#5 in our Top Ten Tips to Engaging Content: Emotion in Branding 

Published by TEN ALPHAS | 27th September 2020

Yes, it’s true we are 22 times more likely to remember a story than a fact
Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner from Stamford University conducted some research to prove it.
It’s very easy to bombard viewers with facts and figures to prove your point. And yes, these can be very compelling and they have their place. But, facts are also very black and white, can be dull and might not stick with people. 

I’m certain there is a statistic I can throw at you here about how less likely we are to remember plain facts, but that would defeat my point.

And my point is…your storytelling needs some colour! Feelings, emotions, honesty, insights, truths, vulnerabilities, pride. They are critical to turning a one-time sampling consumer into a whole-hearted brand loyalist. 

Consumers tend to define themselves by the brands they use—the car they drive, the food and beverages they consume and the clothes they wear. As such, they can have highly emotional reactions to nearly everything they purchase.

Emotional branding is a way to connect with your customers, cultivate loyalty and develop meaningful relationships. And you do this by appealing to your audience’s emotional state, their needs, aspirations, even their egos.

Hit them in the feels

Although it may sound simple, emotional branding is actually pretty complex. If you do it badly, you’re going to leave your audience scratching their heads wondering what just happened. But with careful consideration and the use of emotional appeal, emotional branding can be incredibly effective.

So, how does a brand create the emotional dimension needed to create the customer-brand bond that will last for years to come.

Shift the focus

Take the focus away from the product or service and focus on the end user—in their current situation, how are they feeling.

Exercise #11 Map out how they are feeling

Are they annoyed or frustrated? Why? Isn’t their existing product or service working for them? What challenge can you help solve for them? Now, show them how your brand will make things right for them. Show them how easy the product or service is to use. Show them that after using your product or service, they’ll feel better. Life just got easier. Their stress has melted away.

Trust the human truth

Allow humanity to overshadow any product or service, feature or benefit. While sales and revenue are always a goal, it’s okay to let them fade in terms of hierarchy. What really matters is emotional connection. Brands that show authenticity, transparency and vulnerability are simply easier to support.

Exercise #12: Generate some scenarios your target market persona would be doing and wrap the feelings from Exercise #11 around them   

eg because John has installed a new air conditioner he got a great sleep and was able to exercise before going to work.

Create personalised moments

Discover something unique or quirky that consumers can relate to or aspire to. It may be a video for something as bland as a photocopier. But what if the photocopier is on a yacht? In the middle of the Hawkesbury? Well, that’s a pretty quirky scenario that will get a lot of attention and strike the right note with the right audience—your target audience.

Exercise #13: Use the idea generation tools in Tip #3 to discover some quirky scenarios. 

Follow meaningful values

Consumers connect with brands that reflect their values. Your brand needs to be a mirror image of your primary target audience and your content needs to echo their feelings. Show your shared values. Show how the product or service will make them feel. Your customer needs to think, “I want that.”

Exercise #14: Refer to the exercise on values, and incorporate these into your storytelling.

Again, we could probably drop some statistics and facts to convince you that emotional branding is incredibly effective. Instead, we will wrap up by noting a few of the benefits, such as differentiation from competition, positive brand recognition, brand loyalty and increased ROI. And last but certainly not least, infact we could argue most importantly, human connection in a cluttered world. 

Top Ten Tips of Engaging Content, brought to you by TEN ALPHAS and supported by City of Sydney