Brand EQ 2022 - More Emotionally Intelligent Brands Grow More Quickly

Better human understanding drives accelerated growth

At Carat we are fascinated by people and what drives their behaviour and attitudes. We are equally fascinated by brands, how they grow and what they mean to people. This means that we are always seeking to push the boundaries of our understanding of what can better connect the two. We call the framework we use to build better experiences for people with brands Designing for People. This brings together inspiration from people-centred discipline of experience design with the entrepreneurialism, rigour and innovation of the world’s original media agency. Building more emotionally intelligent experiences that give brands a competitive advantage is a key outcome of our work.

Brands can be emotionally intelligent

Central to our approach is the notion that more human understanding and a belief in mutuality makes the world a better place. This is true of personal relationships, society as a whole and, as we have proved, of brands. The better they understand each other, the more value both parties can enjoy from the experiences they share. What we have learnt and placed at the centre of our working framework, Designing for People, is that emotional intelligence, the most human of qualities, can be expressed by brands.

In 2020 we delivered the first Brand EQ study, asking people to assess brands on five criteria (Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills) to establish which brands built experiences that people felt to be most emotionally intelligent and how they achieved this.​

We have expanded our understanding of Brand EQ

The 2020 study gave a perspective in the weeks around the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. We were fascinated by the performance of brands in the arena of emotional intelligence over the course of the pandemic. As the crisis abated in late 2021, we followed up with a bigger, better and more sophisticated study: more brands, five more markets, 5,000 more people and new questions and techniques to shed light on emotional intelligence. Not only did we ask questions, but we used AI techniques to decode more of what underpins people’s emotional experiences by category.

More emotionally intelligent brands grow more quickly

In 2020 we found that the most emotionally intelligent brands grew more quickly than their peers and the major stock price indices. In 2021 we found that this trend had been accentuated even further. 

The report identifies the current top performers, covers key lessons for brands, and also tells some stories of brand performance, including how the pandemic turned Google into an essential service for any queries from sourdough recipes to local restrictions, how Samsung quietly outshines Apple, and how people tend to score home-grown brands more highly.

We also provide concrete steps for brands to take to raise their EQ scores, including being purposeful, doing good in the world, and building dynamic journeys.

Download the report here to learn about how brands can connect with consumers on a more emotional level.

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