The Power Of Emotions In Marketing

Anastasia Shch
Nov 5, 2018 · 4 min read
Both positive and negative emotional triggers can be used in marketing

Love, hate, excitement, despair, satisfaction, envy — these are just a few of the names in the emotional spectre of a human being. So many of our decisions are based on emotions and not logic, appealing to our feelings but not knowledge, which makes it an influential tool used by many companies.

People don’t buy your product, the buy the promise of how they will feel with your product. Subconsciously we are looking to improve our lives even through everyday products, such as yoghurt or toothpaste. That’s exactly why you see the people in yoghurt ads being so cheerful and full of joy and you don’t buy the strawberry flavoured milkshake — you buy the promise of happiness.

Emotions are complex and they have developed through years, adapting to the changing social environment. Though some scientists believe that the whole emotional spectre can be reduced to only 4 basic emotions, marketing specialists use a much wider list of emotions. These are 7 strong emotions that you can appeal to in your marketing message.


If you were to look at the pyramid that illustrates Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and match those with the emotions, happiness would go on top. The pursuit of happiness is a neverending race that almost every person finds himself in. We often mistake the feeling of happiness with the fulfilled basic necessities, that’s why it is so easy to appeal to this emotion in advertising. “All you need to be happy is our product”. And we believe it.


What can compare with the knowing the fact that you got the best deal possible out there? It doesn’t always have to be about the money, as there are other valuable resources such as time. Understanding what your ideal customer values the most will allow you to make the offer he won’t be able to resist.


As social creatures, we feel more secure and comfortable in groups and the sense of belonging gives us the satisfaction of knowing that we are supported. The brands aim to create a strong following and let their customers feel being a part of a specific group. Just like sports fans follow their teams, brands make us choose a side. Team Android here.


Transparency in business and shared values create trust. Another great emotion to create a lasting connection with the brand. Being open about your practices and avoiding any kind of hidden fees or clauses in Terms & Conditions increases your chances of keeping a returning customer.


You will never guess what happens next!”. I guess we’ve all fallen the victim of this one at least once! The curiosity and anticipation make us wait anxiously for new product releases, while the companies tease us with provocative headlines and test our expectations. Not knowing what is going to happen is a great driving force in marketing.


This is one of the strongest emotions of the human spectre because for centuries it had been helping us to survive. As a basic emotion, it lies close to the instinct of survival, but unlike the positive emotions that aim at creating a longer connection with the brand, fear has a short-term effect and may lead to losing trust. “Don’t miss your chance!” and you actually don’t want to miss it.


The feeling of guilt is easy to trigger because we are all humans and we are not perfect. While this may look very manipulative, it is still a very effective way to force us into making a sale, but just as fear this could be really off-putting.

Creating strong emotions — either positive or negative — can help build a bond between your customers and your business, increasing customer loyalty, but you should always consider how the emotions that you are trying to envoke go along with your company values and think of the consequences that they may create.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +385,320 people.

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Anastasia Shch

Written by

Marketing consultant • Exploring the space between creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation • INFP · Book lover

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +583K people. Follow to join our community.

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