How do you feel when you read a Disneyland social media post? Or an ad for the latest Apple product? Does a message from BMW or Audi evoke a particular response from you? These brands all excel at making emotional connections with their consumers that are designed to build ongoing relationships and trigger a purchase.
Think about what makes you choose one brand over the other. More often than not, it’s emotion. Through emotional branding, brands appeal directly to consumers’ needs, creating a connection that often results in long-term brand loyalty.
Understanding Which Emotions Drive Your Consumers
The products or services you sell can pique your buyers’ emotions, which is why many consumers often prefer brand name products to generic ones. You can capitalize and build on these emotions with a deeper understanding of why your customers do what they do.
For example, Disneyland taps into the following buyer emotions:
Excitement for new things
Disney’s television commercials, social media posts, articles, and other content center on these three emotions. The excitement of new rides, the discovery of a new park, and the pure joy that a Disney family vacation can offer.
What about Apple? With so many options for consumer electronics—phones, streaming services, tablets, computers—what makes buyers choose to spend more money on Apple products? Typically, it’s the desire for the best, and the desire to belong.
Apple has long focused on the emotions of those who want to own the latest and greatest technology. Those who own Apple products feel a part of a select group. Apple intensifies these feelings of belonging through marketing materials that focus on superior technology, and through the services they provide.
The ability to own a luxury car has long been a symbol of status. Car brands understand this and create imagery and content to cement and increase the feelings of self-achievement, the sense of power, and the desire to own the best.
What emotions do your products evoke in others? How can you sharpen and solidify those emotions into buyer loyalty? And do those emotions align with your brand mission and values?
Aligning Your Brand With Buyer Emotions
A deep dive into your brand should include a comprehensive understanding of your customers, inside and out. You can do that by creating buyer personas for your brand. What drives your buyers? What are their hopes, dreams, and desires? What do they do for fun? How can your brand help them achieve those hopes and dreams?
The emotion you want consumers to feel must be present during all aspects of their interaction with your brand, from first encounter to their most recent purchase. That includes service before and after the sale, each and every time. To create real, lasting connections, check in with your buyers—ask them pointed, thoughtful questions about their experiences with your products, and give them a chance to make suggestions.
In most cases, a buyer’s motivation for making their first purchase is not the same motivation for future purchases. A buyer may purchase their first BMW out of a sense of self-achievement. They’ve reached the point in their careers where they can afford one of the best vehicles on the road, and they’re proud of that accomplishment.
But what prompts their next purchase? They’ve already satisfied that need for self-achievement, so the next purchase will be based on another emotion – perhaps the desire for a safe driving experience, or their trust in the quality of workmanship.
Apple understands this, too. Buyers often want to have the best that’s available, and they want the excitement of discovering new products and features they haven’t experienced before. And then there’s Disney, which brings 48 million people back through its gates each year by creating new rides and experiences for their consumers to enjoy.
Your brand can’t rely on the initial purchase motivation to keep customers coming back. Whether in-house or working with your outside PR/marketing firm, you must continue to identify the experiences and emotional connections that are important to your consumers and provide them throughout your relationship with them.