September 01, 2015
John Mulder

Does Your Brand Give You Goosebumps?

There is a very thin line between pain and pleasure. The same can be said for fear and exhilaration. Case in point – goose bumps. The reaction you have to the cold or fear is the exact same physiological reaction you have to exhilaration. It’s a thin line indeed.

In a scientific study I read, awe was the second most-cited cause of goose bumps, preceded only by reactions to cold. The first type I mentioned are the ones I enjoy. They are the ones I get from my hearing one of my favorite songs. The ones I get when I tell someone about an amazing experience I had. Those goose bumps are undeniably very pleasurable feelings.

In the creative industry, we live for those sensations, because that’s when you know you have something great. Those types of goose bumps are an emotional climax of intense emotional moments. And since goose bumps are a mental reflex, awe-triggered ones cannot be faked. It’s why I believe in them. It’s also why I believe they are the closest measure we have to analytic PROOF that an idea or concept is REALLY good.

It happens a lot at 3Seed. Recently, we had a client tell us that our creative concept gave them goose bumps. It’s actually quite an accomplishment in this case because this particular client is very close to their brand and has been desensitized after years of familiarity to it. In order to elicit that response, we created an emotional apex involving feelings of surprise, admiration of their brand, and a guttural rush of emotion – and that’s the mix that causes goose bumps.

Does your brand still give you goose bumps when you talk about it? If not, maybe it’s time to revamp it and make it exhilarating again.