Cognitive mental experience
Emotional mental experience
Cognitive, emotional and imaginative experiences

Three reasons to stage mental experiences

In the process of developing a venture, we need to live through cognitive, emotional and imaginative experiences.

Cognitive experiences establish an understanding of a service

As founders, we need to make our audience develop cognitively and learn theoretically. Users need to get information and learn about a service. Cognitive customer experiences occur as a result of reflections from a stimulus received earlier.

As creators of services, we learn what we need to know to be able to innovate and make something through mental experiences. Consumers learn something about an offer through experiences, which makes them study things more closely.

“Emotions are inseparable from and a necessary part of cognition” – Donald Norman

Cognitive experiences make entrepreneurs understand information and cognitively grasp something that might lead to innovation or marketing. For an audience, a cognitive experience is the mental process of getting an understanding of an offer through the senses and thought. There’s a difference between processing information about a service, product or organisation and cognitively reflecting upon what it can do.

Emotional experiences have effects on brands

To acquire customers, you need to design an emotionally engaging experience. Designers of services try to elicit emotional experiences because an emotional stimulus arouses people's nervous system and produces visceral changes including an increase in heart rate, respiration and perspiration. If an audience has an emotional relation to a service or product, they may feel bodily reactions to the emotion.

“A well-designed customer experience triggers emotions” – Colin Shaw

Providers of services use emotional experiences to strengthen people's relationships to brands. By knowing what’s valuable to their audience, providers are able to arouse emotional experiences through triggers that mirror their audience’s personality. Consumers seek out emotional experiences to enhance an already established positive emotion or to counteract an emotion of displeasure.

When a user gets an emotional experience from an innovation or from marketing it is called emotional branding. For the audience, an emotional reaction to a product results in a stronger relation to it, because the experience of emotions is one of the most powerful experiences we can be subject to. Likewise, if we experience something that has a strong physical impact on us, it will develop into a strong emotional relation.

Imagination is a strong experience

Experiences of vision involve creativity both from the provider and from the users. Brand marketers often use imaginative experiences because it’s the oldest form of communication. By telling stories, the provider prompts the audience to establish a 'world' through their imagination. Imagination and emotion – thinking and feeling - can be aspects of the same process. People choose products where the communication elicits imagination, because this gives them the freedom to establish their own story and role in relation to the product. Emotions depend on imagination, because some emotions make us imagine ourselves being perceived in a certain way.

Creators establish imaginative experiences by telling stories and inviting users to finish the story of a service or product. Sometimes, providers create mysteries, tell riddles, or ask consumers to solve a problem. Customers get involved in imaginative experiences because the experiences connect them to their emotions. If human beings use their imagination, it always produces stories that have an emotional relation to them.

“…The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill

Emotions aroused by imaginary experiences are strong because our imagination is the repository of our mental representation of a possible future. As a provider of a service, we have to inspire our audience to use their imagination to establish the product as part of that imagined future. Users are always grateful when something awakens their emotions through imagination. Emotion is a state where we experience a pressure towards creating imaginative representations of possibilities about some particular object.
Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.