Dale Carnegie once said, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion.”
So what does that mean for marketers? It means that emotional branding can play an incredibly powerful role in the way a person forms connection and loyalty to a company or product. Smart brands are able to evoke powerful feelings in people, such as those described by Robert Plutchik in his Wheel of Emotions:
Apple has been a leader when it comes to emotional branding. After almost going under in the 1990’s and experiencing a bit of an identity crisis, the company responded in 1997 with their “Think Different” campaign.
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
The campaign — which featured iconic 20th century personalities, including Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali, and Amelia Earhart — was incredibly successful, and re-established Apple as a marketing powerhouse.
Apple has continued to capitalize on the brand loyalty they have developed over the years by staying true to who they are as a brand, and reinforcing that position campaign after campaign.
“You’re more powerful than you think.”
Another company that gets emotional branding is Gatorade. Commanding an impressive 46% of the worldwide sports drink market and about 80% of the market in the U.S., Gatorade touts itself as the drink to fuel and empower athletes. Their campaigns celebrate some of the best athletes of our day like Michael Jordan with their iconic “Be Like Mike” ad, as well as the athlete that’s within all of us:
Be Like Mike.
Win From Within.
Cheerios( from General Mills) is a third example of a brand that has more recently turned to emotional advertising to reinforce their brand, especially in their Breakfast with Nana commercial:
“Cheerios has pretty much been the same forever.”
This commercial reinforced their position that Cheerio’s have been a part of the breakfast table since the 1940’s when they were first introduced, to the point of becoming a family tradition that the mom in the commercial can now share with her son, much like her mother shared with her.
On the surface, choosing to purchase a product appears to be a rational choice. However, it is scientifically proven that humans make purchasing decisions emotionally rather than rationally, and brands that can trigger deep feelings can develop life-long loyalty that is very difficult to disrupt.
If you can tap into the power of the limbic brain with your brand, your brand will stand the test of time.