If branding experts are to be believed then emotions are the driving force behind most buying decisions. Once a brand can forge an emotional relationship with a customer then it is an association that is likely to stand the test of time. Emotions also are the vital link that turns prospects into customers.
Role of Emotions in Branding
Given the importance of emotions in branding, every company aspires to elicit emotions in both prospects and customers. However, it is easier said than done as it requires the identification of emotional motivators amongst your target audience. And utilization of those to build branding strategies to form personalized connections with the audience.
This process may create a brand message that creates quite an impact or it may create only a small impact on a select segment of the audience. It is also highly probable that the campaign may fall flat without it ever taking off to create an impact.
Today’s audience is not naïve as before due to the exposure to multiple sources of content. They would readily identify any messaging where there is a deliberate attempt to hijack their emotions. In contrast, messaging that usually “clicks” are original ideas with the right dose of emotions. Therefore, it takes subtle handing of the brand messaging to create an impact that hits the proverbial bull’s eye.
Once an emotional & personal connection gets established with the audience. There is no stopping the brand from establishing credentials as a serious entrant in the market provided the product or service lives up to the expectations. Else, there is a likelihood of a heavy backlash that can bury the brand forever without any chance of a comeback.
Having spoken enough about forging an emotional connection, let’s now delve a little deeper into what are the archetypes that are known to move the audience. These need not be strictly messaging rather these could be actions performed by the brand in fostering brand intimacy. In essence, there are 6-archetypes, here they are:
6 Archetypes Driving Brand Intimacy
Fulfillment: The brand can go beyond the expectations of the customer, sufficiently a brand that over-delivers.
Identity: Creating an aspirational image to which the customers deeply identify themselves with. For instance – a superhero who helps people in need.
Enhancement: The message clearly conveys the value associated with the usage of the product or service. For instance – It could make you better, smarter, and so on.
Ritual: Making the brand part of your daily routine. For instance – reading a brand’s blog daily to forge a strong connection with the brand.
Nostalgia: This seeks to bring back memories from the past about your association with the brand to make the connections even deeper. This is specifically effective in triggering emotional associations formed during childhood.
Indulgence: It is an attempt at fostering a relationship around fun-evoking and gratifying experiences brought out by a brand. This is one of the most used ways of creating an association.
Stages in Brand Intimacy
Although brand intimacy does get established, it is not an overnight process and it is known to happen in stages. In the initial stage, there is acceptance followed by trust, this over time develops an attachment. From then on, the relationship between the user and brand becomes more significant and committed.
Lastly, something remarkable called “Fusing” takes place where the user becomes inexorably linked and co-identified with the brand. Meaning, the person starts getting identified because of their intense association with the brand. This is a rarity and only happens in only a few instances.
Brand Intimacy for Small Businesses
Having spoken about the scope of brands to form intimate relationships, there is also the need to understand how small businesses can carve out a brand identity for themselves. These are businesses that do not have the luxury for sales and marketing budgets, but still need to make an impact with the brand, here they are:
- Practice Empathy by being authentic to customer’s sensitivities
- Be Relatable & Humane with less Corporate Speak
- Align with what motivates the customer and remain keen on serving
- Stand by the causes close to your heart (Environment & Social issues)
- Always speak keeping the customer’s point of view in mind
- The brand message needs to be more about storytelling less about promoting
The write-up talks about emotions playing a vital role in establishing brand intimacy and paving the way forward for the business. This can only happen when the top leadership within the organization or the founders are keen to establish the company as a “People’s Brand.” This may not sit well with some companies where they start believing their product is turning into a “commodity” and ceasing to be a brand altogether.
Do you have such contrary views within the company?
What do you do when such notions make their presence felt in the board room?
Is there an imminent danger of becoming a “Commodity” when a brand tries a wider outreach?
If yes, share your comments……
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