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Confessions of an emotional strategist

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

How embracing feeling and perceiving helps me create stronger brands.

Years ago when I was just starting out as a brand strategist, a group of my co-workers were discussing their Myers Briggs type and commenting on how their personality type made them a perfect fit for a career in brand strategy.

Every one of them was an ENTJ.

A few of us who didn't know our Myers Briggs type decided to take the test together and compare results. The first three in our group got their results and (you guessed it!) ENTJ trifecta.

When my turn came around...ENFP.

The room got very quiet. A few eyebrows were raised. And then my co-workers rushed to reassure me that I could always take the test again and get a better result. By better they meant “TJ.”

What went unsaid in that room was the conviction that to be a good brand strategist you had to be a 'thinker/judger.' No strategist worth their salt could be a 'feeler/perceiver.' After all, thinking and judging were associated with the hallmarks of strategy – logic, consistency, and decision making.

Emotion Creates Connections In his groundbreaking 2010 book, “Emotional Branding,” Marc Gobé correctly (and presciently) argued that to be successful, brands would need to shift their focus from products to people. Today, we live in a world where consumers are most loyal to brands that provide a feeling of belonging. This is especially true for B2B customers whose purchasing decisions can make or break their careers and want to invest in brands who understand the emotions associated with these risks.

It’s emotions–not logic–that create human connections and a feeling of belonging.

Emotional Intelligence Makes A Difference In all the years following my Myers Briggs 'diagnosis' I’ve remained convinced that being an “FP” makes me a better strategist. I take being called emotionally intelligent as a compliment. Of course, I still employ logic and consistency in my work, but I naturally stay open to what I perceive from the employees and consumers I talk to and the connections between ideas and events. Because I am inclined to listen more deeply, people open up to me more freely. I don’t discount the feelings they share in their interviews with me. And sometimes it’s what’s left unsaid that leads to the biggest branding breakthroughs. Being open to ‘hearing’ those silent thoughts is one of my secret weapons.

Put Emotion To Work For Your Brand If you’re launching a new brand, or evolving your brand to meet new challenges, keep in mind that the goal of your brand strategy is to help you create connections with people. Make sure you’re using feeling and perceiving as tools to get you there. #brandstrategy #B2Bbranding #emotionalintelligence

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