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  • Sakshi Ragini

The Art of Emotional Branding and Understanding Customer Emotions

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Branding, as a concept, has taken rebirth from its ashes once again. This time, we have the idea of emotional branding with us. By strategically targeting customer emotions, you can create the best opportunity for your brand. This variable called emotions can increase the effectiveness of your marketing strategy manifolds.

What is branding?

A brand is not about the product it manufactures. Instead, it is about the impression it leaves on the consumers. As a retailer, you can simply sell, or you can engage customer emotions and then sell. Both the narratives will have entirely different effects. In the latter, you will garner a loyal consumer, whereas, in the former, you will just get a hike in your day’s sales.

Nowadays, people go way beyond the icon, design, or slogan. They only invest time and money in things that they relate to emotionally. In truth, customer emotions are the game-changer here. When feelings set in, your brand becomes an unsaid promise. A promise that your customers will keep rooting for in the future.

At this point, you need to shift the underlying agenda of your marketing strategy.

What is Emotional Branding?


In emotional branding, you foster a relationship between your consumer and your brand based on emotions. In better words, you get emotional branding when you add another dimension to your branding strategy. This dimension being customer emotions.

You need to generate content that appeals to your consumers. To begin with, you can identify the emotions you want to target. Let us say, needs, aspirations, and ego can be emotions you can focus on.

Emotional Branding vs. Emotional Advertising

People use these two terms, interchangeably. But with a deeper understanding, one can realize that there is more to these terms.

Emotional advertising is a complex process. When executed incorrectly, it can leave the audience confused. One needs to be extremely careful in aspects of generating the right emotional appeal. You can understand this as an indirect use of emotions.

Emotional branding is more direct use of emotions. You can design advertising campaigns that target customer emotions. Each of these advertisements forms a page in the book of your emotional branding strategy. Each of these pages will eventually add to brand integrity in the eyes of your consumers.

The Neuroscience of Emotional Branding

Emotional branding has a latent term known as “Neuromarketing”. Marketers have used this tactic to reach and influence their customers on a much psychological level. In terms of science, neuroscience is the field that studies the cognitive and affective responses of a human being.

Neuro-marketing uses this knowledge to devise methods that can leave a lasting impression on your customers. You simply need to pinpoint and repeat the idea that develops the best stimuli in your customers’ heads. By using many scientific technologies like eye-tracking and facial coding, you can easily understand your customer’s emotions and its response.

To date, Neuro-marketing has revealed a few substantial statistics. For example,

  • Consumers make 90% of buying decisions subconsciously.

  • Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster as compared to text.

  • Emotions form the basis of 50% of brand experiences.

Six stages of emotional branding

What method do you use that will make each passer-by turn and look at your advertisement?

Will it nurture interest among your target audience?

Who will be your target customer’s emotions?

These are a few questions that you need to ask yourself in the very first stage.

2. Encourage purchases

This doesn’t end at capturing their attention. In this step, you need to think of ways to convince your customers. You will have to make them believe that your brand is worth their money.

Order to make your space into their purchasing decision, you need to understand their everyday emotions. This understanding forms the basis of live marketing in places like a retail store. Also, retail stores are the perfect arena to create engagement for your brand and target customer emotions.

Of the leaders that have crawled their way into customer purchasing decisions is IKEA. By giving their customers an authentic experience of their products, they have boosted their sales manifolds.

3. Foster a relationship

You can put a stamp on your relationship by keeping your customers in the loop. By making your customers continuously believe that they have made the right decision, you get their loyalty.

4. Developing customer loyalty

A single purchase turns into customer loyalty when you add regularity to it. This regularity increases the lifetime value of your customers for your brand. You can strengthen this step by issuing customer incentives and loyalty offers.

5. Integrating your brand with your customer’s life

Once you have established an emotional connection, you can bring this step into action. Try to get more products of your brand into your customer’s daily life.

6. Word of mouth

This is the most primitive yet the most effective way of marketing. When your customers ask their friends and relatives personally, it will have a more lasting impact.

Word of mouth is known to trigger customer emotions in a better way. This method will quickly have them remember you and your brand. One example of such a compelling customer experience and its communication is Apple. With time they have expanded their user-base only by word of mouth.

Developing an emotional branding strategy

Emotional branding is more like a series of actions based on scientific analysis. Strategy drives it and can make it the soul of your marketing strategy. Branding happens at each stage of your development cycle.

You can start telling stories about each of the stages of your development cycle. This idea of story-telling helps you establish a connection with your customers. Your stories can range from how areas of customer service to that of product designing. When your customers understand your incentive, which is their benefit, they will automatically start trusting you.

You need to list the factors that affect customer emotions. Accordingly, you can identify the elements you want to target. You can then associate feelings with each of these ideas. This step forms the layout of your emotional branding strategy. Now you have all the pieces of the puzzle on board.

The last step is that of putting all these pieces in the right order. That gives you your emotional branding strategy.

In the 2017 Superbowl commercial shown by Google, they used the term “Home.” This term signified the role Google plays in people’s everyday life. It also targeted the customer’s emotions, and the attachment people had with the brand.

Promising practices in emotional branding

1. Use more visuals

Your brain is known to process visuals with more acuity. Due to the strong influence of visuals on the subconscious, it is best that you focus on your logos, fonts, colors to optimize the emotional response you garner.

The self-serving nature of the human brain looks for attention. When your users get tailored marketing messages, there is a high chance of positive response. This alteration makes your campaign look unique and genuine. Thus, having a better hit on customer emotions.

3. Make your users feel comfortable

Emotional branding is about consistency. You need to have a flow with the designs and methods you use to make your users feel familiar with your brand.

4. Handle PR issues at the earliest

A strategy is defined by how well you can identify the problems. Another aspect is how early you identify those problems. It is best that you handle issues well before they aggravate. This precaution will take you a long way.

Why emotional branding?

  • Better engagement with your audience: it is needless to say that a relationship with regular correspondence stays strong. Emotional branding ensures that your customers remember you. This memory is what you need as a brand.

  • Improved experience: when you have regular correspondence with your customers, you are at a place where you can get proper feedback. This feedbacks will help you analyze your development cycle and marketing strategy both. Subsequently, any changes you make will improve the effectiveness of your brand in targeting your customer’s emotions.

  • It works wonders for your ROI: Emotional branding adds to your customer lifetime value. This association has a noticeable impact on your budget. This change happens because you build customer loyalty parallelly with marketing. You not only ensure one sale but a series of transactions. This factor adds to your ROI positively.

Challenges in targeting customer emotions

The practice of creating an emotional response with your marketing campaigns can sometimes be overwhelming. These instances can affect your brand’s reputation negatively. So these challenges should be dealt with well ahead of time.

1. Avoid being cheesy

There is a fine line between being appealing and being cheesy. The former might drive customers away from you. That’s why it is essential to know the limit of friendliness that is healthy.

Start with, represent your organization honestly without even a speck of boasting. Keep collecting feedback about your marketing campaigns from a diverse group of audience. Also, before you flood your customer’s inbox with these messages, perform a dummy test. In any case, remember the needs of your audience before developing any method to target customer emotions.

2. Stay ethical

No matter what, your ethics define you. After all, there is a thin line between influencing and manipulation. One minor infraction can look like a massive blot on your brand’s reputation. Reaching out to your customers will also expose you to vulnerabilities.

You are exposed, if your customers sight even a bit of unethical practices on your side, they might take a step back. This caution will have you lose valuable customers.

Try Datahut!

Datahut has data masters that can work with data that can serve a specific purpose. The data that we provide can elicit trends and figures in consumer relations. With the right guidance, you can get your emotional branding campaign in place. Reach out to us for an enriching and promising experience.

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