Studies Prove the Importance of Emotional Connection to Creative Marketing Ideas

Marketing professors Kelly Herd of the University of Connecticut and Ravi Mehta of the University of Illinois recently conducted experiments that proved the importance of emotional connection to the effectiveness of creative marketing ideas.

According to Professor Herd, the study can be linked to a 2016 report published in the Business News Daily, which found 82% of company executives sharing the belief that there is a strong connection between business results and creativity. The view relates to the current marketing strategy of sourcing new ideas directly from consumers; by asking suggestions about products or services that they want the company to introduce as new product line.

Professor Herd cited how companies like Starbucks, Frito-Lay, LEGO and even the U.S. Army, base their innovation, as well as their research and development mostly on consumer recommendations. The view is that in a highly competitive marketplace, innovation and new products based on consumer recommendations, will enable manufacturers to survive and endure the competition.

Yet mental imagery depicting consumer emotion, used creatively in marketing new products is also of utmost importance. Through their research, marketing professors Kelly Herd and Ravi Mehta, provided new evidence demonstrating the importance of creativity influenced by mental imagery and its ability to affect consumer emotion. They then presented the results in a report entitled “Head vs. Heart: the Effect of Objective versus Feelings-Based Mental Imagery on New Product Creativity,” .

How the Study was Conducted

The objective of the experiments conducted was to show, how giving value to an end-user’s feeling can be a powerful tool in developing designs for new products deemed as solutions to problems found in the marketplace.

The research was founded on the premise that initially focusing on emotions or feelings based on the point of view of consumers creates cognitive flexibility among the designers. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to simultaneously consider matters in different perspectives. In having such an ability, product designers can “shift avenues of thought” when perceiving and processing information toward creativity.

Separate experiments were conducted in which participants were asked to design a kid’s toy, to select ingredients for a new cereal for children and to reinvent a grocery cart for the benefit of the elderly. Half of the groups of participants were instructed to imagine their respective target consumer’s feelings and emotions before starting out with the task. The other half was simply tasked to perform the assignment objectively, without considering consumer emotions or feelings.

Judges regarded as experts in the subject product, were simply asked to identify the most creative design based on their own expertise and knowledge of the subject. They had no knowledge of the objective and the emotion-based approaches that specific groups received as instructions. As the judging results demonstrated, creative product designs that took into consideration consumer-emotions, proved the importance of using product imagery created by way of cognitive flexibility.

Van Gogh’s Letter to Critic Who Wrote First Printed-Review of His Artwork Now on Public Exhibit

Vincent van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter acclaimed as the greatest Dutch painter next to Rembrandt, but only much later after his death in 1890 at the age of 37. Throughout his career as a painter, this famous Dutch artist was practically unknown, and had remained poor during his lifetime.

After a series of failed courtships and relationships, as well as rejections encountered in his bid to become an evangelist, Van Gogh’s psychological condition slowly deteriorated. Hi mental decline had led to a particular incident in which he cut off his ear and subsequently committed to a mental asylum.

Today, Van Gogh paintings are ranked among the most priceless in the world, fetching owners as much as $53.9 million, (“Irises”) to $82.5 million (“Portrait of Dr. Gachet”) at auctions.

A Backgrounder to the Critic’s Letter

Even while at the asylum, Van Gogh continued to paint, to which the most notable artwork he produced was “The Starry Night.” An art critic named Albert Aurier, wrote a first ever-printed review that praised one of Van Gogh’s works, describing it as

“…excess, excess in strength, excess in nervousness, violence in expression.”

Vincent was so elated over Aurier’s positive review, he wrote the critic a thank-you letter, expressing his appreciation,

. “I rediscover my canvases in your article, but better than they really are – richer, more significant…”

Sadly, four months after sending the thank-you letter, Vincent Willem van Gogh committed suicide. Although Van Gogh was discharged from the mental asylum earlier, he was still distraught about his future and apparently found a reason to end his life by fatally shooting himself in the chest.

Van Gogh’s Letter to Critic Aurier Goes On Public Display at Amsterdam Museum

Through the years since Van Gogh became one of the world’s most important artists, Van Gogh’s letter to the critic passed through the hands of several art collectors. The last owner, a murky character named Aristophil was able to purchase the letter from an auction where the Van Gogh Museum had hoped to procure it. Aristophil though, a known schemer of investments went bankrupt, finally sending the much coveted Van Gogh letter in the auction market in Paris.

Early this month, and with the financial assistance of Hong Kong tycoon Cheung Chung-kiu, the Van Gogh Museum was able to secure Van Gogh’s letter to Aurier, and put it in public display in what is believed to be a first time.