The word emotion is a combination of the Latin phrase emovere and the French word esmouvoir. Emotion is a Noun, and its meaning is the arousal of a feeling, not controlled by logic or facts. It describes our mind's status. Branding means creating a unique identity identified with a particular product or service that the company offers to its consumers.
But how can we create a lasting impact in the minds of our consumers?
Humans exhibit different emotions and are complex beings, but marketers can increase consumers’ attention and directly affect purchase decisions by connecting with their emotional desires and needs. Emotional branding is Neuromarketing.
Impact of emotions on our brain
Exposure to emotional content leads to the release of dopamine in the brain. An emotional campaign enhances the brand's recall value and engages the brain, including the amygdala, the brain's memory center. Emotional branding creates a profound and lasting impact on people's minds.
Buying decisions are made subconsciously around 90% of the time. Our visual processing is 60,000 times faster as compared to text. Our experience with a particular brand is dependant on emotions around 50% of the time. Compared to a rational ad, an emotive ad can generate two times more profit. 50% of B2B business make their purchase decisions based on the emotional value. In research by a fast company, which consisted of 1400 advertising campaigns, the one with emotional content performed two times better than the ones with rational content. This concept is not new; it has been in existence since the times of Aristotle. The greek philosopher coined the term, 'three artistic proofs.' This term signifies the three persuasion techniques viz. ethos, logos, and pathos. Marketers can create an emotionally powerful brand image in people's minds when all three elements are balanced. Marc Gobé penned down the concept of emotional branding in his book, The new paradigm for connecting brands to people. He observed that connections are made between brands and humans on an emotional level.
Strategies For Emotional Marketing
Identify the target audience and their emotions. Incorporate those emotions which affect the consumers deeply resonating with their dreams, desires, and fears. Use the psychology of color. Colors also have an impact on the emotions of people. The green color depicts harmony, balance, and health. Starbucks uses green color in their logo because the brand reflects these emotions. Add a storytelling element to your brands' identity. People tend to connect with a brand faster via storytelling. Create a community around your brand. It helps to create a ripple effect. As a brand, TOMS has used the community-building tool effectively with the campaign of One day without shoes. Set a personal tone with the target audience. The communication tactics used by the brand should make people feel happy and satisfied. Personalize interaction with the consumers. Continuously engage with the consumer; this makes them feel personally connected. Be responsive to public sentiments.
H&M launched a hoodie collection which had a black boy, and he was wearing a hoodie which said, Coolest monkey in the jungle. This campaign created negative publicity for the brand, and they sent out an apology for hurting the sentiments of people and removed their collection globally. The brand's proactive response helped them curb the negative emotion that swept people's minds because of the racist remark.
Be consistent in sending the message. In a campaign, Lipton green tea has always spoken about green tea to provide a health benefit. But in one campaign, they talked about glowing skin, which led to a decline in consumer attention. Later they again switched to the original message with an added fact, i.e., lose 2 kgs weight in 3 months. (insights from guest lecture)
Advantages Of Emotional Branding
The brand can differentiate itself from its competitors. There is positive brand recognition. It increases brand loyalty, which subsequently leads to higher customer lifetime value. It leads to an increase in the ROI of the brand. The brand becomes memorable and has a higher recall value. Emotions communicated via visual are more effective as compared to text. In the brain, 50% of the processing is via visual content.
Color-coding In Emotional Branding
Pablo Picasso quoted that "colors like features, follow the changes of emotions."
Scientifically proven fact, colours evoke different emotions in our minds, and various colors evoke different reactions. Color can impact human moods and behavior. The same effect happens with music also. Researchers have found that music can create an emotional connection that affects the consumers' perception of the brand. Marketers use both colour-coding and music to create a lasting impact in the minds of the consumer.
Mcdonalds uses yellow and red color in its logo to make the consumer crave for food and be happy. They have harnessed the power of color to create the emotion of hunger in people's minds.
Primary emotions - happiness, sadness, fear, and anger
How Brands Use Emotions In Their Campaign - Application
Happiness (Shareable) makes the content more shareable, leading to increased brand awareness among the target audience. Coke uses happiness as an emotion and spreads a positive image of its brand. Their campaign, Choose happiness, improved their index rating from 8.2 percentage points to 26.7
Afraid/surprised/fear (Loyalty) fear invokes the people to cling to a comfortable position and leads to increased brand loyalty. Fear creates a worrisome attitude and prevents detrimental behavior. WWF harnesses the power of fear to instill awareness about climate change and the threat to wildlife as the sole purpose to scare humans. WWF created a campaign around deforestation with the human lungs to sensitize people about reduced oxygen levels and their impact on our lungs.
Angry/disgusted (Virality) Brands use the emotion of anger to encourage people to act in a certain way to solve critical issues. Likeagirl campaign by Always used the power of anger as an emotion to break the stereotypes around gender. They garnered 76 million global views on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs&feature=youtu.be
How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Emotional Branding
Perform surveys and seek direct feedback from people. Conduct a focus group discussion. A particular emotion elicits an increase in a specific activity, i.e., happy content is more shareable, sad content increases the click rate, fear creates a sense of loyalty, and an angry emotion makes the content more viral. Measure the increase, if any, in shares, virality, etc., depending upon the emotion.
Examples To Depict How Brands Are Incorporating The Emotion Factor
Nivea - ShareTheCare
The content shows its gratitude towards front line workers and motivates people to be hopeful in challenging times. The video starts with empty roads, overstrained doctors, teachers teaching on a video call, etc. As a brand, Nivea conveys that they empathize with our current situation and care for society. Besides, the team also added background music, 'stand by me,' to associate the brand as warm and cheerful.
Beauty fest - Tyoharon wali deals
The havoc caused by the pandemic has sapped people's zeal and motivation to celebrate festivals. With its influential background music and emotional dialogue between the mother and daughter, the brand tries to rekindle the lost spark. It encourages people to celebrate the festival at home with the same spirit. Again, the brand tried to empathize with the people's current situation via the content, which is very important. Matching the sentiment which the consumers are going through enables the brand to garner maximum attention.
Tanishq - A reunion
The campaign voiced by Divya Dutta gives a cozy vibe to the entire setup. The campaign starts with a teacher dressing up for school, adorning herself in simple jewelry but with a mask, reminding us of the new normal. As students came forward to hug her, she reluctantly had to stop them and extended a hug from a distance, emphasizing the need to maintain social distance. The brand communicated that it understands the human condition to hug, feel, and touch and match consumer feelings during the current situation.
In this video, we see women celebrating entering their 40s. The video is an ode to women who don't let age define them. It shows modern working independent women celebrating life as it comes. The brand captures the emotion of women to age gracefully with their elegant jewellery.
The campaign voiced by Divya Dutta in a mix of Hindi & Punjabi language gives a pleasant and warm aura to the entire setup. The brand depicted unity amongst different cultures by showcasing an intercultural marriage. They harnessed the emotion of love and affection to break the stereotype around cultural differences.
The 8 minute commercial of Facebook India, with a theme of Diwali and current job loss in the economy beautifully, captures people's current mindset, i.e., tension. The dialect and surroundings in the video are local, which helps brands to garner maximum consumer attention. The brand uses the emotion of help & care to promote their message of social media's expansive reach and power.
Due to the untimely and sudden demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, Indians had enormous sympathy and respect for him. Any news associated with the actor garnered a lot of attention. At this time, Hotstar decided to purchase the rights of his last movie Dil Bechara and streamed on its freemium platform. This sympathetic move helped the brand expand its viewership, and people came out in solidarity and watched his last film as an ode to him. In this case, Hotstar capitalized on the sympathetic emotion which people were undergoing for the late actor and gathered viewership.
Calm is a meditation application that helps people to relax and fall asleep quickly. The brand name itself is the emotion which they are capitalizing on to appeal to the target audience.
Luxury brand Gucci broke all barriers when they decided to cast an 18-year-old model, Ellie Goldstein, who has down syndrome, in their fashion show. Traditionally, we have always associated the concept of beauty with skinny girls. Still, the brand took a different approach and showed that they are inclusive and believe in non-stereotypical beauty.
Maya Angelou quotes, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Emotional branding is the way forward in Marketing.