To build user loyalty, everything from your icon, design, and user experience may be optimized through emotional branding. Even modest businesses like yours may evoke strong emotional responses in customers, not just major brands like Apple. To influence how your brand is viewed by your consumers, emotional branding is used in mobile apps.
The process of establishing a link between a consumer and a brand or product by appealing to their emotions is known as emotional branding. Marketers accomplish this by producing content that speaks to the emotions, ego, wants, and aspirations of their target audience.
Marc Gobé created the concept of emotional branding over 20 years ago and detailed it in his book The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People. His philosophy is based on the observation that connections can take place on an emotional level in relationships between brands and people.
Emotional branding plays to humans’ natural desire for love, power, emotional security, and ego gratification, all of which are subconscious and can be tapped into by emotionally triggered marketing.
This tactic can be over 50% more effective than a non-emotionally targeted advertisement.
Emotional Branding vs. Emotional Advertising
Although it may seem self-explanatory, emotional advertising is a complex practice and when done incorrectly can leave your audience feeling confused. With careful consideration and use of emotional appeal, however, emotional advertising can be highly effective. Emotion can be applied more directly in advertising, such as in a specific ad or campaign.
Each emotional ad contributes to the emotional branding strategy — emotional ads are like the individual building blocks that create the structural integrity of the brand. Many companies will create emotional ads in response to major events, while also promoting their products or services. For example, following the US travel ban in 2018, Airbnb launched a campaign pushing the idea of a global community in their “Let’s Keep Traveling Forward” advertisement. Making a statement like this is a bold and effective brand positioning strategy.
How to Use Emotional Branding Effectively
People adore premium goods and services. They value companies that pay attention to customer input. People value genuine ties with businesses most of all, though. They want to have the impression that they are working with real individuals, not a nameless corporation. Genuine connections raise brand awareness and help to establish credibility and trust.
The difficulty for firms is in forging genuine connections. Branding with emotion is the solution. Marketing and branding strategies that use emotional messaging will help your company become more relatable, establish credibility, and help you stand out from the competition.
Here are six ideas for applying emotional branding to your company:
1. Know what triggers your audience emotionally
Most businesses sell products and services to a broad target audience. But, it’s tricky to form connections with a diverse audience. So, focus on what excites and motivates your customers and prospects and incorporate it into your marketing strategy and branding.
If you’re starting a business and don’t yet know what triggers your audience emotionally, study your competitors on social media and do market research. There are many ways to get actionable feedback from your audience, and you must learn what messages resonate best with your customers and prospects.
You also should put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask these questions:
- What do I want to get from this business?
- What goal can I achieve when I purchase their products and services?
- How can the business help add value to my life?
- Does this business support any social causes that I support?
- How can this business address my concerns better?
Thinking like your customers helps you see things a typical business owner wouldn’t notice. It’s essential to bridge gaps by knowing what stirs your audience emotionally. When developing creative marketing strategies and building your brand strategy, use the insights you gather from customers and prospects.
2. Share genuine stories
People love inspiring and relatable stories. And what better way to connect than by talking about shared experiences?
Read Also: Top 100 Brands That Get Branding
Stories help people to bond emotionally. But, it’s not enough to share any emotional story. You should look for three essential points when choosing which stories to tell:
- Vulnerability. People want real stories. Real stories are imperfect. Share your brand’s humble beginnings or your struggles as a business owner. Ask your employees to share their struggles. People can relate to life’s challenges.
- Relatability. You can share sad stories, but should you? If the stories are connected to your business, sad stories can work well. So, make sure your stories resonate with your brand.
- Legitimate. People dislike made-up stories, mainly because such stories make businesses inauthentic. So, share real stories of people who use your products or services. Share their feedback, as we do on the Crowdspring reviews page. Such feedback shows how your business can add value to people’s lives and build brand equity.
But remember that the stories you share must be connected to your business.
3. Focus on a personalized customer experience
People hate generic messaging. If you want to get someone’s attention, invest in a personalized customer experience to establish stronger connections with your target audience.
Start by gathering data on your existing and potential customers: their favorite products, past purchases, and other demographic data such as gender, age, etc. Use this information to customize how you communicate with them.
People love to own things that they have personalized. If appropriate, allow people to personalize your products and services. This helps differentiate from the competition by adding a personal touch to their purchases. For example, when you buy most Apple products, Apple allows you to inscribe your name or a favorite phrase on the product.
Your goal is to demonstrate how much you appreciate your customers. Customers love feeling that they’re being catered to personally. So, look for ways to provide a better customer experience throughout all touchpoints between customers and your company.
For example, tinyprints by Shutterfly allows people to laminate photos on canvases, calendars, photo books, and even personal items. Snapchat’s Bitmoji allows people to create custom animated characters on the app to make messaging more fun and personalized.
4. Create your brand personality
Personality is everything in business. It’s an excellent way to stand out and create connections with people.
Start by identifying which brand personality fits your business: exciting, competent, sophisticated, rough, etc. Knowing your brand personality will help you strategize how you will market and communicate your brand to your audience.
Next, you must nurture this personality. Make sure that everything aligns with your brand personality: tone of voice in communication, marketing, and visuals such as graphic design, your company logo, fonts, and colors.
The goal is to make your brand appear human with a personality. Be consistent and avoid confusing people by using another voice when communicating or suddenly switching brand personalities when conducting campaigns.
For example, Jeep cars are built for road trips and trekking. So, the brand focuses on its rough and rugged brand personality. You can see this on their website, product designs, and even brand colors.
5. Never forget after-sales customer service
Business transactions don’t just end after a sale. Never forget post-sale customer service. Being attentive after a sale shows that you care about your customers after they have purchased your products or services.
Continue communicating with your customers after making a sale. Tell them that customer support is always ready to help or address concerns. After-sales customer service creates a bond and trust with customers. This can help foster customer loyalty in the long run.
But remember that showing care to customers isn’t limited to answering questions. You can do more to show you care and increase brand awareness.
For example, Rackspace’s customer support wowed many when they sent pizza during a troubleshooting phone call with a customer during a marathon. The brand caught the attention of many people and increased brand credibility and awareness.
6. Be quick in responding to critical issues
In business, timing is everything – from customer inquiries to speaking up for important causes and even putting out fires quickly. It’s natural to make mistakes, especially as a new business. But it’s your responsibility as a brand to prioritize your audience and be sensitive to their concerns.
For instance, when rolling out a marketing campaign, be careful with brand messaging. And if people offer negative feedback, always listen and take immediate action to correct any mistakes. Being responsive shows that you heard your customers’ concerns and have made an effort to do better as a brand.
For example, Pepsi’s misguided 2017 ad campaign starring a famous female celebrity united the internet. People aired out their frustrations and sentiments about the ad. Pepsi heard the people’s cry and pulled the ad and campaign.
Emotional branding can create loyal, life-long customers who zealously advocate for your brand.
What Are The Benefits of Emotional Branding?
Customers typically make subconscious decisions when making purchases. No matter the product, whether it be a cup of coffee or a brand-new car, this is true. Of course, there are other elements that influence decisions as well, but emotion is frequently the deciding factor.
Information overload is one of the key causes of individuals making emotional purchases. The brain has a tendency to put off making decisions when the conscious mind is overloaded with information. When presented with an excessive number of features, options, or specs, clients become uncertain, reluctant, and bewildered. They might even leave empty-handed just to avoid having to make a decision.
The mental selection process remains, for the most part, a mystery. But it triggers an emotional response, usually a positive one. The conscious mind then looks for reasons to justify that emotion.
Emotional branding creates positive emotions that customers can readily associate with a brand or product. It means more than using smiling faces in marketing materials. It means appealing to a consumer’s emotional state, problem, need, or aspiration directly. Quite often, emotional branding relies on storytelling, as this is one of the most powerful ways to generate emotion.
When a business focuses on generating positive emotions, the effects of rebranding can be outstanding. Emotional rebranding can improve engagement across channels. When a post or video appeals to their emotions, people are more likely to pay attention to the brand message.
But more than arousing curiosity, emotional rebranding generates empathy. Brands that ally themselves with a worthy cause and send an inspiring message are perceived as trustworthy and reliable. This often leads to better reviews and more recommendations.
Ultimately, emotional branding makes it easier for customers to choose one brand over all its competitors. It improves conversions and increases purchases. And, as the following examples show, it helps a brand promote its unique strengths.
CCS is an Italian NGO that assists disadvantaged groups around the world, focusing on the future of children within their communities. While its ambitious aims have always attracted attention, CCS wanted to blend emotions with facts to create a new identity that would generate more interest and attract more support.
The brand’s new logotype and name change to Helpcode have made the brand’s identity more positive and energetic. The red color scheme attracts attention while the new logo, two dots connected by a curving line, creates an expression of universal joy — a smiley face. The inspired logo also hints at two people coming together and linking hands. It’s a simple but effective symbol of empathy.
The brand also adopted a visual language that appeals to people’s emotions. This, together with its empathetic marketing, has helped the NGO boost its online presence and gain more followers.
Looking at other notable examples of emotional branding in recent years, Airbnb springs to mind. While the on-demand accommodation service has always had a reputation for being cool, it was not until it introduced the Belo logo and kickstarted an emotional branding campaign that it turned many users into ardent fans.
Airbnb’s rebranding helped foster a greater sense of belonging in its global community of users.
But emotional branding can be more subtle too. Last year, the dating-focused social network Badoo refreshed its logo and identity. By simplifying its logo and adding an orange heart as a new brand mark, it created a warmer, more inviting look.
Despite its simplicity, the Badoo rebrand manages to be emotional through its use of color and simple symbolism. It proves that rebrands don’t always have to be “in your face.”
A marketing strategy that is centred on empathy can help your company establish an immediate rapport with customers. Empathy-based marketing is a tactic that can support and reinforce an emotional rebranding approach at a time when brand distinction has become essential to brand survival.
What is emotional branding in the end? Finding out how your audience wants to feel when interacting with your brand is the first step in leveraging graphic design, content, and marketing to produce that emotion more frequently.
Emotional branding affects your audience in a way that traditional marketing cannot, whether it makes people laugh or cry. And for that reason, you cannot dismiss it.