Globalization and technology have created many saturated markets. In this type of atmosphere, even high quality products and services can have trouble distinguishing themselves. So how do you solve that problem and grow your business? Use your passion to create emotional branding.
Emotional branding is based on the study of human behavior. It is the process of creating a connection between the brand and the consumer by inspiring an emotion-based response to the brand, aiming to create a strong and lasting attachment. The theory is that emotions are formed on a subconscious level and are formed irrationally, so they don’t include elements of logic or reason. In other words, emotion guides our decisions and we use whatever logic and reason we need to support or justify those emotions. The MasterCard “priceless” campaign is an excellent example of emotional branding. This lost dog commercial isn’t selling credit cards. It is selling the love and positive feelings we get from our pets, something that is relevant to the everyday lives of millions of people.
We are all emotional creatures and naturally respond to displays of emotion from others.
So how does your passion for what you do figure into emotional branding? We are all emotional creatures and naturally respond to displays of emotion from others, whether positive or negative. When your passion shows through, that display of emotion helps create positive emotions in your potential customers that they will in turn connect with your brand, product, or service. Your passion imparts a level of authenticity that is validated in the mind of the consumer with their emotional response. This gives you a high level of credibility with that consumer. Applying the above theory, this emotion will create a stronger bond with your brand, inspiring loyalty.
Take the example of Nike and Michael Jordan. Nike has some of the most successful emotional branding for a lot of reasons. But creating a vehicle to make Michael Jordan’s passion for the game of basketball marketable still generates a huge revenue stream for the company, even years after his retirement. That product line now includes many different styles of shoes, clothing, and accessories. According to Forbes.com, the Jordan brand still generates $2 billion a year for Nike.
Emotional branding is especially important if you are in a saturated market. There may not be persuasive logical reasons to choose your brand. All the products and services are about the same and offered for similar prices. Brands are more interchangeable. Your message can get lost in the crowd when you focus on being better or cheaper – or any other logical reason for choosing your brand. Those kinds of points are more superficial and highly competitive, so it isn’t necessarily meaningful to your clients. It is the personality created by emotional branding that creates the strong connection with your clients. Mc Donald’s commercials started selling emotions a long time ago, when its competitors were concentrating on those logical reasons to buy, and has become one of the world’s most valuable brands. Since we all experience emotion differently, focusing on your passion to evoke emotion automatically gives your brand a unique angle, making you stand out more to clients.
Apple is perhaps the most stellar example we have today for emotional branding creating loyal customers. According to Wired.com, Apple has positioned themselves as the company that can humanize technology, and it has paid off. The iPhone captured a whopping 45% of the smartphone market in 2013, and boasts 76% user brand loyalty.
You don’t have to be a huge company to apply emotional branding, however, and the increased customer loyalty will be a long term boost for your business.