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The Power of Emotional Marketing

People get very confused by the term Emotional Marketing and I’m here right now to clear it up.

This is an often-used definition that is NOT what is meant by emotional marketing or at least not in the way my clients and my team have used it effectively.

“Emotional Marketing refers to marketing and advertising efforts that primarily use emotion to make your audience notice, remember, share, and buy. Emotional marketing typically taps into a singular emotion, like happiness, sadness, anger, or fear, to elicit a consumer response.”

That’s not what i mean by Emotional Marketing, and not how I advise my clients to design concepts and advertising. What I do recommend is uncovering the emotional end benefits related to a key feature and its functional benefits. And that’s because there’s substantial evidence that people buy functional and emotional benefits rather than features. And given a choice of a series of brands with similar features and functional benefits, they’ll choose the one that suggests an emotional benefit that resonates with their desired self-image.

Let me explain further.

Functional benefits are based on a product attribute that provides the customer with functional utility.

For example,

-Time release products are purchased because they are long acting -Clear bottles reveal the purity in color of bottled waters -Dissolving tablets allow us to take medicine on the go -Roller Ball pens write faster -Rubberized handles on scissors provide a sure grip

All brands, products, services and their features are associated with a rewarding emotional payoff. All features and benefits are linked to emotional end benefits, because they add to our sense of positive self-esteem.

And not surprisingly, brands often serve as badges of who we are to quickly communicate something about ourselves.

Picture these people.

The Jeep driver vs. the Mercedes driver

The PC user vs. the Mac user

The Nike wearer vs. the Adidas wearer

The Old Spice user vs. the Creed user

Different people seek out different end benefits. AND, these emotional end benefits often differ by product category. One may want to feel like an explorer in trying out different types of coffee, [Starbucks] but the same person wants to feel safe and secure in the car they choose to drive [Volvo].

What do brands suggest about people?

Emotional End Benefits examples . . .

Apple products say I’m creative.

Jeep says I’m adventurous

Mercedes products say I’m financially successful.

Trader Joes says I’m a health conscious, smart shopper.

Harley Davidson says I’m a freedom loving rebel

Godiva Chocolate says I’m a lover

These Emotional End Benefits exist for all products and services whether we intend them or not. It’s best to take control and project the best emotional end benefit for your brand.

In advertising and communication, we state the product attributes and functional benefits out loud, but Emotional End Benefits are implied via images and story.

The reason is that saying the Emotional End Benefit often can be experienced as invasive and even embarrassing. Giving the feeling attached to the emotional end benefit in a graphic or implying it with a story allows the consumer to connect to your product and justify their choice with the features and functional benefits you’ve listed.

Everyone knows that Volvo is constructed with safety features – better brakes, stronger side impact protection, air bags, etc. To make the message even more potent, Volvo uses imagery of loving families and their children who are happily entrusted to the protection of Volvo.


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