Emotion Appeal in Branding and Customer Relationship Marketing

Created by Julie Cunnyngham on April 21, 2011

Dan Hill, the author of "Emotionomics: Winning Hearts and Minds" tells why emotions may win out over logic. It is important for organizations to learn how to apply that emotion to the brand, and as it relates to advertising, sales, and customer marketing.

Unlike rational thoughts, emotions are action oriented. Specific emotions signal specific behavioral outcomes. The seven emotions are: happiness, neutral (surprise), fear, anger, contempt, sadness, and disgust. Here are a few quick examples of how those emotions drive action in today’s business world.

    • Happiness – Apple: In a report from Forrester Research, it revealed that the effects the iPhone has on employees depends more on it being what they want than on any specific software or hardware feature it offers. Basically, they’re happier and more productive because they’re using the tools they want to use, which in the cases described in the report, just happens to be the iPhone. (source)
    • Happiness & Surprise – Old Spice: The viral hit “Smell Like a Man” Old Spice campaign demonstrates how effective the two-way, one-to-one approach social media offers can make a compelling way to connect emotionally and authentically with consumers. Old Spice Twitter following increased 2,700 percent, its Facebook fan interaction went up 800 percent and website traffic increased 300 percent. (source)
    • Fear – OnStar: Today, OnStar has six million U.S. and Canadian subscribers. Every month the service processes 2,600 automatic crash responses, 10,400 emergency services, 600 stolen vehicle assistance calls and 62,700 remote indoor unlocks. In 2005, the company had 100 percent brand awareness among new vehicle buyers and 80 percent of existing subscribers said they would only consider vehicles with OnStar for their next vehicle purchase.

How organizations leverage emotion marketing to connect with their customers is critical in creating authentic connections. Using emotion can be highly effective in breaking through with the marketing message, but requires a diligent, precise, specific approach. Spend more time tightening the strategy when the execution uses emotion.

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