How do you choose which socks to wear?

There’s more to picking which socks to wear than you first think. You might have practical considerations like what works best with my outfit, you might need sport socks to go to the gym and you want those little ones that you can’t see over your trainers.

But it’s more than that… some days you just want to pick those soft knitted socks at the weekend to complement your hot cuppa or glass of wine to put you in fully relaxed mode.

If you think I’ve gone mad banging on about socks then bear with, there is a point to all of this I promise!

A ground-breaking study on emotional decision-making

I wanted to highlight findings from neuroscientist Dr. Antonio Damasio’s ground-breaking study on emotional decision-making which he shared in his book, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

Damasio studied patients with prefrontal cortical damage – the part of the brain where emotions are generated. During the study he found that people couldn’t feel emotions but they could provide logical responses. However, people couldn’t make decisions – even simple decisions like what socks to wear or which restaurant to book. 

“Emotion allows you to mark things as good, bad or indifferent literally in the flesh and it is that kind of emotional impetuous they (study participants) were lacking. They can’t conjure up for a given situation an emotional state that would decide them on one direction or another” says Damasio.

Why emotional decision-making is crucial to branding and marketing

We might be thinking we are making a rational decision in life and business, but the study shows how crucial emotions are to our decision-making process.

So often we see organisations leading with rational brand and marketing messages. Yes, rational messages are important but emotional messages also need to be shared to tap into instinctive decisions and to form a strong brand connection.

Challenge yourself. At the top of your website is your messaging purely rational? Is your brand leading with all rational language? Not sure how to bring in the emotional side? It’s easier than you might think!

Make your emotional connection

We’ve developed a RiSE brand model and the start of the model involves investigating your customer brand perceptions – which is a fantastic place to reveal those emotional connections. The process has been applied with lots of clients across industries and it makes a big difference!


This latest thinking article was written by:

Becky Readon

Managing Director