NASHVILLE: Snack brands are looking to reinforce their brand equity by linking emotional and rational reasons for consuming their products, according to a leading industry figure.

"Marketers have a tendency to pull things apart into functional benefits and emotional benefits," Mike Quintana, director of strategic insights at Global Brands, told The Market Research Event (TMRE) in Nashville.

He went on explain how Frito-Lay was working to bring those two things together "in a unique way to make sure that we're always delivering something positive for the emotion".

And that covered all aspects of the process. "We think about that not only in terms of the experience that the product is delivering, the solution that the product is solving, but how that experience is delivered across all our touch points," he added (see full Warc exclusive story here).

Quintana pointed to findings from neuroscience as he declared that "at Frito-Lay, we have really bought the idea that everything is emotional".

Even though we like to think of ourselves as rational beings that think everything through, he said, "the truth is if we are not engaging our emotional center, we're not able to make a decision".

The consequence of that was that marketers had to decide – and understand – if they were delivering a positive emotional experience to the consumer or a negative one. "Thinking through that process … makes a huge difference in how you approach your market," he suggested.

In the case of Lay's, the rational aspect of the snacking experience – a light, airy and crispy product – was being supplemented with emotional marketing focused on the pleasure of the product.

Quintana revealed that this posture would support the introduction of a US holiday premium product offered exclusively at Target stores – a new milk-chocolate-dipped Lay's chip.

Data sourced from Warc