Communispace Expands Proprietary Emotion-Driven Research Methodologies

Agency uses distinct tools to tap into consumer emotions behind subconscious purchasing decisions
2012-10-16 Boston, MA

Communispace, a leader in building online communities that transform the way global brands listen to and understand their consumers, today expanded their emotions-focused methodological approach with Emotive Elicitation, a proprietary methodology that uses body language images to uncover subconscious consumer emotions and perceptions. Knowing that 80 percent of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, Emotive Elicitation joins Communispace’s EmotionCentric Explorer, a free association methodology, to tap into key emotional benefits that act as principle drivers for consumer choices. The company’s groundbreaking work understanding emotional triggers allows their Fortune 500 clients to obtain game-changing insights that inspire fresh business-building ideas.

Communispace began developing Emotive Elicitation to overcome the limitations of facial expression analysis, an insights tool used extensively across the research industry. Many complex emotions, especially social ones such as affection or shame, are very difficult to effectively portray through face alone. “Unlike facial expressions which can hold various meanings from culture to culture, most forms of body language universally signify the same emotions. They also serve both to elicit feelings through empathetic responses and to project subconscious emotions through storytelling,” said Julie Wittes Schlack, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Design. “Through Emotive Elicitation, we are able to harvest insights that illuminate the emotional strengths and weakness of an advertising or product concept for our global clients, across countries and even continents.”

Emotive Elicitation has been piloted in key client communities, and complements EmotionCentric Explorer, a methodology that exposes community members to a stimulus and asks a simple question: ‘How does it make you feel?’ “Together with EmotionCentric Explorer, we have a three-dimensional view into consumers’ subconscious behavioral drivers, uncovering recurring themes or issues, which are the most important drivers and reasons behind target consumers’ preference or attitudes towards a concept,” stated Ed Chao, Director, Client Services. “By understanding underlying emotional triggers and removing the elements associated with negative emotions, marketers can change the balance towards positive emotions, and greatly activate purchase behavior.”

Recently, one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies used EmotionCentric Explorer to understand the emotional aspects of deodorant and anti-perspirants. The research showed that for a product that is typically sold by highlighting the functional benefits, consumers have strong untapped emotional needs in relation to the category beyond the obvious desire to feel secure and protected. EmotionCentric Explorer, coupled with a structured series of co-creation activities in the community, informed the development of a promising new product line.

“We have rolled out these methodologies in our client communities with great success,” said Chao. “Over the past few months, the insights garnered through these methodologies have informed key decisions for our clients, ranging from new product line developments to predicting the efficacy of advertising.”

Emotive Elicitation Methodology
Emotive Elicitation methodology makes use of specific poses (that communicate the same message across gender, age and culture) and ambiguous poses (which evoke different emotions across cultures and social markers) as tools for tapping into personal emotions or cultural views, depending on what insights the researcher is seeking to uncover.

EmotionCentric Explorer Methodology
EmotionCentric Explorer uses free association to enable community members to reflect, recognize and describe their feelings without constraint or judgment. What participants choose to talk about, and how they talk about it, provides deep insights into their emotional state and underlying beliefs.

Communispace manages over 50 global communities for 19 clients and has community members in 96 countries. In the last year, Communispace has been recognized as a Best Place to Work by The Boston Business Journal and is one of the fastest-growing companies in its industry, according to the American Marketing Association’s Honomichl Report.

About Communispace
The world’s most admired brands turn to Communispace (www.communispace.com), the leader in generating actionable insights via private online customer communities. Founded in 1999, the company has created nearly 600 customer communities for over 100 industry leaders. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the company has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Sydney. Communispace is a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc.

About Diversified Agency Services
Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), manages Omnicom’s holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

About Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group Inc. (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

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Contact:
Emily Paisner
Senior Global Marketing Manager
epaisner@communispace.com
+1 617.316.4171