How Emotion Helped Us Grow Our Startup

There is a very common question that I always hear with a lot of startups. Should you listen to your customers on not?


People Emotions

Based on their own understanding, most people would have a yes or no answer to this simple question. On one side, there are those that believe that you need to test everything and on the other hand, there are those that refer the famous quote by Henry Ford that “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Contrary to what is believed, a startup is not about growth hacks and quantitative metrics. It’s important to develop a link between your business and the user. Specifically, using stories to trigger customer actions.

Naturally, human beings connect well with stories. They help us connect with other people, products, places, ideas, and products. They help us know how to use our money and identify brands we want to be associated with.

Emotion-driven marketing for new businesses

Digital media has created an equal platform for marketing in all fields. Today, savvy marketers can use compelling stories to capture the customer’s interest in their brand. Creative and emotion marketing enables all business to drive brand awareness targeting a lot of users. These digital marketing strategies have replaced traditional modes of advertising that once benefited the large corporations with big financial resources.

Many companies understand what they do in the market and advertise it well, but few of them know why. Eric Holmen, the Founder of Invoca, a marketing automation company indicates that triggering an emotional response is done intentionally to allow the buyers to see value in a product and act with urgency. He further indicates that most startups focus on strategies instead of the intentional emotions that are most important.

So, it is easier to create a marketing strategy around the “what”, but compelling stories explains the “why”. The stories enable start-ups to focus on the emotional advantages of their products or brand.

This means that new business owners must concentrate in emotion-driven marketing that helps to create authentic customer engagement.

Successful companies such as Apple, Virgin America, Nike, and so on have become proficient in the art of using emotion-driven marketing to connect customers with their brands. Similarly, Startups like Etsy, Atlassian, VSCO, etc. trigger an emotional response that helps to build trust which creates brand awareness and loyalty which leads to the growth of the business.

The secret behind eliciting an emotional response

According to Robert Plutchik, an expert Psychologist, there are eight basic emotions that are associated with behaviors. These are fear, joy, sadness, trust, anger, surprise, disgust and anticipation. These emotions establish a brand to consumers and they can find a connection with the product and the business as a whole.

But which emotion responses should startups target, and how to notes these emotions. Here are some correlations in emotions that help with consumer behavior.

Curiosity: Success pivots on curiosity. It is faced with the fear of unknown. Only through the great curiosity to connect with customers will a business grow into something real. Picture a startup with no curiosity. Most likely it’s where the same people run the business for many years but it’s still the same despite the major advancement in technology. At times, they may adjust to facing an unavoidable threat, but they never go an extra mile to embrace innovation. In the end, this type of company will not grow.

Desire: As an entrepreneur, you must have the desire to achieve the goals of your business. After you have evaluated the options as thoroughly as possible, just trust your own instincts. This will help you have a clear mind to fulfill the desires of your business.

Fear: Every single business owners including me face this emotion. It’s one of the lowest feelings you can have. The fear of being left out is what affects most start-ups. But to overcome the fear, trust your intuition and fight for your business.

Happiness: As a business owner, you will come across those days that everything seems to go astray. So, you need to remember the passion that drove you to start the business. Happiness in what you do is one thing that will help you become more confident about risk taking.

Emotions can change the decision we make and make us more impulsive. When a business realizes the customer’s impetuous nature, they can start using the human emotions as an important aspect when making a decision to create a product.


When you decide to launch a startup, it often feels like you’re walking down a dark path with no clear information about what is ahead of you. That’s exactly how I felt when I was starting out, especially in answering the question on whether to listen to users or not. But the best approach is to do both but keep the user’s emotions in mind. But, remember timing is key.

Author Bio:

Kira Carr is wedded to her job as a freelance writer and blogger at She creates many amazing posts regarding helpful techniques & strategies for new bloggers and freelancers. This girl is an interpreter by education. She goes mad of reading British modern literature.