30% of purchases are cerebral; 70% are emotional. Or, most purchase decisions are 30% rational and 70% emotional. No matter how you slice it, you can’t deny the fact that your branding strategy should include a plan for emotionally engaging your target audience.

Your brand seeks loyal customers – they are, by far, the best kind. But what’s the key to gaining loyalty from your clients? The branding experts at How to Build a Brand have proven, again and again, that people search for emotional attachment to brands, whether or not they realize it. When their emotions are charged, attachments are forged, and long-term bonds are made. As those clients move into the future, they will choose your brand because they feel a connection to it, even though their initial emotional memories may have been buried deep within the psyche.

Why Your Branding Strategy Needs More Emotion

Brands that are known for their emotional engagement include Facebook, Amazon, Samsung, Pampers, Subway, Discover, Clinique, Whole Foods, Kindle, Cheerios, Diet Coke, Expedia, and Google. Each one has created a branding strategy that focusses at least 80% of its energy on tapping into the emotional triggers that will bond its ideal clients to its brand. Are their products and services better than their competitors? Maybe or maybe not – it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they’re market leaders because they have managed to create a bond in which consumers choose to abandon product and price comparison for loyalty. Caveat: whilst building a brand, don’t negate the need for creating a superior product; people need a reason to return and to experience your emotional branding.

Consider this example: In recent years, Google has moved from a practical branding strategy to a far more emotional one. Their newer, heartfelt advertising depicts the connection of people via Google’s various platforms. Another advertisement from competitor Bing illustrates a “blind taste test” of sorts, between itself and Google. The contestants are asked to choose the search results they like better, and overwhelmingly choose the quality of the Bing results. BUT…which search engine is still the global leader? You know it. It’s Google. Bing’s attempt at cerebral marketing could not trump that of Google’s emotional branding.

What emotions should your branding strategy trigger? That depends on your brand. What is your brand promise (and what emotions will spill forth when that promise is delivered)? What are the values that your brand demonstrates (and what emotions do those values produce)? What problem does your product or service solve (and what emotions are triggered by the problem and by the solution)? Often, it’s not about choosing one emotion to stimulate, but rather, it’s about choosing the right combination of emotions, in the right order. The Google video, above, does a marvellous job of taking viewers through a range of emotions, including the all-important one at the end (the one that Google promises to duplicate with its service).

Remember that the emotions elicited by your branding strategy should be all about the consumer. In reality, people don’t care about your brand; they care about how your brand makes them feel. So give them what they want – a feeling that keeps them coming back to your brand, again and again.

Stay tuned. We’re not finished talking about emotional branding. Next time, we’ll discuss the different types of emotions and how they can work for your brand. To learn more, subscribe to Brand Brain magazine or join us on LinkedIn.

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