Purpose – This paper aims to present the assessment of different self-reported approaches that can be used to identify and measure consumers' emotional responses towards brands. The goal is to determine whether visual and spontaneous protocols are able to generate deeper insights than only closed groups of scales, and to consider pictorial tools as innovative and challenging measurement techniques for brand value assessment.Design/methodology/approach – Three versions of the same consumer online survey dedicated to identifying some brand-related consumer emotional insights were created to be compared in terms of quality of responses, interviewees' evaluation and richness of insights.Findings – Visual protocols provide more specific emotional responses and are considered as useful for " capturing deep contextual meanings of consumer experience ". They clearly provide deeper insights and better emotional granularity. It can be generally concluded that different emotions' self-report measurements are adapted to some diverse research questions or situations.Research limitations/implications – This paper is based on research with a limited number of participants. It focuses on the use and consumer emotional insights delivered by three tested protocols rather than detailed analysis of the specific profiles of consumers.Practical implications – The authors provide some recommendations of different research techniques, which can be used to identify and measure consumers' emotional reactions towards brands.Social implications – Their paper encourages a critical reflection about research methods that are deployed for marketing and consumer behaviour purposes. Their work promotes a hybrid and not dogmatic approach, centred around the perception and motivation of the respondents more than on the expectations of the researcher only.Originality/value – Research outcomes among different self-reported protocols using internet technologies are compared. Quality of responses and richness of insights are measured in a quite innovative and comprehensive way. The paper also gives detailed recommendations to researchers interested in consumers' emotional reactions towards brands measurements.