HINOJOSA – Inglés Ind – Mireia – Mar-Jul23 Micah Livingston

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What’s your EQ? How to develop your brand’s emotional quotient*

People make buying decisions based on logic, right? Consider the coffeemaker you have at home. When you bought it you probably looked at price and function, but you might have also considered the color, the packaging and perhaps an appealing image of a family making coffee. When you explain your choice you will surely use logical reasons, but emotions are what really motivated you to make the purchase. 

Understanding EQ

Countless articles talk about the amazing power that emotional intelligence has on marketing success, but they never tell you how to apply it to your own campaigns. How do you incorporate emotional intelligence in marketing to create successful, long-term campaigns? Does your team need EQ coaching? Probably.

Emotional intelligence in marketing is not just about trying to obtain an emotional response from customers, or using an informal tone in your message. It’s not about using a cool image either. You have to go deeper. Marketers who use emotional intelligence to develop highly successful campaigns share these three elements: They have honest motives; they empathise with their audience and they bridge the gap between what they want, and what their customers want. It’s the human approach to marketing.

Why your brand needs EQ

As technology and data revolutionize our ability to target our market and deliver relevant messages to smaller, specialized audiences, the need for a more personal, human-to-human connection increases. The more technical marketing gets, the more human it must become. When everyone uses the same technology, using emotional intelligence in marketing becomes your competitive advantage.

Traditionally, companies would market to a broad audience. The broader the audience, the more generic the message had to be. As we move towards 1-to-1 marketing, we need to talk to people by relating to them on a human level. This requires emotional awareness on the part of the marketer.

The Research Behind EQ

Most businesses still focus on the rational benefits of their product such as price and functional features. But people make purchase decisions based on more than rationale; there is always an emotional element. Decisions are made with a mix of intellect and emotion. In one recent study, psychologists used electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets to observe emotional responses in the brain as participants watched different advertisements. The findings pointed to a double-digit increase in sales for those ads that had a positive emotional effect.

When journalist, Daniel Goleman first introduced the idea of EQ in his book, Emotional Intelligence, he identified four areas that contribute to emotional intelligence: Self-awareness, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. These qualities also make an excellent framework for companies to apply EQ to their marketing efforts.

First Steps Towards EQ

Before rushing into creating a new campaign, it’s best to go through a carefully developed EQ process. Now that you know how customers use emotions to justify purchases, consider how these might fit the logic of your brand. Start by using your website and social media channels, you can easily identify and promote these emotional aspects.

This might mean researching your customer base and competitors for the key emotions they employ. Work on creating consistent messages and designs that appeal to those emotions as well as the logic people will use to justify buying your product or service. Tying emotion to logic will make your business stand out from competitors and lead to stronger sales.

Using EQ as a Key Value

Effective marketing solves a “pain point” or fulfils a need. Offering value that makes someone’s life better is what every great marketer should aim for. Empathy in marketing means putting yourself in your audience’s situation. By being empathetic, you will adjust your motives, your message and
how you deliver that message.

Emotionally intelligent campaigns don’t get “tunnel vision”. It’s not about achieving profits at all costs. It’s about achieving your goals while building relationships with your audience. Emotional intelligence is not something that you add at the end. The principles must influence every aspect of the marketing plan. Otherwise, it will be very hard to maintain EQ when challenges come up.

* quotient (noun): degree or amount of something

Zappos is a true American success story. Not only is it a financial success, but an amazing place to work at. Zappos is an online retailer that sells shoes and other merchandise and has approximately 1500 employees at their Las Vegas headquarters.

Unplanned Beginnings

The year was 1999, and Zappos founder, Nick Swinmurn, was shopping at a San Francisco mall looking for a pair of brown Airwalk boots. One store had the right style, but not the right color. Another store had the right color, but not the right size. Searching for hours, Nick left emptyhanded and frustrated. At that moment, by identifying the gap between what customers needed and what online retail could offer, Nick decided to quit his day job and solve this problem himself…

The idea was simple in concept but not so simple in execution. Nick wanted to serve those customers who wished to shop beyond their local stores. So, he launched ShoeSite.com, which was soon changed to Zappos.com, an adaptation of “zapatos,” the Spanish word for shoes. In 2009 Zappos as listed at Number 23 on Fortune magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Work, and has maintained a spot on the list ever since.

More Than Shoes

Over the years, Zappos has evolved its product selection to include clothing, handbags, and accessories. The one thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its focus on the customer. As a service company at heart, Zappos’ purpose is to live and deliver “WOW”. This obsession led it to become one of the first online retailers to offer free next-day shipping and free returns. Furthermore, and as online reviews have come to show, their 365-day return policy gives even the most indecisive shopper time to contemplate their purchase.

Leadership as a Value

Tony Hsieh is the CEO and co-founder of Zappos, and as a self-proclaimed, “regular guy”, it is not surprising to find him talking to his employees whether it’s in meetings or in the parking lot. In fact, his desk sits in the middle of the admin department. This is remarkable when you consider Hsieh is worth over a billion dollars. This Harvard graduate understands that creating a great place to work is not just about him—it is about creating a friendly, customer-focused work atmosphere that generates results.

Positive Work Culture

The genesis of the friendly office environment at Zappos is driven by ten guiding values the company has established and is keen to share. These values guide the direction of the organization like the sails on a sailboat. They include statements like “Deliver WOW through Service” and “Embrace and Drive Change”, to “Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit” and “Pursue Growth and Learning”.

The important difference between these values and others is how they were created. Instead of a top-down approach like many other organizations, the employees helped refine and shape these values by providing their own opinions. When the employees have a say, there is alignment, acceptance and total employee engagement. Hsieh and his team believe in continuous learning and encourage everyone to read business books and further their training.

Hiring the Right People

According to the HR managers, it is easier to get accepted at Harvard University than to get a job at Zappos. Based on Jim Collin’s book, From Good to Great, they believe if you employ the correct staff you will create a great company. However, not everyone is a match for Zappos. Applicants may have up to four or more interviews before they are offered a job. Additionally, they must attend a four-week training program. Finally, new employees are offered $2,000 to leave if they decide Zappos is not the place for them. Less than 2% take the money.

The principle is simple. If you employ the appropriate staff, treat them well and put them in a high performance environment, they will generate results and do it gladly. In the past ten years Zappos has grown from $1.6 million to $1.1 billion in sales. Seventy-five percent of its sales is based on repeat customers. Despite the financial success, the company’s number one motivation is not so much the money, as it is to deliver happiness to its customers, employees and vendors. And it certainly seems Zappos is doing that better than most.


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