How to Create an Emotional Branding Strategy & Brand Examples
There’s power in our emotions. As human beings, emotions are a natural part of our everyday lives.
Our feelings, whether we realise it or not, dictate many our responses to situations and the decisions we make, day in and day out.
As a creative professional, leveraging the power of emotions can unlock a deeper relationship with your prospective consumers.
When you utilise emotions in your creative design, you open up a robust and subconscious pathway for connection.
Crafting design elements in such a way that they provoke an appropriate emotional response can create a lasting impression on the consumers you reach.
Even better, you can use these tactics to effectively shape how your brand is perceived by consumers near and far.
Instead of the usual marketing strategy in just presenting your products, it is like catching their interest and making them feel something with your products.
Some people are hard to work out and gets you thinking why will they get engaged with your product.
Through emotional branding, you are making your products relatable and connecting your clients with your service.
Have you watched a commercial where you think it is talking directly to you?
Have you seen the McDonald’s or Coca-Cola advert?
It will indeed leave a mark in your heart because they intentionally target your emotions.
That way, you will be reminded of how that makes you feel, and you will always remember their product
These companies master the art of creating Brand emotions.
Also, through their emotional branding, people support their products more.
Are we talking about mind control? Thankfully, no. We’re talking about emotional branding.
What is Emotional Branding?
At its core, emotional branding involves creating a relationship between a consumer and a product or brand by provoking the consumer’s emotions.
Coined by author Marc Gobé, the philosophy centres on the idea that connections are made between brands and consumers on an emotional level.
These connections ultimately form the basis for the continued relationships between the brand and the consumer.
This branding strategy plays to our natural, subconscious desires.
These desires include love, power, emotional security, and even ego gratification.
Moreover, with emotionally triggered marketing, you as a creative can tap into these desires and utilise them to better connect with your audience.
Leveraging Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
As we mentioned above, emotional branding taps into our subconscious desires to provoke emotion and incite relationships between brands and consumers.
However, there’s more to the emotional branding puzzle than just our subconscious desires.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows us that our emotional motivations can be classified even further.
In his theory, he purports that our emotional motivations can be split into two camps: biological needs and social needs.
Above all, people must have their physiological needs covered before they can meet their social needs.
What this means is that humans need to satisfy things like food, shelter, air, and water, before they can turn their attention to fulfilling their more abstract needs like respect, status, strength, and self-actualisation.
This emotional motivation distinction can be a critical jumping-off point for brainstorming how you want to craft your creative assets.
Start by identifying the needs that your product or service satisfies.
By figuring out where your value proposition fits in the hierarchy of needs, you can effectively narrow down which emotional appeal or motivation you want to use to target consumers.
Apple’s Hierarchy of Emotional Needs
Today, Apple is recognised as one of the most emotionally appealing brands. However, how did they get there?
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can classify Apple’s emotional branding strategy over the years.
For example, Apple’s famous “think different” ad campaign uses a combination of colour, design, and copy to connect with the innate need of users to fulfil their talents and potentials.
With the prominently featured, one-of-a-kind rainbow apple and text that encourages individuality, Apple connects with users on this subconscious desire.
Appealing to Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
Emotional branding can also take form through appeals to three, tried-and-true modes of persuasion: ethos, logos, and pathos.
When you strike a balance of ethos, pathos, and logos, you can create an emotionally powerful brand.
Each mode of persuasion appeals to specific values people have.
By crafting creative assets that incorporate these appeals, you can form connections with consumers or prospective customers on a deeper level.
Ethos involves appealing to credibility and ethics.
For example, if you are creating a visual that illustrates the credibility of a particular product over the competition, you might want to include authoritative design elements, like a badge, or a specific colour scheme to signal credibility to your audience.
By strategically appealing to ethos through certain design elements, you can build trust and credibility within your industry and connect your brand to being an authority in the minds of your consumers.
By using pathos, you are primarily appealing to empathy. Frequently, this looks like motivating consumers by creating a sense of urgency, a sense of belonging, or a fear of missing out if they don’t take a specific action.
Take caution with this appeal in your creative process. Without a deft touch, this appeal can come across as emotionally manipulative.
A great example of a proper appeal to pathos is the non-profit industry.
Non-profit organisations regularly use pathos to create empathy and enhance their brand strategy, without coming across as disingenuine or calculating.
Logos involves an appeal to logic and reason.
While this can be one of the most effective modes of persuasion, it relies on the other two methods to indeed be successful.
A universal appeal to logos involves showcasing an impressive statistic in your design.
However, just pointing out facts, like a statistic, is not a strong enough motivation to drive consumers to take your desired action.
You’ll need to combine this appeal to logic with another mode of persuasion to motivate the consumers you’re connecting with.
If you include a statistic or logical element in your design, consider showing your audience a visual of how your product can benefit them to create emotional appeal and drive the impact of logos home.
It’s worth noting that you don’t always have to utilise these three modes of persuasion in your creative process.
Keep them in mind as you brainstorm and remember that they’re always apart of your emotional branding toolkit should you need them.
Why is Emotional Branding Important?
Now that we’ve unpacked some of the fundamentals of emotional branding, you might be wondering, “Why should I care?”
There are several benefits to emotional marketing over other, more traditional forms of branding.
Using emotional branding can lead to:
- Differentiation from the competition
- Real, human connection and positive brand recognition
- Brand loyalty, increased customer retention, and enhanced customer lifetime value
- Better ad targeting which can increase ROI
As you can see from the list above, the benefits of emotional branding vary and can have a significant impact on the success of your business and your reputation in the public eye.
How to Create Emotional Brands?
1 – From customer-oriented to people-oriented
Make it more relatable; it is more of building a relationship with your clients and partners.
It is like personally speaking to their hearts and minds.
It is creating mutual respect and attraction.
From the mindset that they are just customers that come and go, make them feel a sense of belonging to your company and let them know that they are part of your growth and success.
Start with your staff or employees.
Be like Starbucks; they call their employees partners.
This way, the employees feel accountable and responsible; they have this welcoming feel even before you step inside their store.
You will gain their loyalty when they feel you understand them, and when they have a sense of belongingness.
2 – From products or service to making it an experience
It is not just giving or providing customers with the product or service.
It is more on what did they experience.
What did it make them feel?
Did they have fun, did it make them feel special, and did it get them jumping in excitement?
A consumer would support your service and products if you make them feel extraordinary.
Have you ever wondered why some companies charge so much for their services or products?
Because it is not the goods or service itself, you pay for the experience.
In online shopping, from the website up to the time the product is in your hands, did you think they delivered an excellent customer experience?
Royal Caribbean Cruise is one of the best-known cruise ships that not only takes you to your dream paradise but will also give you that “royal” experience.
At first, you may think you are paying too much, but it is hard to compare the experience you receive to a specific amount.
3 – From truthfulness to being trustworthy
It is one thing to be truthful, and it is entirely different in being trustworthy.
Being trustworthy is giving the assurance that you are genuinely giving the best of what you have promised.
It might be true that they are number one in the market, but somewhere along the way they cheat or they are corrupt, and that makes them not trustworthy.
Popularity does not equate to the integrity of the entire company.
You can state facts and accomplishments, but you must guarantee that with you, they will be taken care of and put first.
4 – From giving the best quality to being the preferred service or product provider
Many companies arise competing for loyal customers.
It is normal in all industries.
Customers are continually searching and switching suppliers. Companies make sure they have the best products in the world.
However, by making them feel extraordinary, by connecting to them, you become their preferred supplier.
The experiences they have with you make you stand out persuading them to choose you over any other Brand.
It is all about the relationship that makes you the preferred supplier.
As you become the favourite brand, word of mouth helps you market your product or services.
5 – From being known to giving inspirations
Popularity is not the game.
Touching a customer's heart is when you inspire them through your journey.
Inspiring through the eyes of clients that have a great testimony in having you as their supplier.
Have you watched a commercial of Avon?
Not only do they provide women’s necessities, but they also offer a small business for their clients.
So they use that to inspire the consumer.
They feature the inspirational testimonials of women who live their life as an ordinary housewife, then turned into a business owner.
Companies that live to inspire, mostly have loyal consumers.
6 – From a monologue to dialogue
Talk and listen.
Have you wondered why some commercials left you hanging with a question?
- It is because they give an option to respond.
- It is not just presenting; it is interacting.
- It is not just about your company or products or services, it is about the customers that support you, and it is about winning other customers as well.
Ask them a question and get their attention.
It is common now on Facebook and other social media sites that companies will post something in their account that asks the consumer a particular question.
It allows them to respond and connect on a personal level.
It allows customers to talk and share their experiences, and it will enable you to further get their attention in responding.
It might be time-consuming, but this is where you build relationships.
7 – From service to a relationship
From giving service, you are making your company relational.
You are providing a give and take relationship.
There is a lot that can offer a service; only a few can build a relationship.
Again it is more of the Brand experience they have with your company.
It is the connection you make connecting with Emotional Branding.
It is letting the consumers know that you know what they are going through and you are offering something that can help solve their problems.
See how dishwashing soap gets advertised?
They are providing a product that can help you clean the dishes and a product that will not cause skin problems to your hands.
They know your concerns, they understand.
Through that, they connect to the consumers who are having problems with their hands after doing the dishes.
Connecting is key to a good Brand relationship.
4 Strategies for Emotional Connection
When you’re working your way through the creative process, use the following practices to make your design stand out and appeal to consumers and make an emotional connection.
1. Leverage Emotion in Your Visuals
In today’s increasingly digitised world, visuals reign supreme.
Take advantage of this hyper-engaging format to showcase your newfound emotional branding knowledge.
Carefully consider the images, icons, or footage you want to highlight and aim to tie those assets to a vital value or emotion associated with your consumer base.
2. Tailor Your Interactions to the Individual
Personalisation is critical when it comes to emotional branding.
You’re looking to inspire emotion in each individual that interacts with your creative.
If you can make your users feel happy, meaningful, or satisfied through creative branding assets, consumers will likely have a positive association with your brand.
3. Evoke Engagement
Genuinely engaging with your users can make them feel more connected to your brand and can even provoke an emotional reaction from consumers.
In your creative, consider featuring user-generated content, like photos or comments, to foster lasting connections with your consumers.
Prominently displaying their experience with your brand and the content they have personally created can make users feel important and like they have a special connection with your brand.
4. Create Consistency for Your Consumers
Another way you can leverage emotional branding is by making your users or consumers feel comfortable.
A great way to achieve this feeling is through visual and creative consistency.
For example, if you regularly breakdown do’s and don’ts of your industry choose one colour to associate with positive practices, like blue or green, and another for harmful practices, like red or orange, and stick with those colours for every visual you produce in this format.
How do you implement an Emotional Branding strategy?
You should apply these emotional branding strategies in every department of the company.
These transformations will help you build more inside and outside of the enterprise.
If everybody can exercise this emotional brand strategy, they will see the value of what they do and the value of your business.
If you put these strategies into the heart of people working for you, they will work harder, for they will see the purpose behind it.
Sometimes all it takes is a personal touch to gain more loyal consumers and partners.
Emotional branding shows that you care, and your products or services are the extensions of that care.
Are you ready to put the heart of the company out for customers to see?
The more you develop your emotive brand identity, the more comprehensive your market reach.
Add puns in your ads, be up to date with trends and be more relevant.
Top 10 Books on Branding and Emotion
- Gobe, Marc (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 360 Pages - 02/09/2010 (Publication Date) - Allworth Press (Publisher)
- Scott Deming (Actor)
- Michael Jeffreys (Director)
- Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
- Hardcover Book
- Pogorzelski, Jacek (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 180 Pages - 06/08/2018 (Publication Date) - Emerald Publishing (Publisher)
- Hardcover Book
- Blomstrom, Duena (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 168 Pages - 03/27/2018 (Publication Date) - Springer (Publisher)
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Hall, Kindra (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 240 Pages - 09/24/2019 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins Leadership (Publisher)
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- Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
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- English (Playback Language)
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Appealing to the emotional motivations of your consumers is a surefire way to attract, connect with, and urge your audience to choose and use your product and services.
Understanding your what drives consumers can help you identify how to craft your creative assets and can help your designs better resonate with users.
Leveraging this tactic can even lead to a boost in user retention, brand reputation, and even customer lifetime value.
On that note, let me end with this.
An emotional Brand works most efficiently when you are genuine.
Consumers can see the difference between real and fake.
Emotional branding must be absolute.
You must be genuine in all areas of your brand.
From the vision of the brand and the ambassadors, they must be genuine in a way that it will carry through the entire company.
At first, it will feel like you are just faking it, but in the end, you will get used to it, and emotional branding will be the main thing in your company.
Fake it until you make it!
You can do that until you progress and until your firm develops that genuine care for the customers.
Emotional branding should feel natural and not forced.
Emotional branding is like two hearts reaching out and connecting.
It is a way to gain interest in the new market and at the same time maintaining the loyalty of your consumers.
Emotional branding is like putting your heart out in the open; customers will see your intentions; customers will know if you are the real deal or one of the fakes.
Keep it real and make an emotional connection!
Are you looking for assistance when it comes to leveraging emotional branding for your visual identity?
Author Bio: Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind 85ideas, where you can find the best templates collection, quality tutorials and collections of themes and plugins put together by WordPress experts. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging about career and business
Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API