Branding has always served the purpose of representation through the use of a logo, tagline, colour scheme or something more. In the early 1900s, businesses started using brand identity to associate a certain idea or type of lifestyle with their brand. Branding allows people to differentiate one company from another, especially when they do similar things, but really it comes down to more than that.
Online marketing is all about engagement and creating a relationship between a brand and their consumers. The success of branding comes down to more than just having a great logo and colour scheme; it is about forming an emotional and trusting connection with a target audience.
Humans are ruled by their emotions and research has shown that only 30% of purchases are rational, while the other 70% of purchases are emotional. What this ultimately shows is that every single brand needs a strategy that involves emotionally engaging their audience.
Brands That Use Emotional Branding
There are many big brands out there that already use emotional branding very successfully. Apple is a great example of a brand that has turned themselves around with their use of emotional branding. In the 1990s, Apple very nearly went under, but by rebranding themselves so that younger people could relate to them they have now turned into a cool technology giant and built a giant fan base.
Sports brand Nike is one of the most effective emotional branding examples out there. Their brand strategy involves telling a classic hero’s journey where the customer can be both the hero and the villain. They inspire customer loyalty all over the world by relating to their customers and showing that they understand them.
Other great brands that have used emotional branding in their strategies include Pepsi, Oil of Olay, Pampers, Google and Mercedes. They all find a way to connect with their audience and build an emotional relationship.
Developing Your Emotional Branding
It is easy enough to understand what emotional branding is, but how do you transfer that to your business? Emotional branding is more than just customer loyalty; it’s creating that connection where your customers will stay with you no matter what – a strong and powerful bond.
Start off by deciding which emotion you want to use when building the relationship with your audience. It could be fear – that they are missing out on something, it could be guilt – that they don’t spend enough time with their family, or maybe it’s control – helping them to achieve their life’s dreams.
The list of possible emotions goes on and on, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are very egocentric. What consumers want is for their life to be easier and for a brand to satisfy any emotional needs they have.
Think about what your brand can deliver and which emotions that will create for your customers. What part of their life can your brand help with and how will they feel once you have become part of their life? Sometimes there may not be just one emotion that is felt, but a whole host of emotions combined.
When it comes down to it, if you offer a service of product that a whole host of other brands also offer, your customers will go to whichever one results in the emotional feeling they were after. This feeling should be what keeps them coming back to your business over and over again.
Creating Emotional Brand Messages
Any adverts, copy or communication that you write should be created with the above emotional triggers at the front of your mind. By creating emotional brand messages you are encouraging your consumers to purchase in a powerful and effective manner.
As you may have seen, charities rely heavily on using emotionally charged content, such as pictures and stories, to drive donations, as these instantly trigger our emotions and make us want to react.
Successful brands work by connecting an emotional trigger to every message and experience their customers receive, to generate a consistent feeling. This applies to customer service, social media and any online content published. This in turn will then translate into brand loyalty, which is really what the end goal is for most brands.
Just like with other humans, people can really form an emotional attachment to a brand. Once a customer receives a certain emotional feeling from that brand they are unlikely to ever detach themselves to start a relationship from scratch with another, similar one.
Emotional branding takes times and careful consideration, but once you put your customers at the forefront of your strategy, you will be on the right track to forming a strong relationship with your target audience and building brand advocates that will stay with you through the long haul.