The emotion of motion By Ginger Ostle, Car Men GmbH T rying to understand the purchase motivations of consumers and why they find some products ' cool' and others less cool is a bit like the quest for the Holy Grail. There are as many theories as there are experts but when it comes to a consumer's choice of car, the plot really thickens. When choosing a new refrigerator, people are driven mainly by pragmatic factors such as size, functionality, brand and price; it's all very rational. However, when it comes to cars, the choice can be anything but rational. The decision turns into a conflict of ratio versus emotion, the heart versus the head. The decision is like buying some new shoes or choosing a new tie, the car is a very personal part of our world. Investigating the buying habits of consumers could prove very fruitful to automotive designers
Customers make an almost intuitive decision about the brand image, the design and the quality of the product, and understanding this complex emotional reaction is one of the challenges for vehicle designers. " Emotional design" has been a buzz phrase in the automotive industry for twenty years now and the results can be seen in almost every showroom. For some the interpretation is " Kinetic", for others it's " Flame surfacing". Each brand is developing its own spin on emotional design. The formsprache is becoming more dynamic and expressive, the graphics more adventurous and as a result the vehicles are becoming more extravagant and individualistic. The reaction of consumers to these new emotional design directions and what they find cool and uncool is just one of the fascinating areas of research that the Car Men team tackle every week. Based on more than sixty years of design experience, the company's team of designers has been able to develop some unique tools to interpret and evaluate design and consumers perceptions of quality. Every vehicle design contains hundreds of aesthetic signals that communicate on an emotional level to the customer. Breaking this visual code and understanding how these signals can be evaluated are strengths of the Car Men team. Some signals are important for the brand message, some for the quality perception and others help to establish a car's character. When the mix is right, these signals should combine and trigger a passionate identification with the product and the brand. Car Men evaluates the mix for each car in the form of an ' Emotional Profile'. As vehicle design becomes more expressive, consumers perceive " Emotional design has been a buzz phrase in the automotive industry for twenty years and the results can be seen in every showroom"