Kevin Perlmutter, The Science of Emotion and a Desirable Brand – InnovaBuzz 280

Kevin Perlmutter

Kevin Perlmutter, Limbic Brand Evolution

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Kevin Perlmutter. Kevin is a brand strategist and leadership advisor. As Chief Strategist & Founder of Limbic Brand Evolution, he helps companies focus their brand strategy, strengthen customer relationships, evolve business plans, offerings, communications and customer experience – all through the lens of emotion and motivation to improve brand engagement and customer loyalty. 

By bringing behavioral science approaches and insights into the work, Kevin’s able to create effective and actionable results for his clients. He is fascinated by the science of emotion, its well-documented power, and one question above all others: How do you want people to feel?

In our discussion, Kevin and I talked about:

  • Emotionally connecting with your customers and how to use that emotional connection to uncover unmet and often unconscious needs
  • Customer Experience Orchestration
  • Finding out what makes you desirable as a brand

Marc Halpert in episode 258 introduced us to Kevin.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Emotion is the most significant driver of loyalty and customer experience. How you make someone feel is the largest predictor of a customer's loyalty to your rand. @KevinPerlmutter on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Kevin Perlmutter of Limbic Brand Evolution

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Limbic is the part of the brain that controls emotion, motivation, behaviour, and memory.
  • Sound plays an important role in your brand’s identity. There are so many new technologies like podcasts and digital experiences where audio becomes a dominant part of the brand experience. Without an audio identity, your brand becomes invisible.
  • Focusing on emotion and how people react to you at an emotional level is super important.
  • Brands exist to make people’s lives better.
  • When you focus on how you want people to feel and use that as a guide, you’ll be in much better shape to serve not only your customers’ needs but also their unmet needs and frustrations.
  • Focus on what makes your organisation unique and desirable. What motivates your organisation? How are you making people’s lives better? What has led you to your place in the world with the products and services that you offer?
  • Think about what’s most important to the people you want to reach. What experiences are they having? What needs do they have? What are their unmet needs? 
  • Limbic sparks happen when your audience is emotionally motivated by what you are all about. It is an incredibly powerful place to be as a brand. 
  • When you understand what motivates your organisation and what motivates your desired audience, you can create that shared emotional motivation space as well as a strategic platform that will allow you to expand everything that you are doing in the marketplace.
  • Focus on how you want people to feel and speak to them in ways that are most relevant, most understanding, and with the most amount of empathy.
  • Emotion is the most significant driver of loyalty and customer experience. How you make someone feel is the largest predictor of a customer’s loyalty to your brand.
  • Studies show that 47% of people will abandon your brand if they have a frustrating or inauthentic experience.
  • Customers who are highly emotionally connected to your brand are 53% more valuable than those who are just highly satisfied. The reason why they are more valuable is that they really enjoy what they’re getting from you. They keep coming back for more. They tell people about it, and they are more forgiving when they had a slightly bad experience. 
  • Expand your audience by highlighting the things that people love so much about your brand. Evaluate what you already have and pivot your approach.
  • Implicit association testing is a way to successfully understand the strengths of the association that you have with a particular concept. 
  • Customer Experience Orchestration is an important part of any brand leader’s total purview.
  • Create a brand experience that is consistent across the entirety of the organisation. Consistent doesn’t mean it has to be the same. Consistent means it has to feel that it is coming from the brand. Have people in your company who are responsible for identifying what the customer should be feeling at each point of the journey regardless of when and where it happens. 
  • Everybody in the company is responsible for making sure that customers have a great experience. Everybody has to understand the customers always come first and understanding the customers’ needs is the best way to evolve in your business.
  • Organisations that have healthy customer experience systems are also the same organisations where everybody in the company understands their role in serving their customers. 
  • When employees understand what the business and brand is all about and are fully engaged in serving customers in a way that is productive and healthy, it leads to more ROI for the business, more positive experiences, and more loyalty.
  • How employees feel about the company they are working for is a reflection of how they act toward and for that company on the outside.
  • All brands should have a strategic foundation that comes from a place of emotional motivation of the business as a whole and of the customers they want to reach. Understanding where the intersection of emotion lies enables people to serve customers in a way that supports the organisation’s mission.
  • If your company’s mission is to serve customers in a certain way, make sure that your people also feel the same way. Make sure that they have the tools to become better employees.
  • When employees are happier, they will feel that they are in control. They will know what the customers need from them and they will know how to prioritise their time to get the right work done.
  • Make sure that your employee base is on board with what your brand stands for and that they know how they can deliver your brand’s promise.
  • Today more than ever, brands need to be more authentic and empathetic than before. As brands put themselves out there, their role right now is to help the current situation as best as they can. It’s not the time to be opportunistic and salesy. It’s a time to support our customers, our communities, and our employees.
  • Pivoting to serve your customers given their new needs is incredibly important.
  • Serving your community is all about paying it forward. People expect brands to do more than just be quiet. They expect them to put themselves out there in ways that will help people and their communities.
  • Brands that are able to help employees navigate this current situation with empathy are doing the right thing. Business survival is important but freeing the people who work hard for you every day is also important.
  • The coronavirus situation is going to call attention to brands that are doing the right thing and brands that don’t. There is going to be a re-calibration of brand loyalty based on what people observed during this time frame. Brands will be remembered for what good or bad they did during this challenging period.
  • Now is the right time to take in the situation. Understand how you want people to feel and act accordingly.
  • Emotion is essential in innovation. Innovation is all about serving unmet needs. If you truly want to successfully be innovative, you have to understand what people are missing in their lives or identify something that they will be thrilled to have that they didn’t even know they wanted.
Today more than ever, brands need to be more authentic and empathetic than before. As brands put themselves out there, their role right now is to help the situation as best as they can. @KevinPerlmutter on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Kevin’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Seek inspiration. It is how you go about absorbing lots of information and take on board things from multiple perspectives. It gives you the opportunity to form new ideas and come up with things in unexpected ways.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Create a simplified approach to brand strategy that is distinctly focused on emotion and motivation – Limbic Sparks.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Empathy maps. 
  4. Keep project / client on track – Bringing a sense of urgency. 
  5. Differentiate – Find something that you are passionate about and be the best at it.

To Be a Leader

It’s time to get serious about emotion. It’s really important as a brand leader for ROI purposes and other important things that you are trying to accomplish to focus on how it is that you want people to feel. Let the answer to that question be your guide for the work that you do. 

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Kevin through his website and on LinkedIn

Suggested Guest

Kevin suggested I interview Rebecca Arbona of Brand True. So Rebecca, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Kevin Perlmutter.


Cool things about Kevin

  • Prior to Limbic, he served as Chief Strategist & Chief Innovation Officer at sonic branding studio Man Made Music.
  • He created MMM’s SonicPulse® Research – 2018’s “most innovative” award-winning neuroscience-based capability.
  • He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Indiana University – Kelley School of Business.
Brands exist to make people's lives better. @KevinPerlmutter on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Empathy Map

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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