In a world where internet has revolutionised the way audiences approach the market, and the advent of “incredibly smart” phones highly increased the number of online purchases, branding became the key competitive advantage for companies that didn’t want to be left behind. The future online market is about attracting users by tapping into their consciousness through psychological user experiences and emotional factors in order to push them towards purchase lifecycles.
Emotional branding offers an extremely effective way to engage and trigger emotional reactions in consumers. People responding to emotional experiences are most likely able to create an irrational but strong sense of loyalty and connection with a company or product. People make decisions based on irrational feelings and only after making such a decision are able to rationalise with logic. That’s the power of an emotional brand, the ability to impact people through one of the deepest and critical layers of our minds.
It’s fascinating how a complicated and yet mysterious part of our body like the brain can still drive the majority of our impulses and therefore decisions. It helps us to decide if something is good or bad within a few seconds without even fully understanding why we feel that way. It is that inner voice that makes us say “I don’t know why but it just doesn’t feel right…”
When studies started proving that psychology, as a channel for marketing activities, was actually able to create strong relationships between people and brands, creativity started to become the medium in which the result could be achieved. Emotional branding can be processed by people in two different ways:
- Active processing
- Implicit processing
The first category allows brands to be processed through a more convoluted path, for example an image capable of recalling a personal past experience. Implicit processing is activated without awareness. Even though there are multiple techniques to apply an emotional component to a brand like defining ideological or cultural values, one of the latest and most effective results was the use of a mascot as a 3D brand. A great example could be Tony the tiger from Kellogg’s or MailChimp. Mascots suddenly become unconsciously personal heroes capable of leveraging the experience and therefore provoking a hidden attachment with the product. Why? Because they do not focus only on what is the product or how a person can benefit from them but most importantly WHY as a personal value. For Kellog’s it could be genuine lifestyle and for MailChimp simplicity of communication through a three dimensional character and not only as a 2D logo.
Emotional branding also contributes to delivering one of the most important key messages aimed at defining a business, THE PURPOSE. Simon Sinek talks about the golden circle, a model suggested for leadership. The model describes three concentric circles representing key messages for a business. The external one defines the WHAT? The central one the HOW? And the third inner one the WHY?
He explains that the majority of the businesses are more often than not communicating from the outside-in explaining WHAT they offer and HOW they do it rather than WHY. A few are clear on the real purpose, but some of the most successful international companies communicate from the inside out. They spread a personal message as a mission and purpose of the business generating an emotional response in people that believe in the same values.
Sinek says: “People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” as a reason to get out of the bed in the morning.
That is what actually creates a strong bond with a business’ audience, the trust and the emotional attachment with someone that shares the same values. 3D emotional branding is one of the most effective ways to communicate, by elevating your brand as a messenger of your purpose.
About the Author:
FRANCESCO MARTELLA: Digital strategist and web developer at OnePoint. He has been developing websites and digital strategies for agencies all around Europe, USA and Australia.