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What Is Emotional Branding?

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  • Written By: Melissa Barrett
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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Emotional branding is a concentrated effort to develop the advertising of a company or a product in such a way that it appeals emotionally to consumers. Instead of purely intellectual factors, such as price or efficiency of a product, the deep inner drives of consumers are targeted by this type of advertising. As such, most campaigns do not seek simply to elicit an emotional response but rather convince a customer that the product will fulfill his or her emotional needs.

Often, the first step in emotional branding is developing a brand personality. Consumers, by and large, do not connect to a corporation’s logo or tagline. They do, however, respond to the portrayal of human personality traits. The use of a spokesperson, for example, can often personalize a company. If this representative is caring or empathic, these traits are often attributed to the organization as well.

Another way to develop emotional branding is through shared commitments to social causes. When a business shows that it supports a cause, a potential consumer who also supports that cause is more likely to buy from that company. Great care is usually taken with these types of marketing techniques to avoid the appearance of grandstanding or insincerity. As such, charitable contributions are generally accompanied with volunteer service by company employees. In cases where a company wishes to appear more environmentally friendly, energy-saving and recycling programs may be established within the organization.

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Once an organization has developed a likable personality and created shared interest with its customer base, it needs to create an emotional need for its product or service. Generally, this is accomplished by inclusion. For example, if a company has developed its emotional branding to include the personality trait of generosity, it is presumed that a person who does business with this company is also charitable. As such, individuals who feel an emotional need for kindness are more likely to buy from this organization.

The need to be physically attractive is a common emotional desire that is often addressed by emotional branding. The use of an eye-catching spokesperson is a powerful tool in this instance. Advertisements of products such as weight-loss aids and cosmetics often presume that the customer will attribute the attractiveness of the spokesperson to the use of the advertised product. In theory, these individuals will purchase the product with the assumption that it will make them more appealing as well.

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