Connecting Emotionally with your Brand

Emotional branding is a way to communicate with your audience through sensory experiences. It connects brands to people and helps build customer loyalty.

where to start with emotional branding?

To create a connection with your audience you’re going to have to understand what triggers their emotional responses. A crucial consideration when looking to connect emotively is that not all emotions are consistent, they are sporadic and can happen at the most unexpected of times.

A good starting point in creating an emotionally connected brand is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and get a feel for what decisions they go through on daily basis. A great tool to help you do this is the Empathy Map created by the brilliant team at Xplane. This tool can be used for many purposes, in this instance, creating a journey of what your ideal customer experiences can give you an insight into where they might experience unexpected emotions.

what makes emotional branding so important?

Being able to have that emotional attachment to a brand brings multiple benefits. You can cut down the cost of how much you’re paying to acquire one new customer when you build a valuable relationship as they start to a) spend more and b) bring more business in referrals.

Another reason is that it will be help people better identify with what it is your offering and what your business stands for, by doing this you will help attract only the customer’s you want and not have your time wasted by people who aren’t right for your business.

If you don’t know what your WHY is and how to identify yourself better in the marketplace, we recommend watching this motivational Ted Talk by Simon Sinek.

how can I apply emotional branding to my business?

A lot about branding is in the way that you think, position and identify certain objects in your mind. Emotional branding is no different, to really be successful in creating customer connections that last, you’ll need to embrace these following ten rules:

1. from consumers to people
Make your business, marketing, products and services, human. Everything is social and what seems to last is genuity, realness and treating people as people.

2. from product to experience
People want experiences not products. They want the end goal (usually a feeling of some sort) which they enjoy to be what they paid for, the product is the vehicle to make it happen. Products are functional while experiences are desirable.

3. from honesty to trust
In today’s world, honesty is a given, we expect it even if we don’t get it at all times. Trust on the other hand is earned, it’s built over time and takes investment in a relationship for it to be fruitful.

4. from quality to preference
Provide enough motivation for people to prefer your brand, if people make their own decision to choose your brand then you’ve done this through influencer and not persuasion. Move away from trying to persuade your audience and instead influence their decision making through education.

5. from notoriety to aspiration
Having a ubiquitous brand is great but it’s not going to command a premium price and high valued customer. You want your audience to aspire towards your brand, this is possible by knowing their current lifestyle, what their influences are and importantly where they want to be.

6. from identity to personality
Play into the emotions of humour by creating a character of your brand, a charisma, a tone of voice that has personality. To just have an identity is not enough.

7. from function to feel
This links back to the experience your brand delivers. Functional is great for certain brands, if you serve a purpose that’s a job well done. If you want to grow, return a higher profit and create a better working environment, then you’ll have to get a grip on your customer’s feelings.

8. from ubiquity to presence
Being there is one thing, standing out from the crowd is another. Your presence will be felt not through a higher marketing budget but through understanding your customer needs, wants and desires. If you offer the service they require, better suited to their needs than anyone else, you have presence for them. To read more about creating your own presence that competitors can’t replicate, look up the Blue Ocean Strategy.

9. from communication to dialogue
Stay away from the shouting and one way communication that advertising has relied upon for the last 50+ years and start to open up to your audience. Relationship building is built upon an open dialogue where people can talk freely, share ideas, contribute towards one another for the good of a common goal.

10. from service to relationship
Services can be transactional and one dimensional, adding little value to the overall customer experience. Building relationships are two-way, reciprocal engagements that improve your customer retention rates and increase the likelihood of customer development.

where can I find out more about emotional branding?

There are many resources online about branding and customer experience. The link between the two is what will help you identify the emotional behaviours your customer’s experience. Persona and customer journey mapping are great ways to understand your customers emotions. Follow @bmicro_co for the latest tips on branding, customer experience and everything in between.

Originally published at on April 19, 2016.