We’ve been obsessed with understanding human motivations lately… like, OBSESSED.

Before going any further, make sure to check out the first article in our Harnessing the Power of Human Motivations series to learn more about The Sound’s Motivation Framework

Human needs and motivations can be fulfilled by a variety of things, including brands. By engaging with people to truly understand what they do every day, and harnessing the power of human motivations, we can shape how and when brands can authentically show up in their lives.

Here’s an example of what we mean…


“Wake up, you’ve snoozed the alarm 3 times already! Hurry or you’re going to be late.” 

“My schedule is jam-packed, someone else will have to take the kids to school, and don’t forget their tutoring session at 4.” 

“I have to figure out what I’m making for dinner, ‘Alexa, remind me to go grocery shopping after my 10-hour work day’.” 

“My place is a wreck, I just need to take a day to pause, but I can’t catch a break between work, home, and all these events happening.” 

And the list goes on.

It’s no shocker that we live in a world that never seems to stop. No matter how much we plan, there’s always a schedule that changes, another event to attend, or an additional task to be completed. We accept and often agree (directly or indirectly) with expressions like “time is money” and “time waits for no one”; which usually alludes to us working longer hours and spending more time with others (and less time with our families). Which is cool and all, but it also leads us to live lives so packed, they become harder…and harder to maintain.

Living as a Busy Bee

This “busy bee” lifestyle can look a bit different depending on who you are, where you’re from, and whatever day of the week it is. But one thing’s for sure, despite those things, you likely can relate to having “busy bee” moments. How do I know? Because we’re human, and we’ve all been in situations like these at some point in our lives. It doesn’t matter our age, gender, race, orientation, career, or culture. What makes us different isn’t always the situations we’re in, the places we go, or even the emotions we express in any given moment. What really differentiates us is what motivates us—what we turn to when we’re feeling a certain way. In the case of feeling overwhelmed by busyness, it’s important to consider what we turn to when we feel like we need to escape and cocoon. 

modern people's busy life

Slammed by Life? We get it.

For someone who feels like life keeps molly whopping them with little to no warning, their primary motivation may be to reduce unnecessary stress, carve out time for themselves, and take a break from all of their responsibilities (i.e., escape and cocoon). I’d say with all the time spent embracing the changes in schedules and taking care of others, it’s time to maintain some stability in life and consider sitting back and unwinding with a little ‘me time’. 

This motivation to escape and cocoon not only transcends people and cultures, but it also transcends across categories. 

For example, if we’re motivated to escape and cocoon, we can choose to find relief through Beauty and Skin Care or through an Audio experience depending on the situation we’re in, and the activities we enjoy as people. While core motivations remain fairly constant, they vary slightly by the category we choose to engage in. What we know to be “escape and cocoon” is often referred to as “Nurturing and Evolving” among Beauty users, and “Comfortably Sitting Back” among Audio users. In this case, the core motivation is to escape the demands of life. Beauty users do this by caring for themselves and decompressing from the day, whereas Audio users escape by sinking into the couch and watching their favorite drama. 

How can this help your business?

People are multifaceted and dynamic. They’re unique yet similar on many fronts, and they are the center of the jobs-to-be-done framework. We ask people about various situations they experience and identify the different motivations for engaging in certain behaviors, including using your products and services. These core motivations will be represented whether you work in Beauty, Audio, Pest Control, or any other industry. Whatever it may be, people will always have the need to reduce their stress, and we can help you uncover how your company can best serve that need within your category. This is what harnessing human motivations is all about. 

a woman watching neflex and a woman applying coffee scrub to her face

So in the end, what do your coffee scrub and your latest Netflix binge have in common? 

Both are solutions to a common motivation of needing to escape the busy world around you and reclaim time for yourself to exhale and decompress. We find that different industries serve this need in different ways. By using our Motivation Framework—which we’ve applied to many studies across 13 industries—and harnessing the power of human motivations, we can help brands identify the exact needs they fulfill. 

We’d love to help your brand break out of categorical norms and launch you further. If you haven’t already, check out our first article in this series on The Sound’s Motivational Framework, and read more about Our Approach to Creative Analytics.

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Written By:
Nynena Gaye

Nynena really likes lines (straight, squiggly, connected or disconnected) because of their endless possibilities. This wonder for ‘possibilities’ extends to people and their stories – how they came to be, what drives their decisions, what comes from their decisions, etc. With a keen eye to detail, Nynena exercises both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to echo these human truths. Nynena holds BAs from Loyola University Chicago in Anthropology & Sociology, and Global & International Studies - both of which fuel her interdisciplinary approach to research.

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