EQ, repeat purchase and brand legacy. What Design Thinking is really about.


The last impression your customer has of your brand is the thing they take to market when they buy again.

Brand value

Car sales guys are pretty good at customer service. In my experience, service desks aren’t. Problem: the last impression your customer has of your brand is the thing they take to market when they buy again.

Kevin Keegan was a great footballer but is often remembered for a passionate rant as manager of Newcastle United, twenty years ago. His career in management never really recovered.

Gerald Ratner once headed the best-known and most successful jewellery retail chain in the UK. It was cheap and cheerful at a time of recession. Then he called his products “total crap.” The Ratners brand died instantly.

It’s possible that Philip Green did some good things at some point in his career. Does anyone remember? This week the ‘Rich List’ applies some pressure to his personal status and claims his Arcadia Group to be “worthless”. He may have kept his knighthood – so far…

Social lens

Brands today clamour to be in the spotlight of social media and pay millions for click-throughs. But, as consumers become more attuned to issues they want to act on, brand behaviour will come under scrutiny. It’s no good telling the world what your brand plans to do about its environmental impact while consumers are kicking your plastic bottle/crisp packet/detergent tub/fertiliser sack/bread bag along the beach. They can see what your attitude has been so far.

Social media and connectivity have been the preserve of brands to exploit, but we are at a point in brand market evolution where this power is pivoting and is the lens through which emotional quotient (EQ) will be measured.


EQ is a hard metric to get right, but acknowledgement of it as a monitor of consumer sentiment is beginning to filter through to market segments – some more than others. High end clothing? Yes, in some places. Plastic packaging? Not obviously.

Of course, environmental considerations, as they relate to buying decisions, represent a decision for the privileged. There are many places where it’s simply not possible for people to be as ‘green’ minded as they wish. Budget, choice, even basic availability of products isn’t guaranteed in large parts of the world. So, how consumers behave where the choice is available makes that behaviour even more powerful.

Design Thinking

If you think EQ and Design Thinking aren’t related, think again. Personal purchases and the ways that consumers respond to brands are going to be more and more critically measured.

CSuite responsibility

Understanding how consumer EQ needs to be considered by brands is unlikely to  feature in your sales team’s remit, or your marketing team’s plan. This is a matter for CSuite. If your CSuite isn’t actively and urgently discussing these complex issues, get in touch. We can help.

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