BLUE BELL, Pa. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- GfK HealthCare today announced the launch of its latest innovation, EMO Sensor™, the industry’s first validated tool for measuring a brand’s emotional loading and intensity. Using a set of labeled pictures, EMO Sensor can measure 22 marketing-relevant emotions in response to different touch points of a health care manufacturer’s brand or advertising communication.

The development of EMO Sensor is rooted in a sound and solid academic foundation. In a cooperative venture, marketing scientists from the University of Saarland (Saarbrücken, Germany), along with brand and communication experts and methodologists from GfK, identified relevant primary emotions and, subsequently, 22 marketing-relevant emotions. From this collaboration came the industry’s first validated and most discriminating scale for measuring emotions consequential to a brand’s success. Since 2008, EMO Sensor has proven successful in consumer research applications, including ad testing and tracking. The tool has now been leveraged by GfK HealthCare, rigorously tested and proven equally successful when applied to product and company brand research in health care.

Among insights EMO Sensor can reveal are answers to such questions as:

What emotions do a given ad, brand, company elicit?

What emotions do the company’s competitors elicit?

Which emotions relate to future prescribing intent?

Which emotions stimulate a clear brand impression?

The results of an EMO Sensor analysis can then be used by health care marketers to adapt or refine strategies accordingly.

Understanding the importance of cultural nuances, EMO Sensor was developed to work globally, and includes a slightly adapted version that was specifically validated for the Asian market.

EMO Sensor complements GfK HealthCare’s existing portfolio of branding and communication research offerings, including brand equity assessment and tracking with Brand ID/Brand BEAT™, customer loyalty research with Customer Value™ and copy and campaign testing with Ad Challenger Med™. Collectively these offerings provide a comprehensive understanding of how advertising, brands and companies are perceived by their target audiences.

“A broad range of recent research demonstrates that the emotions play a significant role in decision making, so the need to validly measure them is crucial for the success of any brand,” said Maureen McLaughlin, global head of innovation for GfK HealthCare. “We have seen such robust results from EMO Sensor’s use with GfK’s consumer clients and so we are excited to unveil this tool for our health care clients and enable them to tap the same depth of understanding of their brands’ emotional intensity among key target audiences, whether it be patients or physicians.”