Relevance of emotional branding
Before we dive into the relevance and relationship of emotional branding to different product segments, it is important to know what exactly emotional branding is and what it comprises.
Emotional branding is an approach taken by companies and brands to build a relationship between the brand or product and the consumer. They do so by appealing to the emotions, wants aspirations, and ego of the person. Another obvious way brands are establishing an emotional connection these days is by getting behind and colonizing social causes like lgbtqia+, feminism, and diversity inclusion. Some of the most common emotions that are tapped into while using this form of branding are as follows: happiness, fear, trust, sadness, instant gratification (which is on the rise now), belonging, leadership, pride, and values. What brands are essentially doing is aligning themselves with stances and mentalities that are extremely personal to people in hopes of the same people who identify with specific values to identify with them. Most successful and big brands are only where they are because they rely heavily on their consumers’ emotional stance in order to get their products in their hands.
In order to illustrate this concept let’s take a look at some successful campaigns that has employed this approach:
Products: Sports apparel and accessories. Nike is a great example of this kind of branding, if you go back and notice any of the advertisements or campaigns that they have you will notice immediately how they rarely ever talk about the benefits of their product or how it is a better fit for athletes, but on the contrary, you are subjected to relatable storytelling that focuses on self-improvement, victory, success, and morale. These communications stimulate your emotions and effectively convince you to relate these emotional aspects to the brand and product itself. This isn’t specific to one or even a few campaigns by Nike, it’s how they present themselves most of the time which is why it is safe to conclude that Nike doesn’t just indulge in emotional advertising but in emotional branding.
Products: Feminine hygiene
The brand always, unlike Nike hasn’t been indulging in emotional branding like Nike has from day 1, but is slowly making the shift now. At this point, it could be categorized as a company that is indulging more in emotional advertising than branding but are on the track to the latter.
This can be illustrated in their most recent series of campaigns called “Like a girl” where they take on the negative stereotype behind “like a girl” and elevate their point. They induce a little healthy anger in their consumers about being stereotyped and gratify them by telling them that they can break the same stereotype.
What we can see in both these brands (that have extremely different product lines) is that they both use emotions (that are again at the opposite ends of the spectrum, self-improvement, and anger) to align themselves with their customer base. Now, coming to the question of whether or not emotional branding is relevant to every segment, market research on this question answers in the affirmative. It is a tried and tested concept by a wide range of brands in a wide range of geographic locations that this method is extremely effective.
Not only because human beings are primarily beings that respond to relatable emotions but also because we live in a capitalistic society where we have multiple options for the same product. We have an overwhelming amount of choices that have similar functionality, given that this is the case the best and only way to differentiate a brand from another that has the same features is to align it with emotions and social causes.
By doing so the brand is cultivating a sort of link between these emotions or social causes to itself in the hopes of when you are presented with the choice between their brand and a competitor’s (which will most likely have the same features and functionality to a large extent) you will make the choice to take home the one you emotionally correspond to.
This is growing more and more relevant in today’s context because a large number of youths are starting to identify themselves with social causes and are equipped with the desire to want to bring about change. So, when they are subjected to brands behind social causes they feel strongly about, they are inclined to draw the conclusion that they can bring a change by doing something as convenient as picking one product over the other. What brands that align themselves with social causes are essentially doing for people is giving them an opportunity to further their social cause with extreme convenience.
By doing so they are also fostering brand loyalty, allegiance, and fidelity. It is also a proven fact that this form of branding is more effective because most large companies and brands follow this approach. Namely, Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, and Walt Disney Just from these examples that have a widely different product lines (Sports Apparel, Technology, Beverage, and entertainment) we can conclude that this form of branding is not only relevant but essential to all kinds of product mixes. On a concluding note, the approach of emotional branding is an extremely underrated one that is very much on the rise now, and with good reason.
It is very relevant to all the different kinds of product mixes provided it is executed in good taste and is ethical. Although emotional branding is seeing a spike now it is a tried and tested method that promises effective results. The case stands for itself.