Cultivating more consumers who buy more, more often, & tell their friends!
Relative to the enormous role that it plays, emotional branding is probably the least understood and discussed topic in business. If you compare it to "content marketing", "mobile marketing", or any of the current buzzwords, for example, understanding how to leverage emotion in branding is dramatically more consequential to consumer business!
Here’s a paragraph in an article that I saw recently:
While traditional consumer decision-making models are grounded in the theory of rational choices and are largely cognitive and sequential in nature. Emotional branding is irrational. Simply playing somber music against images of people struggling without a particular product can trigger an irrational connection by playing on a consumer’s sadness.
Most believe, as the writer above does, that emotions are somehow incompatible with rational thinking. I couldn't disagree more.
If we define "rational" as something based in logic or reason, then how can anyone suggest that our emotional welfare is somehow outside of the holistic consideration of our best interests?
How is it anything but logical to do things to enhance our sense of identity and self esteem, and - on top of the features and benefits - to consider the emotional impact of our purchases?
To be clear, people are motivated by both physical and emotional needs. The best brands understand this and combine superlative product advantages with powerful emotionally resonant marketing. Doing so offers consumers both physical and emotional upside and therefore a total brand experience that offers more than those products that ignore emotions.
Apple, for example, sells great products and an opportunity for users to participate in compelling brand imagery. There are millions who like to think of themselves as people who “think different”. A veritable subculture has developed around the brand that seems to easily overcome whatever disadvantages (e.g. price, availability, software, etc.) that can accompany the brand. Apple gives consumers the opportunity to buy what is great about their products and to bolt on this meaningful emotional benefit as well.
So, it is entirely logical for consumers to buy products that offer them more rather than less; that deliver a great product experience enhanced by a compelling emotional benefit as well.
Making the decision to acquire more rather than less is wholly rational - by definition.
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Speaking of emotional branding - check out this fantastic new Apple iPad Air ad, released today as well.