are differences in how open people are to unfamiliar things, which depend largely on demographics and individual personality. For example, younger consumer/user groups with less experience tend to be more open to unfamiliar things.

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