Demetrius Knight ’19, as you can tell from the number appended to the end of his name, recently graduated from Cal State Fullerton. But Demetrius, who is now a resident at the CSUF Startup Incubator himself, is dedicated to educating himself and attended the most recent CSUF Startup event over in Irvine. This event featured Leila Entezam speaking on the topic of emotional intelligence (EQ) and how savvy brands can use EQ to create more engaging brands. What follows are Demetrius’ notes of that talk. Enjoy!

Leila Entezam is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that provides discussions on neuroscience topics that relate to emotional intelligence (EQ). Ms. Entezam brought the event to order with an activity meant to stimulate emotions and highlighted the five senses. She asked for 5 volunteers to engage in activities that brought out the senses (touch, taste, feel, hear, smell). The audience enjoyed the demonstration and then was asked to define emotional intelligence (EQ), which is the ability to interpret interpersonal conversation and can be used to determine winning marketing and branding strategies.

Currently, the business world is utilizing innovative technology to recognize emotional intelligence and engage their target audience. Take Mabu as an example. Mabu is an AI robot that functions as a companion to serve senior citizens to provide care and interact with patients. The robot has facial recognition and AI intelligence that will make Mabu more relatable to humans. Additionally, technology like Cyrano is an AI that can analyze and detect the commitment level through conversation transcripts. Many technologies are still experiencing problems with interpreting emotional intelligence from users.

Voice recognition technology, like Alexa, is having trouble interpreting vocal tonality and that is resulting in responses that lack the emotional intelligence to properly respond to the question. Leila played 3 audio clips that elicited various emotions to emphasize the gap in technology. This technology is integrated into our lives and it’s a priority for these tech developers to incorporate better EQ into their designs.

The human brain is constantly surveying the environment and interpreting sensory signals to determine proper response actions. But even though the human brain is supremely impressive, AI technology is quickly learning to correctly respond to emotions and it is already getting integrated into all aspects of life.

Leila concluded her lecture with an audience discussion that allowed the event’s guests to ask questions on emotional intelligence. The discussion began with CSUF Entrepreneurship and Startup Manager Travis Lindsay asking, “How do you improve customer engagement by using EQ?” Leila answered this by saying that you should look at variables such as color, design, language, and packaging to help engage emotions in the target audience. Marketers can create a vision/motivation to accomplish goals by stimulating individual’s primal drivers to bring about buying behavior in the customer.

Ads can be designed with images that activate mirror neurons by choosing specific emotions that will bring out certain emotions. One of the audience members asked how can they use emotional intelligence to improve impact investing. Impact investing appeals largely to younger generations, such as millennials, who want to give back to society, so this trend is likely to expand as these investors gain more influence in the market. This can be achieved by first stimulating the primal drivers by depicting images of hope and opportunity to create the story. A heart-felt story is an extremely powerful tool to strengthen emotions for the customer to perform a desired response. Sell the reason why to the customer, rather than selling the product is key to driving more business.

95% of decision-making is performed at the subconscious level. It’s more effective to tell a story of hope vs listing logical data and facts to entice the customer to buy. If a firm wants to prospect its better by coming along as more authentic, it can provide a story that is relatable to the target audience and form a community by sharing similar likes and interests. Businesses should use tools like music, community events, and other promotions to create stronger brand ties.

Ultimately, the buyers’ attention span is shrinking so constant stimuli from attention grabbers is essential to keep the audience engaged. Businesses can implement emotional intelligence in ads by first identifying the pain-point the customer wants addressed and then reverse engineer the marketing piece from there. Packaging design is a key aspect to draw out emotions from the target market. Over time, emotional intelligence can be cultivated in three ways:

  • Journaling: formulate your thoughts and write them down so they can be analyzed and interpreted later.
  • Self-reflections: Become in tune with your emotions by being honest and non-judgmental of yourself. Learn what flaws you have and constantly work to improve them.
  • Increase your exposure to new people/experience and gain more of an understanding of new perspectives on life.

CSUF Entrepreneurship

We are dedicated to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs develop the skills that they need to compete locally and globally. The CSUF Entrepreneurship program does many things, including: consulting projects where students serve up fresh strategies to actual businesses, competitions for students from middle school to grad school, helping entrepreneurs go from concept to launch, frequent seminars and office hours for entrepreneurs and professionals, and much more. Interested in becoming a part of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community? Reach out to us at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu for more information!

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We teach, coach and lead the principled, cross-disciplinary practice of entrepreneurship. We believe that, through determined practice, leadership and team work, our students, faculty, clients, volunteers and alums can systematically recombine the new and the old to forge new ventures, create an entrepreneurial culture, and dramatically benefit our community.

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