You have utilized or been an audience to emotional marketing whether you knew it or not. Emotions are at the core of the majority of marketing campaigns, even for many practical products like diapers and cleaning supplies. Emotional branding strategy essentially says, “we understand what you are feeling, and we are providing x to fill that need.” The potential problem with this strategy is that modern consumers are savvy and will spot a play on their emotions in a proverbial heartbeat.
So how can brands use emotional marketing strategies without alienating customers? Today, we will discuss how to utilize emotional marketing with sincerity to turn potential customers into invested, long time brand advocates.
What is Emotional Marketing? What is Emotional Marketing? What is Emotional Marketing?
Emotional marketing aims to use emotion to provide a more memorable and impactful experience for potential customers. Typical examples of a desirable response to an emotional marketing interaction can include nostalgia, happiness, excitement, or even fear. It is well documented that emotional interactions are more impactful on audiences than matter of fact pitches.
Emotional marketing is not an on or off switch. It is extremely rare to come across a marketing campaign completely devoid of emotion. Instead, it is important to understand how emotion is interwoven into all successful marketing campaigns. Whether it is a political ad that scares viewers with a potential atomic bomb detonation or a McDonald’s ad showing some happy teenagers, emotional marketing is all about delivering a message that will elicit a response.
Why Emotional Marketing Works
This may go without saying, but nothing we humans do is without some emotional backing. This is further emphasized by the basic reality that plainly stated facts do not carry the same weight as content that is delivered with emotional gravitas. That is where emotional marketing strategies come into play. Marketing campaigns have goals that might look something like this:
- Build brand awareness
- Convey our brand message
- Instill a positive response
- Create more sales
Emotional marketing helps brands reach these goals by speaking to something more significant inside individual customers. Everyone knows that a Mercedes is a quality car. The ads instead focus on the feeling of driving “the best or nothing”. Even this seemingly straightforward sales pitch of a phenomenal product is selling an emotion: luxury.
The Risks of Employing Emotional Marketing Tactics
Until now we have been primarily focusing on the pros of emotional marketing tactics. They are more impactful, memorable, and elicit stronger responses, but there is always a balancing act between intentionally evoking a reaction and manipulating your audience. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
Eliciting the wrong response: emotions are a tricky business. One person may respond with glee at an ad while another may be completely confused. Understanding your audience and how they will react to your campaign is vital.
Melodrama and pandering to emotion: nobody wants to feel like they are being patronized. This is especially true when they feel as if their emotions are being used against them or for monetary gain. This all comes back to sincerity and delivering a believable, topical message.
Mismatching your message and your brand: perhaps the most important aspect of delivering a believable and sincere emotional marketing campaign is matching your branding materials to your brand personality. More on this below.
Brand Personality and Brand Alignment
One of the biggest turn-offs for any potential consumer is feeling like they are being intentionally manipulated. As we touched on in the previous section, there is an inherent risk in using emotional marketing techniques, as consumers may be wise that it is a tactic to get them to open their wallets more than their hearts. One of the best ways to ensure that your emotional marketing campaign is sincere is to align your campaign with your current brand message and brand personality.
A classic example of this going horribly wrong is the now infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad from 2017. The ad trivialized serious political issues including the Black Lives Matter Movement all while a multi-millionaire model walked around with a can of Pepsi. Beyond the obvious, a huge problem with the ad is that Pepsi simply isn’t a political company. What might have been a good idea for another brand, face planted in the public arena. There was no sincerity or weight behind the message. Pepsi is fun. Mass protests are not. Knowing your brand and knowing your audience is the core of any effective emotional marketing campaign.
Clock Tower Insight Helps Brands Develop Powerful Marketing Strategies
At Clock Tower Insight, we turn data into business solutions. By maximizing brand positioning, CX management, moments of influence, and more, we help build our clients brands in the short and long term. Clock Tower Insight believes that happy customers equal a happy business. We work closely with clients to tailor their brand from top to bottom in order to maximize positive image, exposure, and sales.
To learn more about how we may be able to help your business grow, read about our 15 plus years of focused experience working with brands such as Starbucks, Kraft, McDonald’s, and much more.