Our purchasing decisions are based on emotions. We are humans and driven by emotions, and if you think you make all decisions based on logic, you are wrong. Marketers and entrepreneurs know about emotions and use them effectively in marketing their products. However, emotions were never the only way to persuade the audience.
If you go back into history, you will find Aristotle sharing his wisdom on persuading the audience. According to him, you can convince the audience by Logos(logic) or Ethos(authority). He also mentioned Pathos, i.e., persuading the audience with emotion. You can use emotions to draw different types of behavior from your audience, including anger, guilt, and happiness.
Our guide will explore more about emotions and how you can use them to do emotional marketing. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- What is emotional marketing?
- Emotional Appeals Types
- Why Emotional Marketing Works?
- Emotional Marketing Strategies
Emotional marketing is a branch of marketing that effectively utilizes emotions to do marketing and advertising efforts. By using emotions, marketers can improve their marketing effort by improving audience notice. The audience or the buyer is more likely to share, buy or remember the experience as it triggers an emotional response.
Humans’ emotions are diverse. To understand this, you need to learn how to identify the emotion. All you need to do is pause and learn what you are feeling. Are you feeling curious? Well, you may be as you are reading this, but curiosity is not precisely an emotion. In short, curiosity is what you are feeling right now.
Four basic categories best describe our emotions:
Does it make sense? If not, try to see emotions as colors. Just like the color spectrum, emotions also have a spectrum, and we can feel ourselves anywhere within the spectrum.
To get a better idea, let’s go through the different emotional appeals types.
So, we have an emotional spectrum at our disposal. But, as a marketer, should you just go ahead and use all of them? Well, NO! That’s not advisable. That’s why it is vital to understand the emotions that help you grow your business and fit the marketing narrative.
From an eagle eye point of view, emotions can be are either positive and negative. Positive emotions are feel-good emotions that bring the audience closer to you and place them in a place where they can make a better decision. The negative emotion, on the other hand, works but works differently compared to positive emotion. In both types, you are using persuasion as a way to push your brand to the audience and bring better results.
As a business, you need to focus on using the following emotional appeals:
As a brand, you can use happiness to empower and connect your customers. The audience is attracted to positive messages and is more connected. That’s why you will find many companies creating positive taglines for their brand so that the audience can connect better to their product. The happiness factor also shows different aspects of a company and how they enjoy working on a product that solves customer problems.
Our lives are not perfect. We feel sad from time to time. However, sadness is also a powerful emotion that can help improve a brand’s reach when used tactically. For example, you can create a ad message that can cause sadness among your audience. The best example we can go through is the Mclaren F1 team created when their team member Carlos Sainz is drafted to Ferrari. They created a video where they showed respect to their competitors and also did farewell to Carloz Sainz. The video starts with the other team member Lando Norris. To know how they did it, check out the video here.
Fear is a strong emotion and should be used responsibly when marketing. However, if used correctly, it can lay the path to change. If you cross the line and use fear incorrectly as a brand or business, it can backfire and damage your brand or product promotion. Think of fear as a way to counter scenarios where we feel threatened and need to take action to protect ourselves. In biological terms, it is designed to protect ourselves when we are in danger. The best example is that you can design your messaging against diseases such as lung cancer for smokers and how your product can help you escape the threat.
Negative emotions are powerful, and so does anger and disgust. These negative emotions can quickly catch the audience’s attention and make them react to them. For example, you can create a campaign around LGBT and how they are treated by society. By using the negative comments that LGBT people receive, you can try to create a more positive approach. Alternatively, you can also use anger by directing it towards your competitor. Basically, you try to use the user’s pain and anger against the competitor to create a positive outlook for your brand.
People listen to experts when it comes to buying decisions. After all, experts can logically identify the item’s worth and then suggest it based on a plethora of factors. That’s why people are more likely to make their purchase decision based on expert’s opinions as they are believable and have facts backing them up. So, you may want to invite an expert and do an unbiased review of your product. Next, you need to channel it correctly and you can then take benefit of this emotional appeal.
With self-esteem, you can appeal to the customer’s desire for what they deserve and feel good. You create a feel-good factor/emotions for your customer and improve the brand’s positive outlook. The best way to approach this is to use custom messaging so that your ads look genuine. The goal is to bring personal messaging to the audience.
We perceive the world through logic and emotions. Sometimes our gut may signal something that even logic may not agree with. Emotions are necessary and are part of our lives. Are you watching a scary movie? Well, you will feel strong emotions and experience scare jumps. The fact that every one of us has emotions does emotional marketing works. Sounds simple, right?
Emotional marketing is critical for every phase of your business. Let’ explore more below:
If you decide to create your new business, you need to care about your business’s first impression. It is similar to when you meet a new person and quickly make up your mind and create a first impression for the person.
That’s where you need to quickly employ emotional marketing to give your audience a way to like you. You either use humor to catch their attention or something sad to make them cry. In both the approach, they are going to connect with your product.
Emotional marketing is a powerful method. As a marketer, you can use it to increase brand loyalty or sales and inspire people to take action. By doing so, you are not only inspiring people but also increase brand growth and loyalty.
For example, you can use happiness as a way to increase brand awareness. The act of using positive news to increase brand awareness is known as a social smile. It is similar to babies reciprocating smiles. In retrospect, sadness offers a way to connect and empathize.
The same is true for other types of emotions such as fear, anger, passion, or surprise.
Decision-making is a complex process. Even we try to make a logical judgment when buying, our emotions play a crucial role. For example, if you are trying to buy a gaming monitor, you may compare the two best monitors — comparing their pricing, their features, and other key factors based on your requirement. But, when it comes to making the purchase, you are always inclined to take emotions into account before making the purchase. After all, you are getting the best product, but the final decision needs to be made, and that’s where emotions come into play.
In fact, studies also show that people use their emotions more than information when it comes to making decisions. That’s why, as a marketer, you need to use emotional marketing to influence the person’s intent to buy.
Apple is one of the biggest companies that use emotional marketing to its advantage. They instill emotions among their audience, which in turn creates brand loyalty. That’s why you will find Apple users rarely changing to any other brand even when they are offered a more technically powerful mobile phone. At the core of Apple marketing, they promote clean design with simplicity which most people relate to their lifestyle.
Coca-Cola’s “Choose Happiness” promotion also carried the happiness vibe to connect happy moments with the drink.
If you want to explore emotional marketing strategies, you will be surprised at the different ways you can carry out your strategy. It is important to start slow, explore the different options, and then go with the one that fits your brand strategy and outlook.
Isn’t this obvious? However, many brands or marketing personals forget to study their audience. So, the first step is to know about your audience. Once you have explicitly defined your audience, you can now target them.
Knowing about your audience begins with conducting research. The research should also resonate well with the audience’s pain and the emotion you are trying to use in your marketing campaign. This way, you can be ahead of your competition and know what to do next with the correct information.
One of the best ways to get connected with your audience is to use colors. Colors play a crucial role in inciting emotions among the audience. The study of influencing our moods and thoughts falls under color psychology. For instance, food courts use colors to incite curiosity and wonder. Similarly, you can find cricket or football teams to use colors to excite the audience.
In general, colors are associated with emotion — red for positive energy, green for balance, and orange for happiness.
There is no other way to connect to your audience than to tell them a story. Stories with emotions connect way better than using simple messages on static ads. The stories are relatable to the audience if done right. Moreover, stories are also sharable.
Hallmark’s “Mom’s Love is for Always” ad connected the audience by emphasizing on mother’s role in our lives. It was able to craft a strong emotion among the audience and use storytelling to a great extent. Check it out here.
Community development is at the core of any brand. Communities, once created, are designed to stay together. Brand, on the other hand, can tap into the community’s emotional needs. For example, the members can feel acceptance, loyalty, and excitement by being part of the community.
If you are just starting out your business, you can use Discord or any other online platform to create a thriving community to help each other.
Brands also inspire people to do impossible things and inspire them to do things they never thought they could do. The feeling of inciting such an emotion can lead to many emotions, including hope, joy, excitement, etc.
Red Bull, for example, is known to use this approach. Their tagline, “Red Bull gives you wings,” is very popular, and they extensively use it across different channels, including for their own F1 team. Their related commercials are full of excitement and fun and give you inspiration on how you can too also reach your dreams.
Emotional marketing is a very effective tool in the hands of a marketer. However, you need to be tactical when it comes to using emotions to connect with your audience. As emotions are involved, you cannot make any mistake. All you need to do is understand your audience’s pain point and use emotions to solve their problem rather than elevating it.
So, which emotional marketing strategy are you going to use? Comment below and let us know.