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Revealing Hidden Emotions That Drive Brand Purchase: Implicit Priming Betters Explicit Self-Reports for a Frozen Food Brand

Paul Conner , Keith Payne

Recent research in neuroscience, psychology, and marketing confirms that emotions strongly, if not exclusively, drive people?s behavior, including their consumer behavior. Studies also show that people either can?t or won?t convey emotions that affect their behavior via explicit self-reports. Primarily to address deficiencies with explicit emotional self-reports, we used a priming technique to assess how targeted consumers? implicitly felt about a well-known frozen food brand. The technique (which we call ?Emotional Profiling?) revealed levels of discrete implicit emotions different from those conveyed by explicit emotional self-reports. Furthermore, none of the explicit emotions we measured significantly predicted the brand?s share of purchases, but two of the implicit emotions did. Additionally, our technique detected discrete implicit emotions, differentiating it from many common implicit techniques that only assess positive or negative feeling. In sum, the technique can help product designers and brand marketers find discrete implicit emotions that, when leveraged, can increase purchase.


emotional research, implicit emotions, self-report, implicit priming