Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about emotions and how valuable emotional branding can be. Even if your brand doesn’t deliver a product or service that seems to be directly related to feelings, tapping into the emotions that are stirred when people’s problems are experienced – and the emotions felt when those problems are solved – can be a priceless branding tool.

It can be tempting to simply think of stirring up a general feeling of happiness in your target audience members; however, that idea is often too wide-sweeping. Remember that it’s important to use language that speaks directly to your ideal client, and that means getting specific about the emotions you know they’re feeling, as well as those you know they want to feel. Stay focussed here – if you try to reach everyone, you’ll make an impression on no one.

What Emotions can Branding Stir?

Here are a few examples of emotions that a great branding strategy might stir. Maybe you’ll find one or two here that apply to your target audience, but even better, maybe you’ll be inspired to look more deeply into their pain and preferences to learn more about how you can best utilise emotional branding.

  • Fear: Of course, we don’t suggest that your brand cause fear. Instead, identify the type of fear that your ideal client experiences, so that he or she will recognise your brand’s level of empathy. Your audience might be afraid of bankruptcy, burglary, injury…whatever it is, follow this emotional identification with a demonstration of how your brand will calm the specific fear you’ve named.
  • Guilt: If your brand saves people time, this is a great emotion to arouse. It’s a busy world we live in, and many of us feel guilty for not spending more time on the relationships we’ve forged and commitments we’ve made. After identifying the guilt, show your audience how your brand will relieve it.
  • Freedom: Oppression of freedom, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can stifle people’s ability to live the lives they want. Identify the burden(s) that enslave your ideal clients then tell them, specifically, how relieving the pressure will improve their lives.  Smoking cessation products are examples of brands that liberate and set their customers free.
  • Trust: Trusting in a brand relieves consumers’ feelings of fear, uncertainty, exhaustion, and more. Build trust by giving away expert help and advice. When consumers learn to trust your brand, it will be their go-to in both routine and sticky situations, as well as the brand they feel confident recommending to friends, family, and even strangers.
  • Victory: Some brands have realised profound success by tapping into audience members’ competitive natures. Car manufacturers talk about comparing your car with your neighbour’s, beauty product companies talk about being the prettiest woman in the room, sporting goods dealers talk about how you can be a star on the field or the court…and you, too, can incite a profitable rivalry if your ideal clients like to win.
  • Love: This uniquely human emotion is one that is sought after by people all over the world. Maternal love, paternal love, friendship, pet-centred love, and romantic love are some examples of the specific type of love your brand might promise to deliver.

Photo Credit: Vjeran Lisjak

  • Control: Few people enjoy feeling out of control, but if your ideal customer is especially concerned with being in command of his or her career, home life, love life, spirituality, weight, or any aspect of daily living, instilling a sense that control is within reach can be a valuable branding tool.

As you’ve probably guessed, there are many more emotions that can be elicited with branding – and the variations of each specific emotion are limitless. Get to know your target audience. Know what bothers them and what emotion(s) their pain causes. Then, with thorough study and questioning, learn to understand what they want to feel and deliver it.

Emotional branding is the wave of the present and the future. Instead of wanting to know all about your brand, consumers want to know what your brand can do for them. Tell them with emotional branding.

To learn how you can build a brand strategy that identifies key emotions and utilises emotional branding to build your brand, contact How to Build a Brand at [email protected] or check our Pinterest board.

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