Remember, you are an EMPATH!!!

Recently, one of my close friend and colleague Joseph Sursock recommended me to watch a short 60 seconds video of Stefan Mumaw on Designing Emotions. Stefan is a Creative Director with First Person. He has led creative efforts on brands large and small, including Roland, Pioneer, Coca-Cola, Sony, Hurley, Tyson, Tennisset.com, Westar Energy, Elanco, Chevrolet, and Hallmark.

After watching his short video, I got intrigued and excited to learn more about his perspective in the field of designing creative and building brands by tapping on to the emotions of the consumers, and how to differentiate between empathy and manipulation. On LinkedIn Learning community, I subscribed for his short course on Designing Emotions, and here are some of my learnings from that course:

On LinkedIn Learning community, I subscribed for his short course on Designing Emotions, and here are some of my learnings from that course:

  1. DO NOT short sell yourself. Always position yourself as an EMPATH and then back that up with what you do.
  2. While doing the design of your product, make a list of emotions that you want your audience to feel about the brand. Then, please make a list of all those triggers that trigger those emotions authentically in their life. Subsequently, associate your brand with the triggers and not the emotions. By doing this, you are building an authentic connection between your brand and the audience.
  3. While doing the design of your product, we need to figure out what part of the story our audience already knows, what part we need to bring them in, and help them complete their story.
  4. As human beings, we seek stories and continuously look for patterns.
  5. As a part of our storytelling, we often focus on the end state i.e., how our brand and product are going to make their life better, but there is NO emotional resonance in that. The emotional resonance is the ups and downs that come in their life, and influence the end state experience.
  6. What controls the emotional trigger is the CULTURAL SYSTEM. The cultural system is nothing but the totality of what makes our world view. It includes our upbringing, geography, perspective, and belief system.
  7. Using the cultural system of the clients, we can predict their behavior, and that is something we can bring in our product design.
  8. While doing your design, keep EMPATHY at the core, and think, what would make your audience Laugh, Cry, Motivate, and Act.
  9. When you are in the WANT mode, there are two forces at the action i.e., Emotional and Rationale.
  10. Emotional only cares about what he/she wants or cares about at that moment while, the Rationale would focus on what problem you are going to solve, and what new issues are going to arise from that.
  11. As human-being, we often fail to communicate in Emotions and try to bring rational justifications to prove our point.
  12. As a designer, we design for emotions and include copy for rational. You can make someone love for your product and then give them words to support it.

I hope you enjoyed reading these words of wisdom, and I am sure you would find multiple opportunities to apply in your professional life.

I will share the rest of the learnings in PART 2 of this blog post. Thanks Stefan for sharing these words of wisdom.

Happy Learning:-)

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