Emotionally intelligent brands grow up to hundreds of percent faster than their less humane competitors, reveals Carat’s study of the world’s most emotionally intelligent brands. Sean Healy, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Carat, explains why every brand should invest in improving their emotional intelligence.
I am a firm believer that more human understanding builds better relationships and makes the world a better place. That is true for both people and brands. The better they both understand each other, the more value both parties can enjoy from the experiences they share. At Carat, we call this philosophy and approach Designing for People – and it sits at the very centre of our brand. We focus on building experiences out from a position of empathy.
This is a break with lots of the conventions of current thinking about brands and communication. The last decade has seen a move towards more investment in short-term marketing goals, creative formats that are less obviously able to express emotion, and the reduction of the tracking of brand attributes. We believe that this has not represented progress.
In a complex world in which thoughtful design of the entire brand experience is vital, emotional resonance has, if anything, become more crucial. Surely our ability to learn more about our customers and prospects as real people should enable us to relate to them better, not just adjust the specifics of propositions that they are served with increasing precision.
Beyond IQ - What is Brand EQ?
Our recent study, the Brand EQ Report, focuses on emotional intelligence or EQ, a profoundly human attribute, and the models that psychologists have built to explain and measure it.
Psychiatry and literary criticism were the first disciplines to use the term emotional intelligence in the 1960s. This idea of forms of intelligence beyond IQ developed over the next two decades. The term EQ first appeared in 1987, but emotional intelligence became a mainstream topic only in 1995 through Daniel Goleman’s best-seller, Emotional Intelligence – Why It Can Matter More than IQ. His ideas suggest that EQ is not a purely innate quality but can be learned and developed. If you were anywhere near a beach in the summer of 1995, you likely saw this book.
We took inspiration from Goleman’s work identifying five key components of EQ. Our idea was to apply this kind of test to brands and to mirror the criteria used to analyse people in a multi-market study of brand behaviour. We sought to understand which brands best mirrored this very human quality and whether there were transferable learnings from these high performers.
Here’s how the elements of EQ translated into claims about brand behaviour.