I often state rather emphatically that purchase decisions are emotional choices and that brands need to tap into the highest emotional intensity if they hope to thrive, grow and steal market share.

The stock market is a perfect example of a brand whose growth and contraction is completely emotional. In the last couple of days, the market has grown (stealing market share from other methods of investment) and those purchase decisions were 100% emotional. The drivers were not rational in any way.london-stock-exchange

There are those that pretend to invest as a result of rational matrices and, yet, the value of their investment is completely dependent on the emotional and irrational swings of the rest of us.

Savvy investors always scorn the idea of “market timing.” They recognize that figuring out the correct moment to buy and sell is a mirage. Successful investors dollar cost average and buy at regular intervals so that their risk and success is not dependent on the irrational swings of a highly emotionally volatile marketplace.

2_great_depressionSo, the market is up because a few economists pronounced the great recession as having ended in June. While very little has changed in the economy, investors “feel better” and the emotional trigger causes the market to rise as more dollars compete for fewer equities.

The philosopher Alan Watts once wrote about the great depression and said, paraphrasing, that one day construction workers reported to a building site and the foreman told them to go home, that their labor was no longer needed because the economy had collapsed. The laborers asked what had changed? We have lumber, we have tools, we have nails and we have hours. To which the foreman responded, “Yes but we just ran out of inches.”

So, look no further than to the stock market to see examples of the emotional preferences of brands. Then remember that important lesson as you prepare to grow your own market share. Don’t stress the rational reasons. Stress the emotional reasons why customers should choose you.