June 2022

Are You Ready to Get Emotional?


Extensive studies have shown that people make decisions about what brands to buy based on emotions and not through the rational consideration of information. A recently released book by a respected neuroscientist goes even further by stating that emotions constitute the very foundation on which consumers make brand decisions.

While it may be tempting to list all the rational advantages your product or service offers consumers, it’s the ads that trigger an emotional response that typically deliver a better return on investment.

Of course, playing with emotions can be a tricky game. The very nature of emotions means a non-rational response to messaging. When deciding what emotions may work for your brand, a good place to start is with the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology’s list of four basic emotions – happy, sad, afraid/surprised and angry.

Each of the four basic emotions can be effective approaches when the emotion you choose makes sense with your brand. The riskiest emotion to use is fear. Fear has been used for public service messages for decades, like anti-smoking and anti-drug initiatives, with mixed results. Using the fear approach can also come across as manipulative and create distrust in the minds of consumers.

No matter which emotion you utilize for your marketing, your target market must be able to relate to your messaging and care about it, or it will be quickly forgotten.

If you’d like to learn more about leveraging emotional connections in marketing, give Insight’s team a call at 605-275-0011 or send us an email.  And remember, how consumers feel about your brand can be more important than what they think of it.

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