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From a Mission Statement to a Sense of Mission: Emotion Coding to Strengthen Digital Engagements

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The emergence of new technologies has revolutionized the way companies interact and build relationships with customers. This study aims to understand the emotion behind the company strategy and how they can be used to inform the design of digital channel engagements. A content analysis of 100 international companies from a range of industries and sectors was conducted with multiple data sources to develop an emotional coding scheme, for clarifying and refining the meaning behind a company’s strategy and its relationship to corresponding digital channels. This study identifies 10 distinct emotional channel typologies across 16 sectors through the analysed companies. This research contributes a theoretical and empirical understanding of emotion as a strategy. Outcomes guide practitioners on the selection and design of digital engagements based on the emotion code of their strategy as well as an industry sector. This article provides a novel approach to understanding and designing digital channel engagements by starting with meaning and purpose of the company.
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From a Mission Statement to
a Sense of Mission: Emotion
Coding to Strengthen Digital
Engagements
Karla Straker1
Cara Wrigley1
Abstract
The emergence of new technologies has revolutionized the way companies
interact and build relationships with customers. This study aims to understand
the emotion behind the company strategy and how they can be used to inform
the design of digital channel engagements.
A content analysis of 100 international companies from a range of industries
and sectors was conducted with multiple data sources to develop an emotional
coding scheme, for clarifying and refining the meaning behind a company’s
strategy and its relationship to corresponding digital channels.
This study identifies 10 distinct emotional channel typologies across 16
sectors through the analysed companies.
This research contributes a theoretical and empirical understanding of emo-
tion as a strategy. Outcomes guide practitioners on the selection and design of
digital engagements based on the emotion code of their strategy as well as an
industry sector.
This article provides a novel approach to understanding and designing digital
channel engagements by starting with meaning and purpose of the company.
Keywords
Design, emotion, digital channels, emotion code, channel model
Introduction
With the growing number of products and service offerings companies are faced
with the challenge of unifying their value across multiple channels in a way that is
1 Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Article
Journal of Creating Value
4(1) 1–28
© 2018 SAGE
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/2394964318771783
http://journals.sagepub.com/home/jcv
Corresponding author:
Karla Straker, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, Camperdown
NSW 2006, Australia.
E-mail: Karla.straker@sydney.edu.au
2 Journal of Creating Value 4(1)
consistent with their business strategy (Campbell & Yeung, 1991; Keller &
Lehmann, 2003; Verhoef et al., 2009). A company’s strategy is more than a signal
of quality but a way to communicate intangibles such as passion and excitement.
However, current research has largely failed to capture the use of emotions for busi-
ness strategy. Research on digital channels as distribution modes (Rosenbloom,
2013), the emotional aspects of customer choices in online environments (Brodie,
Ilic, Juric & Hollebeek, 2013; Dholakia, Zhao & Dholakia, 2005; Rajamma, Paswan
& Ganesh, 2007) and on the role of emotional intelligence in organizational man-
agement (Fineman, 2004), very little is known on the emotional aspects of company
strategy to inform digital channel strategy. Therefore, the aims of this article are i)
to understand the emotion behind the company strategy and ii) how they can be used
to inform the design of digital channel engagements.
A content analysis of 100 companies from 16 industries has been conducted
to identify emotions behind business strategy and questions their value and
meaning in a dynamic online environment to understand how it can be used to
design digital channel engagements. The outcomes of this research provide a
bridge between two independent bodies of research by conceptually integrating
company strategy and customer needs to indicate appropriate digital channel
typology. The results of this study have implications for both theories by estab-
lishing an emotional coding scheme and to practice, with the development of
the digital channel selection model.
Building Digital Connections
Creating honest relationships between the company and customer is now para-
mount to sustained business success (Hill, 2010). However, as we move into the
digital age, the way in which customers are engaged has changed. The Internet has
revolutionized this interaction, no longer are customers simply just downloading or
searching for static data, but they are engaging, uploading and sharing their content
via social networks. Digital channels have enabled customers to interact with each
other and readily voice their concerns, reporting issues such as product quality,
lack of availability, poor service and high prices (Numes & Cespedes, 2003).
Digital channels have been defined as technology-based platforms that use the
Internet to (a) connect with customers via digital technology, (b) provide a range of
different content and purposes and (c) communicate in a simplex or duplex way
with a range of different interaction levels (Garrett, Straker & Wrigley, 2017;
Straker, Wrigley & Rosemann, 2015). The term digital ‘touchpoints’ describes the
individual digital channel (e.g., website), while the term ‘digital channels’ is used
to describe a group of touchpoints (e.g., website, podcast, mobile application). The
exponential growth of data availability and the growing capabilities of digital tech-
nologies have also provided companies with valuable information to make tactical
decisions (Dumas, 2012).
A customer’s constant engagement with technology and access to informa-
tion influences their expectations from companies. Fisk (2005, p. 26) explains
Straker and Wrigley 3
that customers are better informed than ever before, resulting in ‘expectations to
be high and loyalty to be rare’. Campbell and Yeung (1991, p.17) discuss the
emotional bond of mission statements, ‘a sense of mission is an emotional com-
mitment felt by people towards the company’s mission’. They discuss this
in regard to the employees of the company and their beliefs in the sense of
purpose; however, this could also be expanded to customers, as they continue to
say ‘a meaning of the mission occurs, when there is a match between the values
of an organization and those of an individual’ (Campbell & Yeung, 1991, p.17).
Highlighting that the matching of values is the most important part of a sense of
mission as it is through values that individuals feel connected to an organiza-
tion, as ‘value gives meaning’ (Campbell & Yeung, 1991, p.17). They explain
that emotional commitment develops when the customer identifies with the val-
ues and behaviours behind the company strategy to understand the mission.
Many people confuse a company’s mission statement or vision state-
ment with its value proposition. The key difference is that value propositions
are created from the customer’s perspective rather than the company’s. A mis-
sion statement often defines ‘what’ a company is and does, in contrast to a value
proposition that should describe the ‘why’ (Mahajan, 2016). An organization’s
value proposition informs employees and investors of what the organization’s
core purpose is, as well as describing desired goals (Mahajan, 2016; Osterwalder
& Pigneur, 2010). The value proposition concept was created by Lanning
(1998), where ‘the value of a value proposition is in the customer's experience,
not the value in the product. It is the experience of the customer that must be
differentiated’. A value proposition or mission statement that can clearly convey
organizational beliefs and goals can influence how stakeholders perceive the
organization. Emotions and values both play important roles in this delivery and
if stakeholders can align their values with that of an organization, customer
loyalty and employee motivation are dramatically improved (Osterwalder &
Pigneur, 2010; Williams, 2016). However, firms have difficulty providing the
same clarity on the emotional aspects of business activities as they do for func-
tional requirements. Consequently, this requires companies to possess new
forms of knowledge and processes that allow them to create deeper connections
with their customers online. Current literature and industry evidence demon-
strate the capability of designers in creating innovative and engaging products
(Straker & Wrigley, 2015).
User emotions have been an integral element of product design discourse
since the 1980s. However, the first emergence of emotional aspects of design as
a particular research area took place in 1999. Emotional design is described as
the creation of value through emotional connections humans have to everyday
objects and products. Emotions are functional in this process, as they pull us
towards certain people, objects, actions and ideas and push us away from others
(Frijda, 1986). Pleasant emotions pull us towards products that are (or promise
to be) beneficial, considering that unpleasant emotions will push us from those
that are (or promise to be) adverse to our well-being (Desmet, 2008). It is this
4 Journal of Creating Value 4(1)
personal significance of a product, rather than the product itself, which creates
a connection. Fineman (2004) critically examined the growth of emotion meas-
urement in organizational behaviour, concluding that it is possible to research
emotion without measuring it. Fineman (2004, p. 732) also explains that emotions
can be located in ‘reports of visceral sensations, in language used, and in the
kinds of social setting that circumscribe what we feel or display’. By ignoring the
emotional content within texts, it may reduce the validity and ability to interpret
the text. However, there are some difficulties in analysing the affective content
of the text, many stemming from the fact that there is a significant number of
emotions that are not semantically distinct (Carley, 1990). A range of researchers
have attempted to classify, define and measure emotions (Boehner, DePaula,
Dourish & Sengers, 2007; Desmet, 2005; Norman, 2004; Richins, 1997); how-
ever, no method for analysing mission statements into emotive states exists.
Therefore, this study aims to understand the emotion behind the company strategy
and how they can be used to inform the design of digital channel engagements.
Methodology
To research the dynamics of company strategy (mission statement), emotions and
digital channel engagements, this study is separated into two key stages, (1) digital
channel relationship typologies and (2) coding mission statements. Results from a
previous study (Straker et al., 2015) outlined the digital channel usage of 100 com-
panies. The same companies were analysed in this study building upon the results
by examining the relationship between digital channel typologies and the emotional
codes of mission statements.
Stage 1: Digital Channel Relationship Typologies
Content analysis was conducted in 100 international companies which represent
a spread of companies based on the industry, sector, size, age and location. All
companies are business to customer (B2C) companies and were spread across 16
different industries. All data came from publicly available third-party digital
resources such as websites, social media pages, online trade publications and
annual company reports (details for each company and the primary data sources
used refer to Appendix 1). To explore and gain a clearer understanding of digital
channels and their usage, Table 1 outlines the different digital channel typologies,
digital touchpoints and the content and purpose of each.
Straker and Wrigley 5
Table 1. Digital Channel Typologies and Touchpoints
Digital
Channel
Typology Description
Digital
Touchpoint Content Purpose
Functional Run by one user or
company
Medium to low
customer interaction
commonly through
the ability to post
comments, email
enquiries or set up
chat
Website Information Interaction,
Functional,
Diversion
Podcasts Information Interaction,
Functional
Tutorials Support Interaction,
Functional
Application Information,
Revenue
Promotion
Interaction,
Functional,
Diversion
Online Store Revenue Functional
Live Chat Support Interaction
Web Enquiry Support Interaction
E-News Letters Information,
Promotion
Diversion
Emails Information,
Support
Interaction
LinkedIn Information Interaction
Social Run by an
administrator with
ability to delete and
block users
High user interaction
and ability to post and
respond directly to
comments in real time,
limits on a number of
characters.
Rely on user
interaction and when
these users interact
or like a company
or brand profile
they often expect
something in return.
Driven by company
objectives
Facebook Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Twitter Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Instagram Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Pinterest Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Reddit Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Foursquare Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Flickr Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
Google + Information,
Promotion
Interaction,
Diversion
(Table 1 Continued)
6 Journal of Creating Value 4(1)
Digital
Channel
Typology Description
Digital
Touchpoint Content Purpose
Community Run by a group of
users, with features
such as privacy settings
Micro-blogging can
post longer forms of
text, with a number
of images and videos.
The customer can
comment and rate the
posts.
Driven by interest
aligned with the
company objective
Forums Information Diversion
Blogs Information Diversion
YouTube Information Diversion
Vimeo Information Diversion
Corporate One way engagement
from company to
customer or customer
to the company
No cross interaction
possible between
company and customer
Digital Media
Releases
Information Functional
Digital
Magazines
Information Functional
Digital
Catalogues
Information Functional
Digital
Feedback
Information Functional
FAQ Support Functional
Digital
Advertisement
Information,
Promotion
Functional
Competitions Promotion Functional
Digital
Campaigns
Promotion Functional
E-Commerce
Retailers
Revenue Functional
Digital
Membership
Information,
Promotion
Functional
Digital Loyalty
Programs
Information,
Promotion
Functional
Source: Straker and Wrigley (2015).
Stage 2: Coding Mission Statements
The second stage of this research was to analyse the mission statements of the same
100 companies. The analysis protocol follows that implemented in Straker and
Wrigley’s (2018) study of 100 airport mission statements. For the content analysis,
(Table 1 Continued)
Straker and Wrigley 7
a mission statement was defined as (a) a statement of up to 50 words defining
their overarching purpose or reason for existence and (b) found on the company’s
website under the tab ‘about us’ or in corporate documents such as annual reviews.
For this study Desmet’s (2004) emotional typology was chosen for the analysis of
the affective content of the mission statements. Through the use of emergent cod-
ing (Haney, Russell, Gulek & Fierros, 1998) and content analysis, 22 emotions,
along with the eliciting conditions, were used to analyse as coding index (Desmet,
2004). To overcome the limitations of a content analysis approach, in particular,
the use of secondary sources, three researchers collected and analysed the data
independently. The use of this technique was based on Begley’s (1996) investiga-
tor triangulation. The use of multiple investigators, particularly in the coding and
analysis of secondary sources, proved vital in understanding the common mean-
ing among sources and for confirmation purposes (Denzin, 1978; Thurmond,
2001). The context of the text was analysed regarding a series of different
emotions in regard to their eliciting conditions, thus creating a multi-dimensional
view of the emotional context of the text. Content analysis was applied as it ‘pro-
vides a replicable methodology to access deep individual or collective structures
such as values, intentions, attitudes, and cognitions’ (Duriau, Reger & Pfarrer,
2007, p. 6). The emotional coding of a company’s mission statement involves a
structural analysis of the antecedent factors of perceived value (i.e., perceived
quality and perceived emotion) to assess the underlying emotional drivers behind
the words or phrases used. To develop an emotional coding scheme to systemati-
cally analyse company mission statements, the emotion descriptions from Desmet
(2004) were implemented.
Results
Stage 1: Digital Channel Relationship Typologies
Across the 100 companies, the digital touchpoints of each were analysed in regard
to the digital channel typologies (function, social, community and corporate). These
were formed from the usage of the highest usage of digital touchpoints for each.
Overall results are as follows: 45 per cent functional/social, 14 per cent functional/
corporate, 14 per cent corporate/function, 13 per cent function/community, 11 per
cent social/function, 2 per cent social/community and 1 per cent corporate/social.
Stage 2: Mission Statement Coding
Out of the 100 companies, a total of 94 mission statements were analysed, due to six
company’s mission statements being unable to be obtained. From the 94 companies,
the most frequent emotions were pride and stimulation (36%); 17 per cent companies
were coded into pride and satisfaction, 15 were per cent pride and 10 per cent were
satisfaction; the remaining companies were classified into the remaining emotion
codes, which was between 4 per cent and 1 per cent of companies (Figure 1).
8 Journal of Creating Value 4(1)
Figure 1. Percentage of Emotion Coding of Mission Statements
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
40%
Pride/Stimuation
Pride/Satisfaction
Satisfaction
Pride
Admiration/Stimulation
Pride/Hope
Stimulation/Pride
Desire/Pride
Satisfaction/Stimulation
Pride/Desire
Pride/Plesant Surprise
Pride/Enjoyment
Desire/Satisfaciton
Satisfaction/Desire
Stimulation/Pride
Desire/Plesant Surprise
Stimulation/Desire
Stimulation/Enjoyment
Percentage
Emotion-Code
Source: Authors’ own.
Table 2. Emotion-Code Index
Emotion Eliciting Condition
Example of Mission Statement Words for
Coding
Pride Approving of one’s
own praiseworthy
action
To be (the most successful, provide the most
compelling, safest, easiest), leadership, legendary,
world’s leading provider, to champion, committed
to, give customers what they want, to be the
earth’s most customer-centric company, to
build a place, to enable, responsible, creative
professionals, ensure fairness, integrity,
passionate, unites, leading, delivering, best-run
business, integrated systems
Hope Fearing the worst
but yearning for
better
Improving the lives, vulnerable people,
promotion, development, protects, basic human
rights, harmony, future, conserving, diversity,
ensuring, resources, sustainable, consumption,
preventing, abuses, ending
Admiration Approving of
someone else’s
praiseworthy action
Pass on traditions, harmony in communities,
people, planet, better everyday life for everyone,
to be the standard which others are measured,
make aspirational quality, accessible
Desire An object calls for
possession or usage
Pleasure, superb, exclusive, high quality, effective,
well-designed, functional, hot, celebrity inspired,
fashionable, world’s most valuable brand, move
you with enduring, natural
(Table 2 Continued)
Straker and Wrigley 9
Emotion Eliciting Condition
Example of Mission Statement Words for
Coding
Stimulation A promise for
understanding
though exploration
or a new action
Creativity, exciting, earn trust, respect, integrity,
reinvent, exceptional, experts, positive influence,
want to help, revolutionize, enrich, creative
unique, time of their lives, spirited, inspire,
curiosity, passion, connect, opportunities,
supporting, build lifelong relationships, inspire
awesomeness, improving lives, innovation,
wellbeing, independence, care, brilliant, nothing is
impossible, creative ideas, transform, transparent,
enthusiastic, better future
Satisfaction An expected goal
realization (or
concern match)
Requirements met, highest quality manner,
reliable, highest quality service, very best deal,
delivering an experience, faster, exemplary
customer service, excellence, enhancing, exceed
expectations
Enjoyment Liking a desirable or
pleasant event
Creates: joy, fun, affordable, environment,
happiness
Pleasant
surprise
An unexpected
goal realization (or
concern match)
Well deserved, will exceed expectations, magical,
fulfilled, enchanted, gratified
Source: Desmet (2006).
The following emotion-coding index (Table 2) was the result from the analy-
sis of 94 mission statements.
An analysis of the frequency of emotions and industries was then conducted.
The highest frequency of emotion-code pride/stimulation was common amongst
all industries except not-for-profit industries and entertainment. The emotion
codes placed into the ‘other’ category were those that had below 4 per cent as
described in the first analysis. The two industries that only had one type of emo-
tion code were financial services with pride/stimulation and not-for-profit
industries, which was the only industry with a coding of pride/hope. The indus-
try of consumer products and retail had the highest rate of different emotion
codes. The divisions of emotion codes per industry are illustrated in Figure 2.
The next analysis explored the relationship between digital channel typolo-
gies of each company and their emotion code. The highest percentage of emo-
tion code for each industry was then aligned with the digital channel typology
to produce a digital emotion channel typology. Table 3 illustrates these findings
in detail. Out of the 56 per cent per cent of companies with a digital channel
typology of function/social, 89 per cent had an aligning emotion code of stimu-
lation (either pride/stimulation, stimulation, admiration/stimulation). The
industries in this typology were financial services, consumer services, transpor-
tation, travel, consumer products, retail, building/construction and education.
(Table 2 Continued)
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Financial Services
Business Services
Consumer Services
Transportation
Travel
Consumer Products
Retail
Entertainment
Food/Beverage
Health
Media
Building/Constuction
Non for Profit
Education
Manufacturing
Technology
Percentage
Industries
Pride/Stimuation StimulationPridePride/SatisfactionPride/Hope Admiration/Stimulation Other
Figure 2. Division of Emotion Codes per Industry
Source: Authors' own.
Straker and Wrigley 11
Business services were the only industries which had no stimulation in its
emotion coding but had pride instead. The digital typology of function/corpo-
rate had 100 per cent of companies with an emotion code including pride, either
in the format of pride/stimulation, pride/satisfaction, pride/hope or pride.
Industries within this typology are food/beverages, mass media, not-for-profit
and manufacturing.
The digital channel typology of function/community had the final two indus-
tries of entertainment and technology. The two emotion codes for these
industries were pride/stimulation (50%) and pride/satisfaction (67%); however,
when exploring the other codes within these industries, pride (33%), pride/sat-
isfaction (25%) and stimulation (25%), the emotion code of pride/satisfaction
comes to 92 per cent across both industries. The final industry of health, which
was split between the digital channels typologies of function/social and func-
tion/corporate, had an emotion code of pride/stimulation at 75 per cent.
Implications
In marketing literature, a loyal customer can only be developed if a company can
build emotional connections (Mattila, 2001; Shoemaker & Lewis, 1999). Park and
Kim’s (2014) research supports the importance of a company’s awareness of this
and found that a company’s digital interactions can influence a customer’s relation-
ship with the company. A customer’s perception of the investment made by a corpo-
ration in digital engagements can impact upon the relationship quality and their
willingness to provide and share positive company experiences with others (Park &
Kim, 2014). The ability to create engaging interactions via digital technology with
customers could earn a customer’s trust and emotional investment (advocacy) to a
company (Straker & Wrigley, 2016a, 2016b).
The findings from this study can be used to guide practitioners on the selec-
tion of digital channels to ensure they are engaging and valuable to the
customer. Every company evokes emotions in their customers through their
actions, company culture, engagements and communication. The emotion code
is the meaning of a company’s strategy and should align with how they want
their customers to feel every time they engage with the company. It is proposed
from understanding the emotion code of the company strategy, the require-
ments of the industry and customer content need that the right digital channel
engagement can be designed. Table 4 provides an overview of customer needs
each typology can meet, derived from the content, purpose and interaction
level of each typology. The following sections outline three key digital channel
typologies and electing emotional codes, explaining the best suited industries
for each.
Table 3. Results for Digital Emotion Channel Typology via Industry (highest frequency highlighted)
Industry
Digital Channel Typologies Emotion-Codes Digital
Emotion
Channel
Typology
Function/
Social
Function/
Corporate
Function/
Community
Pride/
Stimulation Stimulation Pride
Pride/
Satisfaction
Pride/
Hope
Admiration/
Stimulation
Financial
services
90% 10% 0 100% 0 0 0 0 0 Function/Social
Pride/
Stimulation
Business
services
50% 25% 25% 20% 80% 0 0 0 0 Function/Social
Stimulation
Consumer
services
100% 0 0 10% 0 90% 0 0 0 Function/Social
Pride
Transportation 90% 10% 0 33% 0 0 50% 0 0 Function/Social
Pride/
Satisfaction
Travel 90% 10% 0 46% 18% 9% 0 0 0 Function/Social
Pride/
Stimulation
Consumer
products
90% 10% 0 37.5% 0% 12.5% 0 0 0 Function/Social
Pride/
Stimulation
Retail 57.7% 17% 17% 20% 10% 10% 0 0 40% Function/Social
Admiration/
Stimulation
Entertainment 25% 25% 50% 0 0 33% 67% 0 0 Function/
Community
Pride/
Satisfaction
Food/Beverages 10% 90% 0 16.6% 0 16.6% 50% 0 0 Function/
Corporate
Pride/
Satisfaction
(Table 3 Continued)
Industry
Digital Channel Typologies Emotion-Codes Digital
Emotion
Channel
Typology
Function/
Social
Function/
Corporate
Function/
Community
Pride/
Stimulation Stimulation Pride
Pride/
Satisfaction
Pride/
Hope
Admiration/
Stimulation
Health 50% 50% 0 75% 0 25% 0 0 0 Function/Social
Function/
Corporate
Pride/
Stimulation
Mass media 16.6% 33.6% 16.6% 80% 0 0 20% 0 0 Function/
Corporate
Pride/
Stimulation
Building/
Construction
100% 0 0 50% 0 50% 0 0 0 Function/Social
Pride/
Stimulation/
Pride
Not-for-profit 0 100% 0 0% 0 0 0 100% 0 Function/
Corporate
Pride/Hope
Education 50% 25% 25% 75% 0 25% 0 0 0 Function/Social
Pride/
Stimulation
Manufacturing 33% 67% 0 16.7% 0 50% 33% 0 0 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Technology 0 0 100% 50% 25% 0 25% 0 0 Function/
Community
Pride/
Stimulation
Source: Authors' own.
(Table 3 Continued)
Table 4. Digital Channel Selection Model
Company
Emotion-Code
Customer
Content Needs
Company Objectives and Key Touchpoints
TypologiesInformation Promotion Support Revenue
Satisfaction
Pride
Employee contact
Provide feedback
E-mail
FAQ
E-news
Website
E-mail
Web enquiry
Digital feedback
forms
— Functional
Pride
Stimulation
Satisfaction
Instant employee
contact
Online chat Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
— Functional
Social
Pride
Satisfaction
Company
information
Website
LinkedIn
Online
advertising
E-news letters
FAQ
Email
Digital Advertisement Functional
Corporate
Stimulation
Desire
Admiration
Enjoyment
Purchase process Website Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Online chat
E-mail
Web enquiry
FAQ
Online store
Application
Functional
Social
Stimulation
Satisfaction
Community
discussion
(company
directed)
Blogs
Forums
YouTube
Application
YouTube
Pinterest
YouTube
Forums
Blogs
FAQ
Digital Advertisement
Competitions
Community
Corporate
Stimulation
Satisfaction
Enjoyment
Instant company
updates
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Website
Application
Functional
Social
(Table 4 Continued)
Company
Emotion-Code
Customer
Content Needs
Company Objectives and Key Touchpoints
TypologiesInformation Promotion Support Revenue
Satisfaction
Pride
Shared interested Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Digital
catalogues
Digital
magazines
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Website
Application
Online store
Application
Social
Corporate
Satisfaction
Enjoyment
Community
engagement
(customer
directed)
YouTube
Vimeo
Vimeo
Pinterest
Digital
campaigns
Flickr
Blogs
Forums
FAQ
Digital feedback
Competitions
E-retailers
Application
Social
Community
Corporate
Pride
Hope
Satisfaction
Trust LinkedIn
Digital media
releases
Corporate
reports
Digital
catalogues
Digital
magazines
Blogs
Forums
FAQ
Membership
Loyalty Programs
Community
Corporate
Pride
Satisfaction
Company data/
Statistics
LinkedIn
Digital media
releases
Corporate
reports
Digital
catalogues
Digital
magazines
FAQ
Digital feedback
Membership
Loyalty Programs
Digital Advertisement
Functional
Corporate
Source: Authors' own.
(Table 4 Continued)
16 Journal of Creating Value 4(1)
Function/Social for Stimulation
The findings suggests that the industry of consumer services would be better suited
for executing the digital channel typology of function/corporate as it was found
to be in common within the emotion code of pride. The relationship between this
channel typology and emotion code provides insight into the primary focus of these
industries (financial services, business services, transportation, travel, consumer
products, retail, building/construction and education), which are primarily driven by
revenue and subsequently promotion. Functional touchpoints (website and online
stores) have the ability to engage through interactive media and publish news on
products and campaigns; however, they are also implemented to make sales. While
social touchpoints such as Facebook and Twitter’s primary purpose is for interaction
via two-way communication (and participating in recreational and social activities)
the connection between these two digital typologies can strengthen engagement
with customers through providing functional information and support but also
allows customers to engage with the company. This combination is well suited to
the emotion code of stimulation, which has the eliciting condition of ‘a promise for
understanding through exploration or a new action’ (Desmet, 2004). The digital
typology of function and social touchpoints is suited to eliciting this emotion code,
as a range of different stimuli can be provided via these touchpoints. Each social
touchpoint offers value through providing relevant and interactive content (e.g.,
Facebook images, information and feedback through comments, Twitter news and
complaints platform, Instagram news and updates through photographs and Pinterest
mood boards of images for inspiration). These social touchpoints can stimulate
customers through the constant content while also having the ability to interactive
with the content by sharing, commenting and liking posts. Some companies also
encouraged this stimulated engagement by asking customers to like, tag or hashtag
them in posts to enter competitions or receive incentives (such as discounts). This
consistent presence keeps customers stimulated, engaged and interested, increasing
traffic between social and functional touchpoints to achieve the aims of promotion
and revenue. Companies within this typology were also found to have a clear focus
on their customers via their mission statements, illustrating the importance of pro-
viding digital touchpoints that provide the opportunity for a two-way conversation
with customers and gain customer feedback instantly.
Function/Corporate to Build Pride
The digital channel typology for function/corporate had companies with the emotion
code of pride. The eliciting condition of pride is ‘approving of one’s own praisewor-
thy action’ (Desmet, 2004). The customer is required to agree with the company’s
actions to engage with them. The combination of these typologies is the ability to
provide the functional requirements such as company information while also offer-
ing access to corporate reports required to build trust (an evident customer need
within the exhibited industries of food/beverages, mass media, not-for-profit and
Straker and Wrigley 17
manufacturing). Non-for-profit companies had the highest rate of corporate chan-
nels which could be related to the reliance on building customer trust, through the
perception of confidence in the company’s reliability and integrity. Touchpoints in
the corporate typology are suited for this aim as they are simple, require low-to-
medium interaction and have a clear functional purpose. The one direction of inter-
action is either from company to customer or from customer to the company, with
no cross-interaction possible between company and customer. Corporate touch-
points are also focused on gaining customer feedback (digital feedback forms,
FAQs), providing support and information (digital media or corporate reports), pro-
motion (digital magazine, catalogues, campaigns and advertisements), revenue
(e-commerce retailers) and encouraging commitment to the company (membership
and loyalty programmes). It was found that the majority of these touchpoints play a
supportive role for touchpoints with the functional typology. The typology of func-
tional and corporate touchpoints is capable of providing in-depth company informa-
tion, leading to company transparency, required to build trust and over time forming
pride in the company’s actions.
Function/Community for Satisfaction
The eliciting condition of satisfaction is described as ‘an expected goal realisation (or
concern match)’ (Desmet, 2004). Many industries had the aim of satisfaction – the
two industries within the typology of function/community were entertainment and
technology.These industries usually have a unique community within them, either
fans of certain entertainment types or technology companies. The cohesion between
community touchpoints and satisfaction is well suited as they rely on a group or com-
munity of users. The purpose of all touchpoints within community is diversion, pro-
viding customers with the ability to participate in recreational and social activities.
YouTube, Blogs, Forums and Vimeo are community touchpoints that all allow for
this through greater forms of text, images and videos, with the ability for customers
to comment and rate posts. The interaction with the company and a select community
of customers creates an area for providing more in-depth information and communi-
cation in specific interest areas. However, the lack of engagement or activeness on
these touchpoints can lead to the disconnection and loss of community. Most blogs
and forums demonstrated interaction through asking questions, with many answers
being provided by other customers. Being able to connect to smaller communities
through these touchpoints creates the perception of business about people, enabling
the customer to feel as though they are a part of a community. As like-minded cus-
tomers engage via community touchpoints, they can share tips, provide support, pho-
tos and comments to create a high level of customer-created content that can be
shared via their personal digital touchpoints. These customer comments, insights and
tips provided on community touchpoints have the opportunity to heighten the level
of satisfaction of customers and the ability to form connections by communicating a
lifestyle aligned with the company objectives, which is the key difference to the
social digital typology.
18 Journal of Creating Value 4(1)
Summary
This article illustrates that the analysis of a company’s strategy into an emotion
code/s and allows a focus on what should be communicated and through what
digital channel. The main implementations of this research include:
Understanding what emotions are associated with the company strategy
and that this meaning is supported by the right digital channel typology
and touchpoints.
Delivering the appropriate meaning is important in building equity in the
company.
Consistently communicating appropriate digital content that aligns with the
company’s emotion code to design desired digital channel engagements.
Choosing the right digital touchpoint to communicate company value,
while also addressing customer needs.
All engagements with customers should reflect the meaning and value of
the company’s strategy (emotion code) and match either the customer
need or align with their values.
Mission statements were chosen for this study due to their accessibility
via public documents and are by definition outward looking; however, when
conducting research within a company, internal information could be used to con-
duct the emotional coding (Straker & Wrigley, 2016c). Future research will aim to
understand the emotional needs of customers and examine if emotions can evoke
certain digital customer behaviours that align with the company’s emotion code.
By examining company strategy to inform the value and meaning of it, practition-
ers are placed in a position to design sophisticated digital channel engagements
that not only meet the aims of the company strategy but also align with customers’
identities and values.
Appendix 1
Industry
Sector
Company (Name)
Size (Employees)
Founded (Year)
Location (Headquarters)
Data Source
Touchpoints
Typology
Relationship Typology
Emotion
Websites
Social Media/Blogs
/Forums
Trade Reports
Magazines & Catalogues
Annual & Company
Reports
Media & Press Releases
Function
Social
Community
Corporate
Financial Services
Banking RaboBank 10,000+ 1972 Netherlands · · · · 4 2 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Suncorp 10,000+ 1902 Australia · · · · · 2 2 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Insurance Allianz 1,000-5,000 1905 UK · · · · 6 2 1 5 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Zurich Insurance 10,000+ 1872 Switzerland · · · · 4 3 1 3 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Business Services
Marketing BMF <50 1996 Australia · · · · · 4 1 2 3 Function/
Corporate
Stimulation
Clemenger BBDO 1,000–5,000 1971 Australia · · · · · 3 2 0 3 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Stimulation
Accounting Grant Thornton 10,000+ 1924 UK · · · 4 2 0 1 Function/
Social
Stimulation
EY 10,000+ 1989 UK · · 7 3 1 2 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Legal Bespoke Law <50 2009 Australia · · · 5 1 2 1 Function/
Community
Stimulation
Mishcon De Reya 500–1,000 1937 UK · · · 5 3 2 2 Function/
Social
Stimulation
Recruitment Search Consultancy 500–1,000 1987 UK · · · · 4 2 2 2 Function/
Community
Stimulation
HAYS 5,000–10,000 1867 UK · · · · 4 3 1 3 Function/
Social
Stimulation
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Consumer Services
Financial Payment PayPal 200-500 1998 USA · · · 4 5 1 1 Social/
Function
Pride
Square Mobile 500–1,000 2009 USA · · · 3 2 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Crowdsourcing Pozible <50 2010 Australia · · · · 4 3 2 3 Function/
Social
Stimulation
Pride
Kickstarter 50–200 2009 USA · · · 3 4 4 4 Social/
Function
-
Personal Communications Skype 1,000–5,000 2003 Luxembourg · · · · 5 4 3 4 Function/
Social
Pride
Snapchat Inc 50–200 2011 USA · · · 5 3 2 4 Function/
Social
Pride
Transportation
Automotive Retail TarTar 10,000+ 1945 India · · · 2 1 1 0 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
BMW 10,000+ 1916 Germany · · · · 6 4 1 4 Function/
Social
Desire
Pride
Courier & Post Services Australian Post 10,000+ 1809 Australia · · · 3 4 1 3 Social/
Function
Stimulation
Pride
FedEx 10,000+ 1971 USA · · · 6 2 1 3 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Satisfaction
Personal Transportation Uber 1,000–5,000 2009 USA · · · · 4 4 2 3 Function/
Social
Pride
Satisfaction
Yellow Cab Co 1,000–5,000 1924 Australia · · · 4 2 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Travel
Accommodation Shangri-La 10,000+ 1971 Singapore · · · · 3 3 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Four Seasons 10,000+ 1961 Canada · · · 4 7 1 3 Social/
Function
Pride
Stimulation
Travel (Airline) Qatar 10,000+ 1994 Qatar · · · 5 4 1 2 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Virgin Australia 5,000–10,00 2000 Australia · · · · 6 4 2 4 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Travel Services Flight Center 10,000+ 1982 Australia
· · · 3 3 1 2
Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Satisfaction
Travelocity 1,000–5,000 1996 USA · · · · 4 7 1 4 Social/
Function
Pride
Stimulation
Online Flight Services Webjet.com.au 50–200 1998 Australia · · · 4 3 0 0 Function/
Social
Pride
Satisfaction
Trivago.com 200–500 2005 Germany · · 3 4 0 1 Social/
Function
Satisfaction
Stimulation
Online Accommodation Expedia.com 10,000+ 1996 USA · · · 5 3 1 3 Function/
Social
Stimulation
Wotif.com 500–1,000 2000 Australia · · · 5 4 0 0 Function/
Social
-
Tour Operator Intrepid 1,000–5,000 1989 Australia · · · 4 4 2 5 Corporate/
Function
Stimulation
Enjoyment
Contiki Holidays 200–500 1962 New Zealand · · 1 3 1 0 Social/
Function
Stimulation
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Consumer Products
Apparel & Accessories Kate Spade 200–500 1994 USA · · · · 3 4 1 1 Social/
Function
Stimulation
Desire
Zara 10,000+ 1975 Spain · · · 2 4 1 2 Social/
Function
Pride
Satisfaction
Electronics Dell 10,000+ 1999 USA · · · 6 4 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Satisfaction
Band & Olufsen 1,000–5,000 1925 Denmark
· · · 4 3 1 3
Function/
Social
Desire
Pleasant
Surprise
Toys Lego 10,000+ 1932 Denmark · · 4 2 1 4 Function/
Corporate
Stimulation
Pride
Mattel 10,000+ 1945 USA · · · · 3 2 1 4 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Enjoyment
Cosmetics The Perfume Shop 1,000–5,000 1992 UK · · · · 5 3 1 2 Function/
Social
Pride
L’Occitane En Provence 5,000–10,000 1976 France · · · 6 5 1 4 Function/
Social
Desire
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Retail
Department Stores Sears 10,000+ 1893 USA · · · · 6 3 1 4 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Stimulation
Marks & Spencer 10,000+ 1884 UK · · · 6 5 1 3 Function/
Social
Admiration
Stimulation
Supermarkets WholeFoods Market 10,000+ 1998 USA · · · 8 5 3 3 Function/
Community
Admiration
Stimulation
Lawson Inc. 5,000–10,00 1975 Japan · · · · 4 4 2 1 Function/
Social
Admiration
Stimulation
Furniture IKEA 10,000+ 1943 Sweden · · · 6 4 1 6 Function/
Corporate
Admiration
Stimulation
Space Furniture 50-200 1993 Australia · · · 5 3 0 3 Function/
Social
-
Online Retail Threadless.com 50-200 2000 USA
· · · 5 6 4 4 Social/
Community
Stimulation
Amazon.com 10,000+ 1994 USA
· · · · 4 5 1 4 Social/
Function
Pride
Online Apparel Zappos.com 1,000–5,000 1992 USA · · · · 8 3 2 2 Function/
Social
Satisfaction
Desire
Asos.com 1,000–5,000 1999 UK · · · 6 6 2 6 Function/
Social
Desire
Satisfaction
Community Online
Services
Airbnb.com 1,000–5,000 2008 USA · · · 6 5 3 3 Function/
Community
-
Zipcar.com 500–1,000 1994 USA · · · · 4 3 1 2 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Entertainment
Music Apple Inc. 10,000+ 2001 USA · · · 4 2 1 3 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Satisfaction
Spotify 1,000–5,000 2006 Sweden · · · · 3 2 2 1 Function/
Community
Pride
Television Netflix.com 1,000–5,00 1997 USA · · · 3 3 1 1 Function/
Social
-
The Walt Disney
Company
10,000+ 1923 USA · · · 5 3 2 2 Function/
Community
Pride
Satisfaction
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Food/Beverage
Alcohol Heineken 10,000+ 1864 Netherlands · · · 4 2 2 5 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Desire
Jack Daniels 50–200 1875 USA · · · · 1 2 1 3 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Satisfaction
Beverages Nespresso 5,000–10,000 1986 Switzerland · · · 5 3 1 4 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Satisfaction
Starbucks 10,000+ 1971 USA · · · 7 4 1 6 Corporate/
Function
Stimulate
Pride
Food Chains Chipotle-Mexican Grill 10,000+ 1993 USA · · · 6 4 2 3 Function/
Social
Pride
McDonalds 10,000+ 1955 USA · · · · · 5 4 2 5 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Satisfaction
Health
Aged Care RSL Care 500–1,000 1860 Australia · · · 5 0 0 1 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Stimulation
Anglicare 1,000–5,000 1860 Australia · · · · 4 1 1 4 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Stimulation
Pharmaceuticals Pfizer 10,000+ 1848 USA · · · · 5 4 2 3 Function/
Social
Pride
Boehringer Ingelheim 10,000+ 1885 Germany · · · · 4 4 1 2 Function/
Social
Pride
Mass Media
Telecommunications AT&T 10,000+ 1876 USA · · · 6 5 2 4 Corporate/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Telstra 10,000+ 1901 Australia · · · · 6 3 2 6 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Stimulation
Mass Communications Bartle Bogle Hegarty 200-500 1982 UK · · · 3 4 2 0 Social/
Community
-
Saatchi & Saatchi 1,000–5,000 1970 USA · · · 4 3 2 2 Function/
Community
Stimulation
Pride
Advertising Lamar Advertising
Company
1,000–5,000 1902 USA · · · · 4 5 1 3 Social/
Function
Pride
Stimulation
Clear Channel Outdoor 5,000–10,000 1901 USA · · · 5 2 2 3 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Satisfaction
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Building/Construction
Real Estate LJHooker 5,000–10,000 1928 Australia · · · 5 4 1 3 Function/
Social
Pride
Realestate.com.au 500–1,000 1995 Australia · · · 6 4 2 4 Function/
Social
Pride
Construction Hilti 10,000+ 1941 Liechtenstein · · · 7 3 1 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Black & Decker 10,000+ 1910 USA · · · · 6 3 2 3 Function/
Social
Pride
Consultancy Arup 10,000+ 1946 UK · · · 6 3 2 2 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
AECOM 10,000+ 1990 USA · · · · 4 3 1 3 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
Non For Profit
Charity Organisation Red Cross 1,000–5,000 1914 Australia · · · · · 4 3 1 5 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Hope
UNICEF 10,000+ 1946 USA · · · · 6 5 2 6 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Hope
Advocacy Organisations WWF 1,000–5,000 1961 Switzerland · · · · · 5 2 2 7 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Hope
Amnesty International 1,000–5,000 1961 UK · · · · · 6 3 2 6 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Hope
Education
Higher Degree Institutes Coursera 50-200 2012 USA · · · 7 3 3 4 Function/
Community
Pride
Stimulation
Queensland University
of Technology
1,000–5,000 1908 Australia · · · · 6 2 1 6 Function/
Corporate
-
Early Learning Childbase Partnership 1,000–5,000 1989 UK · · · 5 1 0 1 Function/
Social
Pride
Stimulation
G8 Education 5,000–10,000 2006 Australian · · · 5 2 0 2 Function/
Social
Pride
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Manufacturing
Mining Orica 10,000+ 1874 Australia · · · · 5 3 1 3 Corporate/
Function
Pride
Satisfaction
Halliburton 10,000+ 1919 USA · · · · 4 2 1 4 Function/
Social
Pride
Satisfaction
Chemicals Du Pont 10,000+ 1802 USA · · · · 4 3 1 2 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Stimulation
INEOS 10,000+ 1997 Switzerland · · · 3 2 1 3 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Building Materials CRH 10,000+ 1970 Ireland · · · · 5 0 0 2 Function/
Corporate
Pride
Lafarge 10,000+ 1833 France · · · · 4 4 1 4 Function/
Community
Pride
Stimulation
Technology
Computer Software Adobe Systems 10,000+ 1982 USA · · · · 7 5 4 4 Function/
Community
Pride
Stimulation
Microsoft 10,000+ 1975 USA · · · · 7 6 3 4 Function/
Community
Pride
Stimulation
Technology Services SAP 10,000+ 1972 Germany · · · · 8 3 3 4 Function/
Community
Pride
Satisfaction
Oracle 10,000+ 1977 USA · · · · 9 6 3 4 Function/
Community
Stimulation
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
(Appendix Table 1 Continued)
Straker and Wrigley 27
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