E.Q. -Brands that tugged at your heart


Emotional Quotient

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

 Maya Angelou

This quote has been and continues to be a guiding factor for me as a marketing professional. It can be universally applied to not just to interpersonal situations but to communication as well.  If the intent of all brand communication is to create positive impressions that at some point result in a purchase decision in favour of our brands and products then, how it makes one feel on reception is of paramount importance.

Brand HeatIf one were to look at brand messaging and how consumers would “warm up” to the brand there are 4 distinct levels.  Communication that talks about the product and its features alone would get the coldest response. The prospects improve to lukewarm once you move from the I to the you and I space where there is talk of benefits.  The slightly warmer zones are where brands cater to the status and social needs.  The hottest zone is where the brand creates a connect with the consumer at an emotional level.

There are dozens of research papers that define and describe the range of human emotions putting them into positive and negative buckets. Marketers have for long argued whether to go the factual, cut and dry rational way when they communicate or to appeal to & arouse the consumer’s emotions to get them across the line.

Brand InsistenceDerrick Daye at the Blake Project in his article 5 Drivers of Brand Insistence says that the ultimate goal of brand equity building is to move the consumer from brand awareness to brand insistence.   He opines that there are five elements that drive a consumer to insist upon a particular brand to meet his or her needs – brand awareness, accessibility, value, relevant differentiation, and emotional connection.

That being said a brand cannot just churn out arbitrary sentimental stuff that has no connect with what they do or offer.

One question that needs to be answered is whether the communication conforms to or breaks the pattern.   In a category where emotions are the norm another communication would not break clutter.  Also, does the communication provide adequate proof points to the consumer? Remember it’s not enough to get the consumer all mushy, eventually all communication needs to translate into strengthening the brand.

Here’s a compendium of TVCs that caught my eye.  They straddle a host of emotions and categories.  Interesting to note how many of these brands are leaders in their categories. Some of them go beyond emotion and deliver a strong brand message whilst others definitely touch your heart yet fail to do much else.

To leave your thoughts use the voting buttons J

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A Lot Like Love: Branding Your Way to your Consumers Wallet


The best way to a Consumers Wallet..is through his heart! Image

As marketers creating products and communication our biggest challenge is to resist an overload of the rational. Facts and figures as tempting as they seem seldom cut through. Moreover,in todays information age facts are available at the click of a button. So do we really need to be giving more?

Ideally, a brand-consumer interaction should evoke a positive emotion that gets nurtured over time facilitating decisions made by the consumer in favour of the brand. Most agencies argue in favour of an emotional communication and the brand managers are invariably guilty of pushing more fact than necessary. After all, powerful emotions need a powerful loop back to reality. Wrong!

It is true that emotions are invariably in response to a stimulus and that the extent or depth of consumer reaction is a function of the relevance. Brands attempt closure by communicating why the product is relevant to the consumer.  We all know brands are built over several campaigns. While the consumer is not out there connecting the dots, there is a residual impact that is lasting which is where emotions come in. A rational journey almost always requires a brushing up on the other hand we can restart an emotional journey after a pause,no matter how long!

Often, the obvious is so close to us that it escapes notice. Having set an emotional context,I guess the mistake that we make is that instead of building on the relevance of the emotion to consumer we bring in the product features.

One may argue that there’s only that much that can be achieved within 30seconds or 45 or 60 whatever the edit length is. Well, yes and no. Yes, there is a limited timeframe to pack in everything. No, it is not just a TV spot that serves as our communication, we live our life in a continuum, there are other avenues available to build the bridge from the emotional to the rational and from thereon to purchase. I have talked about this in a previous post https://abrandviewstory.com/2013/12/27/somewhere-over-the-rainbow-principles-for-finding-the-pot-of-gold-in-a-digital-world/ even outside the digital world money spent on a “build” is better than a “repeat”.

As a consumer, if the emotion that you evoked was powerful enough, I will try to find out more, I will find that bridge between the emotional and the rational.

Time and effort are better spent sharpening the emotional side of the communication leading upto why that emotion is relevant to the consumer.The greatest dis-service a brand can do itself is to evoke that emotion and leave it un-nurtured. You might as well spend money on your competitors campaign!

So as a brand or as a product communicating in the emotional plane, I should have answers to the following questions which are indicative not exhaustive:
1) The Promise: What am I going to make you feel? Joyous, triumphant, wanted etc.
2) The Method: How am I going to do it? I am a tool, pride of ownership etc.
3) The Reason: Why should you believe me? Endorsement, Trust etc.
4) The Provocation: Why now is the best time? Opportunity, urgency of need, etc
5) The Exclusivity: Why nobody else will do the way I do? Understanding you, knowing you etc

A lot like love isn’t it?

And as food for further thought here’s a recent communication that caught my eye, how many of the above boxes do you think it would tick?