‘’People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.’’ – Zig Ziglar.
In the New Economy, markets are now consumer-focused rather than product centred. Increasingly, marketers are brainstorming about reaching out to their target audiences with the most innovative ideas. The ability to establish an emotional connection with consumers is one of the highest level brands strive to achieve. Emotional branding refers to how a brand engages with consumers on the level of their senses and emotions. When a brand can establish a relationship between their products or brand with consumers, the brand itself becomes valuable. It makes it much easier to convince consumers to make a sale.
There is a misconception that branding is about market share. Branding is about placing consumers at the heart of your strategy and playing to their emotions and minds. It is about the emotional appeal you inject in your products or advertisements, and the trust your brand can convey to the market. To give you a simple illustration on how to tap into consumer psychology, we will begin by asking you a few questions:
- What music will you choose to play on your site or store to convey your brand’s emotional identity?
- What colour reflects your brand identity?
- What images should you use on your packaging to evoke desired emotions from your customers?
In emotional branding, you can play to the five senses of the consumer. For example, Target appeals to the sensory senses of consumers to increase their sales. Target creates music with a playlist that is upbeat, positive and playful. The playlist complements Target’s brand identity, which was specially curated in collaboration with DJs. Did you know that everything from tempo, genre to volume can influence consumer behaviour as suggested by a 1982 study published by the Journal of Marketing.
What about your brand, where does it ‘hit’ consumers? Have you been playing to their emotional appeal? The following image shows how some of the most successful brands have created a relationship with their consumers using emotions. This means that for example, owning a Prada is associated with being sexy or cool. Consumers are no longer buying products but rather for the value and emotions the product elicits, and that is branding. As Walter Landor puts it, ‘’products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the minds’’.
In emotional branding, there are three emotional appeals you have to be aware of. They are Aristotle’s mode of persuasion known as ethos, pathos and logos.
1. Ethos appeal: appeal to credibility
Ethos convinces audiences by constructing an argument based on the credibility or authority of the person making the argument. For example, an ad that states ‘’three out of four dentists recommend our brand over X’’ is leveraging a dentist’s credibility to promote their services. This signals to consumers that their product is reliable and trustworthy.
2. Pathos: appeal to emotions
Pathos is one of the most common appeals used by brands, especially non-profit organisations. Feelings that can be evoked include fear, happiness, sense of urgency and love.
3. Logos: appeal to logic
Logos is as straightforward as it sounds by appealing to logical reasoning. For example, ‘’X kills 99.9% of germs’’. It is the use of statistics and facts to convince consumers to take action.
It is crucial, however, to not let consumers feel that you are manipulating their feelings. According to Forbes, consumers are driven to act by five core emotions. Check them out:
Have you ever experienced your emotions or heartstrings being tugged at when you watched an ad? Take a look at these emotional branding examples; some have even won prestigious awards for their creativity.
1. WWF Use of Fear Appeal
WWF used pathos appeal through the use of fear to call for consumers to start caring about climate change. How did you feel when you saw this ad? Fear appeal produces high active recall but should be used adequately.
2. Coke Happiness Appeal
Coca-Cola’s ‘’Choose Happiness’’ campaign in 2015 was an overwhelming success. Coca-Cola managed to associate their brand with positivity by promoting happiness, love and joy. Have you too shared a coke with a friend?
3. Always #LikeAGIRL Appeal to Women Empowerment
‘’Like a girl’’ is an insult towards an adolescent girl as it is used as a disempowering term when girls face gender stereotypes. Always showed how adolescent girls’ confidence are affected by the term and eventually showed how #LikeAGirl could empower girls who can do remarkable things that are not conventionally expected of them.
#LikeAGirl was a highly successful campaign with over 69 million views and won the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.
How did you feel looking at the ads we shared? Emotional branding is a powerful appeal to consumers who often act on their hearts over their heads. Marketing communication helps bring and execute the appeal out to the target audience, but it is the play on emotions that help develop relationships. There are various techniques and tools to employ emotional branding, including colour psychology, playing to the five senses and Aristotle’s methods of persuasion.
Branding is now a creative and innovative strategic process. Brands have to think out of the box to capture eyeballs. Stand out from the crowd and start developing relationships with your consumers with the use of emotional branding. If you need help in getting the creative juices flowing or need professional help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.