Centuries ago it was Plato who first observed that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. His words remind marketers today that all is won or lost in the mind.
Leading brands have long studied the minds of their target customers, leveraging advances in psychology and behavioral science to gain competitive advantage and accelerate growth through strong emotional connections. For these brands no leadership ‘buy in’ is necessary. They are well past the ‘why’ and are perpetually interested in the ‘how’. This takes me to seven insights for emotional branding that will bring you closer to the tools, techniques and technologies that are changing how consumers see our brands and how we see consumers.
While a company may believe it has a technically or functionally superior offer, consumers’ evaluations are in essence emotionally based. Objectivity doesn’t exist, because everything gets filtered and colored by emotional responses. The bottom line is that there’s almost always more commercial gain to be made by going with, rather than against, what people have already emotionally internalized and accepted.
Psychology and behavioral science shows us that every human impulse to act is driven by emotions. The rational brain has an opportunity to veto that impulse, but if the emotions are strong enough, the rational brain can be overridden. Imagine the impact this has on brand choice, purchase decisions, and loyalty. Do you know what emotions you want your consumers to feel? Do you know whether this will ensure victory against your competition in your category?
There are many innovative ways to achieve emotional connection— from advertising and the quality of frontline consumer contact, to consumer membership organizations and company-sponsored consumer events. Emotional connection can take your customers beyond brand loyalty to the ultimate measure of a compelling brand: brand advocacy.
The temptation is to believe that B2B brands lack emotion because they are subject to highly logical decisions. That’s not the case – B2B is purchased emotionally as well as logically – but the emotions for buying B2B are very different from those of consumer brands.
Breakthroughs in neuroscience confirm what we marketers know in our guts, but sometimes forget in the day-to-day rush of preparing the next ad campaign launch. Namely, everybody feels (emotions) before they think (rational decision), and without generating the appropriate emotional response, no ad campaign can succeed. Here are some guidelines to help avoid that fate.
What the heart thinks, the mind speaks. People who experience an emotion tend to start a communication process to share this emotion with others. Research found that only 10 per cent of the emotional experiences are kept secret and never socially shared with anyone. The more disruptive the event, the sooner and more frequently it will be shared.
Advertising needs to be emotionally absorbing. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant, stale and ineffective. The mind is geared to filter out stimuli, requiring emotion to achieve breakthrough.
The Blake Project Can Help: Accelerate Brand Growth Through Powerful Emotional Connections
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education