Keller Center for Research

INSIDER: Consumer Emotional Intelligence

May 1, 2009

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by Heather McLeod, MBA Candidate May 2010

How does emotion impact the purchase decision? In Consumer Emotional Intelligence: Conceptualization, Measurement, and the Prediction of Consumer Decision Making (Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.) Blair Kidwell, Davis M. Hardesty, and Terry Childers examine emotional intelligence, or a person's ability to skillfully use emotional information to achieve a desired consumer outcome, in the consumer domain. EmotionalIntelligence

Think Point #1:

Emotions are a better predictor for behavior than simply a logical thought process. Be aware of your clients' emotions and do not assume that people are always thinking rationally when emotions are a factor.

Think Point #2:

Are you doing everything you can to illicit strong positive emotional responses out of your clients? You can increase your ability to gain a favorable outcome by understanding how to make your clients feel positively about the process.

Think Point #3:

If emotional perception is a predictor for a decision, harness positive emotion and eliminate negative emotion. Recognize whether a client has any negative emotion towards an element of the purchase process and overcome it through the use of facts, individual support, and attention.

Think Point #4:

Use every channel at your disposal to provide information to your clients. Develop your web site and use it as a method to convey information so that in their search, your expertise will be perceived.

Think Point #5:

Even when a one product carries a strong brand name (and likewise strong emotional attachment) and another does not, consumers who are knowledge-seeking are able to identify superior attributes in one over the other. Use this to set yourself above the competition by providing knowledge-seeking consumers with information about the superiority of your service.

Please note, the industry studied here was not real estate, though the core findings will still be relevant to your field. The results of this research should not be applied blindly, but with serious thought as to how they might be relevant in your particular market.

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About the Author:

Heather McLeod, MBA Candidate, May 2010, Baylor University
Graduate Assistant, Keller Center for Research

Heather is a first-semester graduate student from New Braunfels, TX. She earned her BBA with a double major in Marketing and Management from Baylor University.

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