If the seaside strip and yacht parties of Cannes Lions, The International Festival of Creativity, don't float your boat anymore, why not attend as a hologram? That is how Daniel Goleman appeared.

Goleman is the psychologist who pioneered work defining Emotional Intelligence (EQ), "the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions", in his 1995 book of that name.

In a first for the festival, he was beamed from his home in New York to media agency Carat's panel discussion on the topic in Cannes' Palais des Festivals, using the same kind of technology being popularised in live performances for the likes of Roy Orbison, Whitney Houston and ABBA.

The EQ advantage

Despite Goleman's virtual appearance, emotional intelligence has a very really price, according to Carat's Brand EQ Report 2022, which the agency published shortly before Goleman's appearance.

Surveying 15,000 people and 51 brands across 15 countries, it found:

  • The top 20 emotionally-intelligent brands saw a 910% stock market gain between 2010 and 2021.
  • Brands which aim to create customer value score high for EQ.
  • The biggest determinant for EQ is social skills.
  • Regularly-used services offerings increase a brand's EQ score, acting as a regulator touchpoint for users.

The EQ league table

Who is winning in the EQ stakes? Carat's survey respondents ranked brands as follows, with Google jumping from fourteenth to first place on a specific measure of "self-awareness" and Samsung notably outshining Apple on all individual measures.

  1. Google
  2. Samsung
  3. Microsoft
  4. Adidas
  5. PayPal
  6. Nike
  7. Netflix
  8. Disney
  9. Visa
  10. Amazon
  11. Coca-Cola
  12. Nivea
  13. McDonalds
  14. Apple
  15. Gilette
  16. Mastercard
  17. Philips
  18. BMW
  19. Pepsi
  20. Panasonic

Understanding EQ

So, what exactly is emotional intelligence?

Inspired's by Goleman's original 1995 work, Carat's breaks it down as follows:

1. Self-Awareness

Confidence, recognition of feelings. "This brand seems to know what it stands for."

2. Self-Regulation

Self-control, trustworthiness, adaptability. "This brand behaves with honesty and integrity."

3. Motivation

Drive, commitment, initiative, optimism. "This brand tries hard to deliver a good experience."

4. Empathy

Understanding others, feelings, diversity, political awareness "This brand understands people like me and what we need."

5. Social Skills

Leadership, conflict management, communication skills. "This brand always communicates in a clear and meaningful way."

How to achieve EQ

To help brands act toward improving emotional intelligence, Carat has distilled six takeaways, with an emphasis on providing customer value:

1. Be purposeful

"Creating higher EQ experiences starts with having a clear sense of where brands can add value to everyday life."

2. Manage your story

"Speaking with a clear voice and showing social skills are essential attributes of brands with high EQ."

3. Distinguish insight from data

"Brands must convert data into meaningful insights in order to have true empathy and deliver high EQ experiences."

4. Build dynamic journeys

"Motivation is a key driver of EQ, so it’s critical for brands to keep improving the experience people have with them."

5. Do good in the world

"Invest in activities that promote social and environmental good. These must be authentic and connect back to purpose."

6. Build experiences through high EQ teams

"High EQ environments enable marketing teams to have greater empathy with their audiences. "