Emotionally-engaging branding is ‘‘a highly effective way to cause reaction, sentiments and moods, ultimately forming experience, connection and loyalty with a company or product on an irrational level’’ (Smashing Magazine).
What is ‘emotionally-engaging branding’?
By no means, it implies tricking consumers into buying things using emotional manipulation.
It is about establishing ‘‘enduring effective bonds between consumers and brands’’ using storytelling. The power has shifted from the hands of companies to those of consumers.
So it is about connecting emotionally with people.
Most people would regard themselves as rational consumers.
But in fact, consumers subconsciously make decisions based on their emotions. They don’t believe that their purchasing decisions can be ‘emotionally influenced’ by some brand logos. A truly powerful branding subconsciously and emotionally affects a consumer before they start rationalising their choices.
The truth is that when we face choices, we can’t separate emotion from rational thinking. Because emotions do shape how we feel and how we think.
What makes a brand emotionally-engaging?
- Be authentic
Authenticity is crucial for branding. Whatever your brand is about, your brand will need to speak in a natural tone. And the same tone should be embedded throughout your brand – from your logo, copies to social media marketing.
Why should we focus on creating a ‘tone’? Because a tone gives your brand a personality and distinguishes your brand from the others. It humanises your brand to make it more relatable for consumers.
At the end of the day, consumers seek for some sort of connections to people. Brands that look static and impersonal can only alienate people.
General Electric’s TV commercial exemplifies this point very well.
Despite their B2B-centered products and services, their social media and TV ads often feature the people working behind the stage, providing an authentic voice.
The company is not scared of embracing its ‘inner geek’ on social channels. They know how to set the tone and make connections to our everyday life.
Here is another campaign using the concept of family, mum and emotion by the British Airways.
- Interaction through personalisation
Another effective way to emotionally engage the people? Personalisation of services and products.
Look at the popular communication channels you are using – Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. What do they have in common to engage with the consumers? They know your personal preferences. At least they try to get your preferences as precisely as possible to encourage interactions more efficient and relevant.
Whether you are in fashion or finance, this is key to emotional branding. In fact, many consumers prefer to receive more personalised and customised messages from brands. As the power has shifted towards consumers, branding has also moved from finding the Unique Selling Proposition to the so-called ‘Me Selling Proposition’, says Martin Lindstrom.
Just try to remember how many brands have tried to make customised services over the past years?
Make your story more meaningful
Since the market is already immersed with brand stories, consumers are now more selective in choosing which stories they want to hear or ignore.But there is something that successful branding shares – more meaningful and significant stories. Let’s assume that personalisation is a way to make their brands more useful at a personal level.
But sometimes that’s not enough. Today consumers also seek for brands with some significant and meaningful cause. Or in other words, a purpose. Your story should convey a purpose that, in some ways, contributes to a better life – or even a better world.
What do you think?
Appnova is a digital agency specialising in web design, UX, eCommerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.
Cover image via Flickr