Have a HEART – A Dirty Little Secret – Part 2

Welcome back to Have a HEART, Part 2, Exploring the role of EMOTIONS  in todays business world.

In part 1, I introduced the subject of emotions in business and why they’re becoming increasingly important in staging customer experiences and influencing buying decisions.   I also shared some ground breaking research, conducted by Colin Shaw and his Company, Beyond Philosophy.  That research revealed for the first time ever ”the empirical link between evoking certain emotions along the customer experience journey, and increasing and decreasing revenue”.

Has the business world changed ?  Are Emotions now ok to talk about ?  I say yes.

Consider The book and Nation-Wide Tour by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos,  called “Delivering Happiness.” (See video above)

Did you know that Zappos also has a “Chief Happiness Officer ?  I love it!

Did you know that research shows, that making customers happy, is one of the most important emotions to develop screaming fans of your business ?

Doesn’t seem like rocket science,  but I don’t believe that many business meetings have a subject matter of How Do I Make Customers Feel Happy  as a main meeting priority.

Experiences,  Storytelling  & Emotions

“Our understanding of what truly influences people has fundamentally shifted thanks to new brain research and public data, which proves over and over that people make decisions emotionally, and that storytelling is (and always has been) the most powerful form of communication.”

When is the last time that you made a buying decision that was influenced more by emotions than logic ?

For me it was yesterday, when I chose to drive from Staples to Barnes & Noble  to purchase a supply of Moleskin Note Books for my writing & research.  I bought this more expensive brand strictly because of their brand story and quite frankly how i feel when I use these notebooks.

It really was a purchasing decision based on emotions.  People buy certain car makes and models because of how a particular car makes them feel about themselves.  How about the Mac or Harley Davidson fanatics?  Do you think there is an emotional involvement by their fans?  How many Harley tattoos, bumper stickers, sweat shirts, hats coats etc have you seen over the years?

My Personal Connection – A Mini Backstory On Emotions

In early 2004, I decided our company had to develop a new strategy that would differentiate our video production and media company.  One of our very first activities in this process was to revisit what we really did – our work.   Re-thinking and answering this question led to us defining our work as creating experiences —    ones that touched hearts and reached minds.

We didn’t just pull the word experiences out of a thesaurus or use it because it sounded cool.  The connection was more personal.

We were fortunate to have seen the emotional impact of a number of our video stories on a few audiences as they were played at events that we attended.  (Hope that doesn’t sound  promotional)

Having a few audiences stand up out of their seats and clap at the conclusion of the videos,  and the post event buzz the videos created, directly influenced us in defining our work, as creating experiences. This  ultimately led to a Google search on the words ‘EXPERIENCES and BUSINESS, to investigate any possible connections or trends in business, between the two.


I remember that Google Search to this day.  Discovering what was being called ”The Experience Economy”-a shift in the core fabric of business, the progression of new economic value to Experiences.  This emerging strategy addressed the age old business questions of on how to differentiate.  Remember, my initial challenge was  to find a way to differentiate my own company.

I was EXCITED about my discovery.

The sub title of Pine & Gilmore’s book, “Work is Theatre and Every Business a Stage, resonated with me.  I was ENERGIZED.

After reading my first book on customer experiences,  The Experience Economy by Joe Pine & Jim Gilmore, I was very much INTERESTED.

Simply stated it had my ATTENTION!

I wanted to explore more !


Feeling interested, excited, stimulated, energetic and exploratory, as I was reading Pine & Gilmore’s book, are emotions.  As a matter of fact they are part of what Colin Shaw in  “The DNA of Customer Experience – How Emotions Drive Value”,   defines as,  ”The Attention Cluster” of Emotions.

Colin’s research,  has also identified,  specific emotions that should be evoked during the customer experience, that will lead to a customer recommending you and another cluster that if evoked will lead to customers advocating your business – becoming screaming fans!

The very first stage of any EXPERIENCE is ATTRACTING customers.  It begins by getting their attention.   I hope you are getting the connection.


In future blog post and newsletters (sign up to the right) I will continue to explore the subject of evoking emotions.   We’ll take a look at specific emotions and explore as Shaw says, “drive value or destroy it”.  We’ll continue to take a peek at some of Colin Shaw’s findings on specific emotions that help develop Loyalty and Customer Advocacy.  I hope you’ll  join me.

Buy Colin’s Shaws book “The DNA of Customer Experience here.


Let me leave you with a little thought on story & my role as a video producer.

THE VIDEO CONNECTION - One of the real powers of using the tool of video in business communications is its ability to evoke emotions from your audience.

A critical component of designing experiences (Including video stories) is to evoke emotions.

How do you want your customers or your audience to FEEL ? –  not just after  the viewing experience but during the various stages as well.

It just doesn’t happen by chance. It is part of the story development process.  We deliberately map certain emotions along the story structure.  Beginning – Middle – End

The ultimate goal….. to engage our audience and  connect with them in a personal way,  resulting in an experience that they will remember and share.



If your interested in the latest thinking and cool ideas on customer experiences and business storytelling, don’t forget to sign up for my new e-mail letter.  This information will not be published on this blog.  Love to have you join the community.

Until next time.  Rock Your Customers !   Make them Happy ! :)  Bill G


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  1. Hey Bill — fabulous article! What a wealth of resources. I’ve added it into the Just Story It curated content. You can see it here at http://www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it. I don’t know how I missed this article earlier! Please don’t hesitate to let me know directly when you post an article that you think might work for my collection. Thanks!

    • Hi Karen. Thanks for checking out the Rock Your Customers Blog and your nice words. I’ll keep you posted on future articles. Bill


  1. [...] Mavericks blog. Bill has a passion for Customer Experience. His recent blog is a good summary of why emotions in a Customer Experience are important. As I read this I started to think what are the reasons people in business don’t think [...]

  2. [...] will suddenly start feeling positive emotions such as happy, pleased, valued etc. Bill Gibeault of Story Mavericks blog, even points that “research shows, that making customers happy, is one of the most important [...]

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