Understanding emotional bonding to enhance NPS

by Antonia Rangelova, Senior Market Research Manager

By now you probably have it figured out – everything related to your brand is important. But what exactly is everything? Not long ago, the focus was on the rational elements of a product or service, but there is a new star metric in town – emotional bonding. Most brands measure performance through key indicators such as awareness, consideration, preference; some may even monitor the usage and attitude towards the brand and its competitors. But if you want to stay on top of your game, you’d also want to know what the life cycle and lifetime value of your brand is and whether customers tend to bond with it.

Understanding emotional bonding to enhance NPS

The challenge with something as subjective as emotional bonding is, of course, how to measure and manage it. To achieve this level of Jedi mastery, you need to know as much as possible about your brand and all the metrics related to it. Keeping track of your NPS and the NPS of your competitors is all great and dandy, but it is far from sufficient for reaching any meaningful conclusions on how to drive your brand ahead. In other words, how could you begin nudging your brand in the right direction if you do not even understand what drivers your NPS up or down? Well, worry not! There is a structured path and it includes systematically going for the answers of several important questions and integrating them in your overall brand evaluation. This approach underlies Gemseek’s integral methodology, which measures brand performance, usage, and attitude, and combines it with evaluation of the NPS.
How can you measure the performance and positioning of your brand? – There are several steps you can follow to gain complete and meaningful information:

  • Measure the awareness, consideration and preference of your brand;
  • Check out the current brand positioning of your brand and its competitors;
  • Asses brand affinity, brand credibility and the emotional and rational impact of the brand;
  • Reveal the relevant image barriers and success factors for your brand within the competitive environment;
  • Define key brand characteristics and “added values”, which can increase the brand value;

How do you know what is the usage of your brand and what is the attitude of your current and potential customers?

  • Firstly, you’d measure the size of the market to set a baseline for calculating the penetration of your category and the frequency of usage;
  • Then measure your category – who are your users, what do they use, how and where do they use it;
  • Once you know who they are, search for more information to target your customers – demographic, behavioral, attitudinal or combining all three segmentation criteria;
  • Survey the reasons driving your customers to buy your brand;
  • Next, study the main touchpoints influencing your customers’ decision to purchase;
  • Don’t forget to ask the customers about where they purchase your brand.

Understanding emotional bonding to enhance NPS

How do emotions impact your NPS?

Once you’ve collected all of the above information the question “Based on your experience, how likely are you to recommend our product to family, friends and colleagues?” comes quite naturally. And in it, lies the heart of the NPS metric.

As mentioned, the rational aspects are no longer quite as important as the emotional ones. Using the integral approach of studying the brand you can focus on the emotions driving a purchase decision. Apart from measuring the product experience attributes which helps you explain the improvement or decline in your NPS score you also end up measuring the emotional aspects of the brand as well. Years of experience and analyses of emotional aspects, as well as common logic, show that emotions do influence the NPS score: the more positively a customer perceives a brand, the higher the likelihood they would recommend it. Aiming to understand emotional bonding and its effect on NPS better, Gemseek developed a proprietary study titled HearBeat+ (HB+). Combining measures of brand performance, customer satisfaction and purchase decision process, a sample study from 2015 shows a real-life example of that correlation and the HB+ methodology. As the overall brand image improved, NPS increased as well:

Understanding emotional bonding to enhance NPS
There are different ways of boosting your image – from advertising campaigns through PR activities to personal approach to your customers. No matter what unique blend you choose for your brand, keep in mind that that measuring each of them helps you clearly identify exactly what works and which components truly help your brand increase its lifetime value.

Our expertise

Gemseek has hands on experience with the proprietary HB+ methodology. We have conducted projects using the methodology for several years now covering various categories and more than 20 markets. The methodology combines measures of brand performance, customer satisfaction and purchase decision process. The key measures include:

  • Tracking performance of your brand and main competitors by measuring purchase funnel (awareness, consideration, preference) within specific target audiences at country/ combination and category level;
  • Tracking performance of the brand components;
  • Exploring KPI drivers and areas for improvement;
  • Tracking product usage and recency of purchase;
  • Tracking customer experience via NPS question;
  • Benchmarking your brand’s and the main competitors’ performance on brand and product attributes;
  • Exploring purchase decision process at every stage (pre-purchase, purchase, post purchase);
  • Measuring product penetration per category/ country combination.


Do you have questions? Get in touch and one of our experts will contact you with customized advice!