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Connecting deeper:  how to use emotion in marketing

bigstock-Happy-Diverse-Multiracial-Peop-442996274-1How are you feeling right now? Conventual wisdom says it will be one of the following six basic emotions: happy, surprised, afraid, disgusted, angry, or sad. Hopefully this blog post finds you happy, in which case let me explain why how you feel matters in a marketing context.

Put simply, emotional marketing taps into the fundamental human need for connection and belonging. When a brand can evoke feelings of joy, nostalgia, empathy, or inspiration, it becomes more than just a provider of goods or services - it becomes a part of consumers' lives.

Why emotion matters

We’re all inundated with advertising messages at every turn, so it makes sense to employ emotional marketing techniques that cut through the noise by appealing to the heart rather than the head.

Studies have shown that emotions play a significant role in decision-making, often influencing choices more than rational factors. Successful brands understand the need to forge emotional bonds with their audience, creating lasting connections that transcends transactions.

The role of content in building emotional connections

Content lies at the heart of effective emotional marketing. Whether it's a viral video, a heartfelt story, or an engaging social media post, content allows brands to communicate their values, beliefs, and personality in a way that connects with their target audience.

Through storytelling, brands can humanise themselves, making them relatable and authentic in the eyes of consumers. By sharing narratives that evoke emotion and empathy, brands can forge meaningful connections with their audience, building trust and loyalty in the process. Here’s 5 examples of hugely successful UK campaigns that do just that…

  1. John Lewis Christmas Ads: Year after year, British retail giant John Lewis captivates audiences with its heart-warming Christmas adverts. From the beloved "Man on the Moon" to the touching story of "Monty the Penguin," these adverts tug at the heartstrings, embodying the spirit of the festive season while subtly promoting the brand's products.
  2. NHS "We Are The NHS" Campaign: In a powerful tribute to the tireless efforts of NHS staff, the "We Are The NHS" campaign struck a chord with audiences across the UK. Through poignant storytelling and emotional imagery, the campaign celebrated the dedication and sacrifice of healthcare workers, reinforcing the importance of the NHS in people's lives to encourage recruitment.
  1. Tesco's Food Love Stories: Tesco's "Food Love Stories" campaign resonated with consumers by highlighting the emotional connection people have with food. By showcasing real stories of individuals and families, Tesco tapped into universal experiences of joy, comfort, and togetherness, reinforcing its position as a trusted provider of quality groceries.
  1. Aldi's Kevin the Carrot: Aldi's recurring character, Kevin the Carrot, has become a beloved icon in the UK's advertising landscape. Through humorous and heart-warming adverts, Aldi has successfully engaged audiences of all ages, generating excitement and anticipation around its seasonal offerings.
  1. IKEA's "The Wonderful Everyday" Campaign: IKEA's campaign celebrates the beauty of ordinary moments, and the role IKEA products play in making homes more comfortable and enjoyable. Through uplifting scenes of family life, the campaign evokes feelings of warmth, happiness, and belonging.

Five tips for effective emotional marketing

While these examples are obviously blockbusters, it’s perfectly possible to use the same techniques on a more modest budget. Here’s 5 tips to get you started:

  1. Know your audience: Understand the values, aspirations, and pain points of your target audience to create content that resonates with them on a personal level.
  1. Tell compelling stories: Use storytelling techniques to convey your brand's message in a way that captivates emotions and promotes empathy.
  2. Be authentic: Authenticity is key to building trust and credibility with your audience. Stay true to your brand values and avoid pandering or exploiting emotions for commercial gain.
  3. Utilise video and audio: Incorporate visuals, videos, and other multimedia elements to enhance the emotional impact of your content and create a memorable experience for your audience.
  1. Measure and adapt: Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your emotional marketing efforts through metrics such as engagement, sentiment, and brand loyalty. Use this data to refine your strategy and adapt to changing consumer preferences.

Contact us today to discover how we leverage the power of content and storytelling to get the attention your brand truly deserves.