ALL THE FEELS.
Think about the last time you were perusing Instagram or Facebook and a brand’s post popped up—seemingly speaking to you, addressing something that had just been on your mind, talking to your desires. Now, consider the action that you took immediately thereafter. Did you click on the ad associated with it? Follow the Instagram handle? Share the product to your own feed?
Ultimately, even if you didn’t make a buying purchase, right then and there, it’s safe to say that the post you responded to garnered a win. Why? Because it appealed to you, the consumer, on an emotional level. And you took action.
Emotional Marketing 101
There have been multiple studies conducted on the subject of emotional marketing, and all have shown that triggering a response that is driven by emotion is one of the best ways to get an audience to pay attention—and to take some specific action. So, what does that mean, in terms of the content that the audience is being shown? The answer to that is this: the content is telling the reader a story that ends up connecting with them and impacting them in a personal way. The content is based on desires, aspirations, and feelings—as opposed to rationality and logic. And this is important when it comes to selling your brand, your product, or your service.
Understand the Power of Emotion
Here’s something more important to understand about emotion: feelings drive behavior. Consumers can think about your brand and even hold a brand in high esteem based on its reputation, quality of its products—the list goes on. However, none of this actually makes a consumer act. Thinking about a brand in a positive way does not make someone click buy, share a post, or wait breathlessly and with focused attention on what that brand is going to do or say next.
But what a consumer feels about a brand does make them act. Especially if the brand triggers feelings of empowerment, progress, security, and betterment when that consumer thinks about themselves. When this synergy occurs—it is the brand that wins.
Sell Values, Not Features
So, this leads us to our next avenue of discussion; namely, how to do emotional marketing correctly. The formula is not overly complex. In order to connect with a consumer, a brand must move away from feature dumping and practicality alone, i.e. “These running shoes offer the newest space age material that will improve your grip on the road.” Instead, a brand must focus on its values and beliefs—and associate this with the product they are selling. For instance, think about the Adidas slogan, “Impossible is Nothing.” These words stir feelings of empowerment and strength—probably two of the most important feelings you want to instill in any athlete or would-be sportsperson. It inspires someone to chase what they are after—no matter if it seems hard or challenging. It’s encouraging and inclusive, and it invites the consumer to be a part of the brand story. It sells a feeling and a desire—to achieve, to accomplish, to attain great things—and not simply a running shoe. A consumer, ultimately, can buy a running shoe anywhere—a brand must align with the consumer’s vision of how they see themselves via their purchase and what they want to feel. That is emotional marketing at its core.
In closing, emotional marketing is something that slips in quietly, under a consumer’s radar. It makes them feel better about themselves while allowing a brand to transcend mere product status. It builds and fuels the ego of the consumer while generating the hope that it is through your brand they will attain the ability to realize their best, their most enlightened, their most whole. And it is through this type of marketing that brands will realize not only long-standing loyalty—but also considerable financial gain.