Your Product’s Personality Can Create Meaning, Trust and Loyal Customers – or Not

In their recent post, Emotion Communicates Personality, Forms Relationships and Creates Meaning, Trevor van Gorp and Edie Adams share with us that:

“Regardless of whether you intentionally give your product a personality, people will perceive a personality.”

Not surprising, van Gorp and Adams’ research find that we tend to purchase products that seem to have personalities similar to our own, or who we aspire to be. These “personalities” create emotional connections that form attractions – and conversations. They also influence how much we trust a product or brand.

Intentionally designing specific personalities requires an understanding of visual and interactive design, as well as specific styles of content creation. It also means that designers need to understand how product/user “relationships” evolve through multiple interactions over time.

“The emotions we feel are created in part by the meaning(s) we give to people, brands and things, rather than the people, brands, or things themselves. Meaning is influenced by the personality that we perceive through appearance and interaction. By enabling new behaviors and actions, objects help to shape the existence of the people who use them.”

“Things that assist us in realizing goals can often be associated with the emotions that result when those goals are achieved. This association imbues these things with meaning. If attention is the energy a person requires to complete tasks and accomplish goals, it’s through the investment of attention that we create meaning. By actively cultivating meaning through emotional experiences, we both shape and reflect our larger goals.”

Heavy stuff… The message here – ensure that you or someone on your product team – or some department in your organization really understands the science and practical application of emotional design.

And, if you haven’t, read The Customer Experience Revolution for more on this and other related topics.