Product Manager, Reteno
November 14, 2022
Do you want to stand out from your competitors? In this case, you should appeal to emotions to be halfway to actively selling your products.
It sounds simple, so keep reading our new piece to learn:
In simple words, emotional branding is a way to hijack customer expectations by exploiting Maslov’s needs pyramid. Ego, emotional safety, self-esteem — by appealing to them and fulfilling the needs of people, brands can increase customer lifetime value and establish a good reputation.
Emotional connection drives sales forward. A good example is Apple promos. Moreover, emotional connection helps to create a loyal audience.
Here’s your main competitor — Maslov’s hierarchy of needs. Ideally, the brand wants to find a balance between safety and work in accordance with the needs of self-realization. If the brand goes against this hierarchy, it will compete with the customer.
Large brands practice emotional marketing to:
But emotional branding isn’t an easy task. It combines visual narratives, user experience, and, most importantly, communication.
Brands may invest countless amounts of money into marketing, but it turns out to be useless when they encounter rude people. In the digital world, it all comes down to emails, support articles, chats, and purchase impressions.
Why is it important? Because people don’t care — they just want to receive your product or use your service as soon as possible without extra actions.
First, as a brand, you work as an intermediary between customers and their needs. Emotional marketing allows you to take the upper hand in this cat-and-mouse game — you help the customers solve their troubles and take care of them. After that, they decide if they want to come back to you.
Let's take a time trip to Ancient Greece — a place where philosophers feed donkeys with plums to laugh out loud and lay the social foundations for future generations.
Here are the three truths of Aristotle, which were called The Three Pillars of Persuasion. They can help you establish an emotional connection with your customers.
People like watching the reactions of influencers to a particular product, and no one wants to feel ordinary. Ethos is about authority and morality.
The general rule of thumb is that people want to know what their bloggers, friends, or other customers think about your brand. This can take many forms: quotes from experts in the field, case studies, or just what the Twitter feed tells about your offers.
Here is how Ethos looks like:
Another less irritating Ethos example:
Ethos is used to build trust and gain authority.
You work with three things here, from important to basic:
Here’s an example that combines all three listed items:
Pathos is used to cement relationships.
Logos largely depends on the first two pillars: Pathos and Ethos. Boring facts and statistics are ignored. The best way to use Logos is to show how your product or service improves the customer's life (preferably in the first 10 seconds and with strong arguments).
Here’s an example where Logos used with Ethos in a single place:
Logos are used to make profitable deals with customers. Remember that if a product isn’t helpful to the customer, it won't work.
The Three Pillars of Persuasion is used to build the foundation for ads and the brand. Ideally, you want to combine Ethos, Pathos, and Logos into a holistic piece, but having 2 out of 3 is good too.
Look at Apple. Much of its marketing revolves around Aristotle’s three pillars, communication, and care.
In addition, Apple provides its customers with top-notch products that allow them to solve a variety of tasks, ranging from simple accounting to graphical design. The company has high-quality products. Also, it established good communication with its audience. As a result, today Apple well enjoys being on the top.
Want more examples?
TikTok is one of the most recent. It promises to deliver fun and does everything to achieve that. It allows people to rapidly cover needs related to self-esteem and self-actualization: people make short videos to express their creativity and get instant gratification. As a result, in 2021 alone, consumer spending will amount to $2.2 billion.
Do you remember the previous ad "Lucky people are less annoying"?
Look at what such advertising did to cigarette consumption in the US.
Cigarette companies have been doing this for over a century with simple things like these:
Now that the main methods of persuasion have been considered, let's move on to the practical part. How to apply the information to a brand?
Take care of the customers, and not just in words. Fewer actions when ordering means less hassle. People really desire that. Do you offer something by email? Add a button to purchase it right now. Does filling out the purchase form take too many steps? Make it simpler.
Help them feel special by using personalized interactions. It’s the key to communication in emotional marketing. Help customers feel better, show respect, and be consistent.
Simple example: address the person by name. Compose a letter from the CEO to welcome new customers. Such an approach will add zest to your brand.
Another example is Grammarly. They transfer part of their income to help Ukraine. It’s a difficult long-term choice that makes customers feel part of something bigger.
A more complex example is Netflix. It uses view history to recommend what’s best for its audience. The same goes for TikTok and Youtube: both research what their users want and react to it, even if not always perfectly.
Listen to your customers — what they think of your services and communications. Gather feedback and show that you care. But do that on a regular basis if you want to get a positive result.
Respond to public issues related to the product. Ideally, you always want to show that you care, even if it's a tough decision.
In 1982 Johnson & Johnson had a cyanide issue with Tylenol: someone put it there to damage their reputation. To avoid losing face and protect customers, they have recalled a whole batch of goods. They offered $100M to witnesses who could provide additional information to the police. Moreover, J&J CEO — James Berk — personally attended every television show to tell how the company would prevent this in the future.
Check the color scheme so as not to confuse people. Science shows we all react differently to colors. Green is perceived as the most pleasant, while red is associated with strength, joy, and ambition. While building your emotional marketing brand, research what people associate with a particular color and stick to it in every interaction.
A simple choice of color enhances the emotions that people experience from the brand
Use visual effects to convey emotions. People want to be happy, regardless of whether it means isolating themselves or buying an air purifier to finally get rid of certain odors. Stick to the emotions you want to evoke in others through your own product.
Don’t forget that you talk to people. The tone of voice is a part of the emotional marketing toolset, which helps to be consistent about style and the way you communicate. Change your tone of voice depending on the social network but always respect your audience.
Add reactions to user actions. Opera GX uses typewriting sound to make typing feel better. Duolingo uses different sounds to indicate the successful completion of each learning session. Having action responses allows you to make interactions more personalized.
Use emotional storytelling. As a brand, you are going through hard times and good times. Incorporate the details of these experiences into your emotional marketing strategy. It can be visual effects, videos, or simple text like this — there's always something to tell.
Use trackable links and other tools for collecting data. However, don't ask too much without user's permission and an explanation of why you need this information.
Thus, emotional branding is a set of tools, not a stand-alone practice. It combines Pillars of Persuasion, Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, visual design, and the art of tracking.