This is the era of information. Within seconds you can research on any product or service that you want to buy. You might think that because of this easy access to information, consumer decisions would have become more rational over time, but surprisingly that is not the case.

While marketers, in the last two decades, relied on cold facts to make their brands appealing, today marketing is steering towards a more personal, more relatable, more emotional branding.

Emotions in Marketing

Research reveals that there are six basic emotions that marketers can use to push their brand, they are, anger, disgust, sadness, fear, surprise, and of course happiness. For example:

  • Political and social awareness campaigns rely on ‘anger’ and ‘disgust’.
  • Eco-friendly products tend to use ‘fear’ (of hurting the environment).
  • Luxury goods often count on surprise and happiness.

A study of over 1000 marketing campaigns revealed that the returns on the emotional marketing campaigns were almost twice of the rational-informative marketing campaigns, and a campaign which is associated with positive emotions like joy, pride, love, success, etc. translates into positive branding.

Another study which focused on website traffic and content sharing showed that content evoking a negative emotional response like sadness, sympathy etc. led to more clicks, while positive content resulted in more shares, and emotionally neutral content relying on data is rarely viral!

Emotions and Buying Behaviour

A scientific study of the human brain shows that when people evaluate brands or products, the part in their brain where feelings and memory arise are lit, while the centres of rational thought and logic are often not aroused.

Thus, we can confidently state that most buying decisions are largely emotional, and hence marketers should leverage this while selling their products or services, rather than completely basing their campaign on facts and figures.

Emotional Storytelling

The current marketing trend is about creating compelling stories and influencing customer’s emotions rather than solely targeting their intellect. Brands are actively trying to redefine themselves. Words like economical and profitable are slowly giving way to terms like customer-oriented and socially responsible!

By conveying an emotional message through your brand’s story you can trigger a response in your audience which positions your brand beyond the market and into the memories of your audience, leading to increased engagement and customer loyalty.

How to Begin?

After reading this article you will be tempted to try out a marketing campaign which capitalizes on the emotional response of the audience. The first step would be to figure out:

  • How do you want to position your brand?
  • What are the values that your brand promotes?
  • Are your products and services in tune with your targeted brand image?
  • Is the existing marketing strategy relevant to your brand?

Once you have the answers to the questions mentioned above, then you modify your present marketing strategy to suit your desired brand image. Do not go for a sudden overhaul. Test the waters before you go ahead. Use social media to sense the mood of your audience, and then implement your new marketing strategy in phases.

The unprecedented rise and impact of blogs, vlogs, video essays, podcasts etc. indicate the growing popularity of emotional storytelling. It will continue to be in vogue in the years to come. If you have not started considering the role of emotions in your marketing strategy, you better start now!