I’ve been reading up lately on the effects that emotions can have on consumer’s reactions to marketing and ultimately, their buying decisions. It’s a complex subject, but one that I think is important for all marketers to at least be aware of, as it has a great influence on how people respond to our marketing and it’s associated messages and visuals. This is a vast field that is impossible to cover in one blog post, but if I were to highlight one of the most powerful concepts, it would be that of “incidental emotions.” Incidental emotions are the emotions that we experience and carry over with us into a decision-making process that actually has nothing to do with that decision. For example, you have a horrible drive into work filled with anger and frustration and then those feelings linger and cause you to not sign up for a service that a salesman is pitching because your earlier experience in traffic stirred up residual feelings of negativity and distrust and you just don’t feel comfortable signing on the dotted line at this time. The kicker is that even though incidental emotions may come from other sources, they are brought to a decision-making scenario and are experienced again as the decision is made. So, why all this talk about emotions in a marketing blog? Well, studies have shown that consumers have a tendency to allow incidental emotions to influence their decisions, such as purchases and investments. This also can affect how they react to your marketing piece. This occurs because these strong emotions cue our minds up to a certain mindset, which colors our decision-making process as it’s hard for us to separate this emotion from the decision that we have to make. So, when you are putting together your marketing pieces, keep this in mind. It’s important to consider every direction that a consumer can possibly be coming from when they experience it, and that includes the emotions and mindset they carry over from a prior experience.