Plutchik’s three-dimensional circumplex model describes the relations among emotion concepts, which are analogous to the colors on a color wheel. The cone’s vertical dimension represents degrees of similarity among the emotions. The eight sectors are designed to indicate that there are eight primary emotion dimensions defined by the theory arranged as four pairs of opposites.

What does this have to do with marketing?


It gets more interesting when it comes to combination since humans are not likely to feel just one emotion. Blending is the real human experience.

Now, let’s explore this further. When you combine Fear & Disgust do you feel Shame? Anticipation & Joy = Optimism? Trust & Fear = Submission?

Many marketers are not using the full potential/spectrum of emotions in their communications. Utilizing Plutchik’s emotion circumplex will help you explore each human emotions to identify which are the best emotions to use or emphasize. Good marketers are great storytellers. But, all of us have words we overuse. We emphasize certain emotions and ignore others. Using Plutchik’s emotions helps you to explore all areas of human emotions to tell a better story.