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Five Tips for Effective 'Emotional Branding'

by Jeannette de Beauvoir  |  
November 4, 2014

What we're now calling emotional branding isn't new. Dale Carnegie developed famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

In case you're inclined to sneer at the self-help philosophy, consider that this stuff works. And sells. How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold over 30 million copies since its first printing in 1936.

And what is it that worked so well? Carnegie advised businesspeople to appeal to their customers' emotions.

Yet, even with the explosion of inbound marketing, the typical salesperson is still armed with facts and figures and stock responses to questions and objections. Salespeople are generally well prepared to sell a product or service. But the truth is, products and services aren't what you're selling anymore. You're selling a way to improve people's lives; and to do that effectively you have to make them feel—not just think—that you're the right answer to their problem.

Feeling is what emotional branding is about. And the feeling doesn't even need to be directly connected to the brand. In this Coca-Cola commercial and this longer, even more heart-touching mobile telephone commercial, you see the product only at the very end of the video. The marketing makes a connection that isn't actually there, with the hope that the emotional connection stays in the audience's collective mind.

Manipulative? Sure it is. It's also brilliant. Because it works.

So what do you need to do to launch an emotional branding campaign for your company or product? Here are five tips to get you started.

Tip No. 1: Shift your focus

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Jeannette de Beauvoir is a principal at Harbor Marketing Associates, a marketing company engaging clients with digital strategies and tools for brand success.

LinkedIn: Jeanette de Beauvoir

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  • by Cory Tue Nov 4, 2014 via web

    I think if we focus on the person and the story rather than the product than not only will it be successful domestically but internationally as well. Of course you'll have to tweak your product for your market but focusing on the culture and the people in it will always be more successful than just trying to convince them your product is great.

  • by Judy Gibbons Tue Nov 4, 2014 via web

    I always say "The more expensive the product the better the story needs to be!" I agree Jeannette, Storytelling is the key to a successful business. The Sotheby's International Realty brand and to my own personal brand as a Realtor rely heavily on storytelling.
    Thank you for the spot on article.

  • by PrintechGlobal Tue Nov 4, 2014 via web

    Insightful article on emotional branding. People often make purchasing decisions based on emotions. A good story can sell a product better then pitching and advertising approach. At Printech Global we provide one-one-one web demo of our payment solution CheckPlusCFO for processing checks and ACH. We try to identify the needs and pain point of the potential client, tell a story of similar implementation and benefits of the solution for their business. We encourage question and concerns to better address the problems. Our software reduces payment processing time from days to 1 hour, lowers labor cost and automates AP operations. This is our story and we try to help our clients become more efficient.

  • by Sue Brady Tue Nov 4, 2014 via web

    Telling the story is so important and not that hard to do! Make it interesting and compelling and about the product user, not the product itself! I just wrote a post on that very subject!

  • by Dave Chapman Wed Nov 5, 2014 via web

    People don't care how much you know. They want to know how much you care.

  • by Web Design 1 Sat Nov 15, 2014 via web

    This article is great and hits on many key points that I've seen when discussing emotional branding. I completely agree with the simplicity of the heading 'tell a story'. It's so key to engage with the viewer in a means to lead them through a relational idea that drives them to an emotional co-related reaction. I just wrote an article about this exact topic that showcases a multi-award winning emotionally branded commercial. Feel free to visit:

  • by Allen Robert Wed Nov 19, 2014 via web

    Stop trying to do social media and just be social. Treat social media platforms and new connections just as you would in real life, be human.

  • by Jeannette Koczela Wed Dec 3, 2014 via web

    I really appreciated this article---especially the last point about leaving them with a strong feeling. I think many of us tend to be too timid in our sales approaches because we don't want to come off as hypey or salesy. But it only makes sense to appeal to a strong emotion since people buy from emotions. And if you've built a solid relationship including valuable content, your subscribers won't view you as too saley.

  • by Evangelia Tsirikos Wed Jan 21, 2015 via web

    Fantastic article! I love that it's focused on a deeper level of marketing that makes a meaningful connection and stays with people, it's not about social media which is actually quite anti-social by the standard of human interaction. Statistically, people are more likely to commit, follow through, and care about something/someone more when they've taken the time to MEET and SEE it/them in person. Investing time in such a way is stronger than sitting behind the screen and clicking away.Havign said this, marketing promotions with brand ambassadors have been extremely successful at making emotional connections with their consumers - it's one person to another, sharing their thoughts, stories, and while connecting with one another, they connect with the brand being represented. Experience!

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