Emotional Branding: Get Your Feelings Involved

Emotional branding reaches consumers on a personal level by connecting with personal attributes of their lives or goals. Without extensive research and testing, marketers will fail at identifying the emotional triggers of the target audience. During the past 25 years, social psychologists in neuroscience have researched the emotional foundation of human behavior, concluding that brand decisions are related primarily to our senses and emotions, which are much more important than rational thinking or the appeal of functional benefits. As a result, marketers can create brand loyalists because these consumers now have a specific if not several solid reasons why they select this particular brand over another. A brand’s products service an emotional need they seek ranging from beauty, health, style, hunger, physique etc.

Social networking has significantly changed the way people consume media and interact with brands. How many times have consumers used social media channels to give their praise and dissatisfaction with brands? Therefore, brands need to become more human and develop a personality that consumers can emotionally connect to.  Some companies have been very successful in consistently maintaining these attributes across several mediums providing the target audience with an opportunity to generate organic conversations further solidifying their loyalty. Even CEO’s have integrated emotional marketing into branding their businesses. Some of the most popular are Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Both of which started companies that have changed consumer behavior and as a result forced marketers to change their strategies to reach this “new” consumer. Many consumers were emotionally tied to Jobs and not just Apple products.

Emotional Branding is What Consumers Want

There is a generational shift to emotional branding which has impacted agencies and brands. Consumers are overwhelmed with messages online and offline, but it’s the messages that resonate with the emotions of a particular customer that stick.  What is it about Starbucks coffee that someone must have a cup every single morning versus the local coffee shop? Is the coffee really that good? Maybe it is, but in my opinion it’s definitely not. I’d opt for a cup of coffee from Barrington’s if I had my way. Nonetheless, for many Starbucks customers the brand personality of Starbucks resonates to them. They want to enjoy their coffee in a hip, wired, comfortable environment. That white cup and Starbucks logo signifies their professional and economic “status.” At Starbucks they get the feeling they are in an authentic coffee shop, being served by a barrister, and have the ability to customize their drink to their preference.

What This Means For Public Relations/Marketing/Communications Managers?

Get creative and not creative solely in the sense of design but give life to a brand. If the brand had a personality, what would it be? The theory of trying can help craft the branding strategy. This theory states that the criterion of behavior should be replaced with the reasoned action model with trying to reach a goal.  The longevity may prove challenging for marketers because there are but so many unique personalities that can be created. This may promote duplications in the market making it even harder for consumers to tell the difference between certain brands. But for now it’s safe to say, there’s only one Starbucks and only one Apple.

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