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Emotional Marketing: How Brands Use Feelings To Get People To Purchase


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Human emotion is powerful. And what makes emotions so powerful is their potential to effect change. We deal with human emotions all day, and more often than not, our emotions determine the decisions we make in this lifetime. This is why emotional marketing is a powerful tool for customer conversion and brand loyalty. It makes the brand experience personal — something tangible that people can easily relate to.


What Is Emotional Marketing?

Before we dive into the concept of emotional marketing, let’s first look at the basics of human emotion. It was initially believed that there are six basic human emotions:

  • Sadness

  • Happiness

  • Fear

  • Anger

  • Surprise

  • Disgust

However, a recent study done by scientists at UC Berkeley has revealed that emotions are more complex than initially thought. The study has identified 27 unique human emotions. These emotions are triggered by the brain’s response to past experiences. Based on these experiences, different people will react differently to any given scenario.


The unique psychology behind human emotion makes emotional marketing an effective tool in achieving customer conversion. Although emotional marketing is a relatively modern concept, people have been using emotions to appeal to an audience even for centuries before the advent of digital marketing. Even the Greek philosopher Aristotle used emotions in his teachings on persuasive speaking.


Emotional marketing uses emotions to make the audience remember, share, and buy a product. Emotional marketing usually elicits a singular emotional response to a product and taps into the six basic human emotions for a successful marketing campaign. Emotional marketing can be used in digital media, print media, social media, and other marketing channels.


How Is Human Emotion Used in Marketing Campaigns?

Human emotion defines many consumer behaviors. Let’s look at how you can leverage emotions to make a successful marketing campaign.


Create Connections

Emotional marketing personifies your brand. It helps you establish an instant connection with your consumers by evoking human emotions. Creating connections is also about relating to your consumers by tackling important issues that matter to them.


Some of the most successful emotional marketing campaigns that have built connections with consumers are Uber’s anti-racism billboard and P&G’s “The Choice.” Both campaigns touched on human emotions and essential issues such as racism and equality. Marketers can use emotional marketing in digital marketing and social media marketing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to create a personal connection with their consumer base.


Inspire Action

Emotions are a strong driving force that dictates actions. Emotional marketing taps into human emotions that will inspire consumers to take action. Emotional marketing can be very efficient in getting the message across to consumers who share a similar emotional connection to a brand. Nike’s “What Will They Say About You” is a powerful ad that inspires women to challenge societal norms.


Build Customer Loyalty

Emotional marketing encourages customer loyalty through product personification. Emotional marketing is selling an experience to the consumers instead of simply selling a product. When consumers feel personally connected to a brand, they are more likely to be loyal customers. They may, in turn, convince other people to patronize a brand as well. Old Spice is known for its quirky ads that create lasting personal connections with its consumers.


Turn the Negative Into a Positive

Human emotions are complex, and successful marketers can harness this complexity to their advantage. When used right, negative emotions such as fear and sadness can be powerful emotional marketing tools. These emotional marketing ads will often get more hype and shares on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Some successful marketing campaigns that have used sadness as its central theme include the Coca-Cola Christmas commercial for 2020.


How Emotions Drive Consumer Behavior

Many factors may influence consumer behavior. The most significant factor, however, is human emotions. Antonio Damasio, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, says that emotion is a necessary ingredient in almost all decisions. These emotions then form the basis of our preference and resulting consumer behavior. This argument is further compounded by findings published in Psychology Today.

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies show that consumers primarily use emotions rather than information when evaluating brands.

  • A consumer’s emotional response to an ad has a more significant influence on their intent to buy than the ad’s actual content.

  • Positive emotions toward a brand have a more significant influence on consumer loyalty than other factors based on a brand’s physical and functional attributes.

You can leverage emotional marketing to create a better brand experience with the right marketing strategy. The popularity of social media marketing makes emotional marketing a powerful tool to get the message across to your target market. Good emotional marketing can lead to better customer conversions, build brand loyalty, and generate credibility by creating a more personal connection with your consumer base.


Working with marketing experts like Fifth & Cor will ensure that you employ the best emotional marketing strategy to create lasting impressions. Learn how Fifth & Cor can implement an innovative marketing strategy for your brand.


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