Which Tribe do you belong to?

Dec 27 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

Although Tribe is mostly written about war veterans and the process of coming home from war, it holds some profound lessons for all of us and how we cope with the modern world. The central argument is that recovery is strongly associated with a feeling of belonging to a group, something that war gives soldiers and then takes away from many of them when they return. Read more »

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Joy to the World: The feeling of happiness

Dec 26 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

If there is an emotion that is most strongly associated with the Christmas and New Year holidays it must surely be Joy. In the text as well as performances of the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the world’, Joy is associated with singing and a very physical and spontaneous sense of well-being. [The carol was written by Isaac Watts, a pastor with a father who was jailed for his non-conformist views, in 1719 and with a famous musical setting written by George Frederick Handel.]

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The rise of modern Muslim values

Nov 23 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

There has never been a better time to improve our understanding of Islamic traditions and Muslim values. Ignoring the current political climate in the US and elsewhere, the more important and long-term trend to know is the projection by PewResearchCenter that the number of Muslims in the world will increase from 1.6 billion in 2010 to an estimated 2.76 billion in 2050. The book Generation M could not be more timely. Read more »

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How many emotions can you think of?

Sep 25 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

In some ways The Book of Human Emotions is a remarkable book, managing to cover 154 different emotions into a very readable and entertaining 270 pages. Through short, witty and illuminating essays on each emotion, the author reveals some of the many stories behind each emotion, and although light on science this is a book that is rich in insights into the human condition. Read more »

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What Market Research can Learn from Brexit

Jul 08 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

The result of the recent referendum in the UK on membership of the European Union (EU) was a big shock for most people, including opinion poll companies. Unfortunately, they had been providing remarkably similar forecasts for the last several months as the poll became closer, sometimes up and sometimes down but almost all with the same prediction. Those that tried even failed to get it right on polling day itself. In this regard, they repeated their poor performance of the UK general election just over one year ago. Read more »

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Feeling the Gap: Why goals matter for employers and brands

Apr 29 2016 Published by neilgains under archetypes

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII)

Marketers have finally got the message and are paying increasing importance to the role of emotions in helping consumers make choices about brands. Decisions about brand, or more generally decisions about life, are not just about associating an emotion with a brand or company, but about associating the right emotion. William Shakespeare was right when he talked about the gap between reality and desire, between being hot and rough or fair and temperate.

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How does it Feel to be a Market Researcher?

Jan 25 2016 Published by neilgains under archetypes

How does it really feel to be a market researcher in Asia? Is market research all about feeling smart, intelligent and insightful or do the goals of researchers go beyond the rhetoric of most agencies?

As part of the Asia Research magazine Staff Satisfaction Survey, TapestryWorks used the StoryWorks® Emotional Profiling tool to capture the feelings of staff through a simple visual card sort. Emotional Profiling is based on 12 motivational segments that capture the most fundamental human goals: courage, creativity, discovery, freedom, fun, love, belonging, nurture, innocence, control, knowledge and mastery.

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The Spectre of Blending Signs

Nov 09 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

I really enjoyed Spectre, the latest Bond outing. In particular, the film is full of references to other (Bond) movies. Apart from the fact that Spectre weaves together strands from all three of Daniel Craig’s previous outings, I noticed quiet specific references to several earlier Bond films, including From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (via Inception) and The Spy Who Loved Me. And those are only the ones that I remember (I wasn’t taking notes in the cinema).

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Let The Hands Speak

Oct 26 2015 Published by neilgains under brain science

“Language is inseparable from imagery” argues David McNeill (quoting from Antonio Damasio) in his revealing book on the relationship between gesture and language. Moreover, gestures actually help us to think and to speak and to articulate our feelings and thinking. Read more »

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How to CHIME with System 1

Sep 07 2015 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

Daniel Kahneman’s version of the division of the brain is gradually replacing the models, although it shares much in common with the older view of the “triune” brain. In the triune model there area three parts, the reptilian brain (home of the basic functions like homeostasis, breathing, feeding, sex), the mammalian brain (home of the emotions) and the neocortex (home of memory, higher level sensory processing and self-reflection and rational thinking).Daniel Kahneman’s System 1 is closest to a combination of reptilian and mammalian brains (survival and emotion) although it also incorporates some higher level sensory processing too. Read more »

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