Remember that Sarah McLachlan ad for the SPCA? It plays a reel of sad, injured, lonely and forgotten animals to the slow, melancholy tune of “Angel”. Talk about some strong content!
I think at this point, we’ve all seen it! And, whether you’re an animal lover or not, it strikes a chord.
Maybe it’s their sad droopy eyes or the haunting, forlorn tone of McLachlan’s voice. But whatever it is, the SPCA figured out exactly how to pull at our heartstrings and… get us to donate.
It’s a gut-wrencher for sure, but it’s effective.
Buyers are nothing if not emotional.
Think about brands like Ben & Jerry’s that bank on the image of the heartbroken bachelorette who just wants to curl up in bed with a pint of their ice cream after a tough break-up.
Or what about a McDonald’s HAPPY Meal? Simply in the name it implies joy and happiness — if only you buy a couple of chicken nuggets and fries (with a toy)!
The list goes on and on…
Emotions Your Customers Can Relate to
Point is, if you want your prospect to buy, you’ve got to make them feel something.
Sure, information and research goes into their purchase decision. But whether they are rational or not, emotions will always reign supreme.
In 2014, the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology stated that human emotions can be categorized into four basic groups:
If we look at these findings through a marketing lens, brands can develop strategies to elicit particular emotions that ultimately:
- Connect with their buyers
- Draw awareness
- Boost sales
Positive videos and images are generally shared more than negative ones. People inherently want to be happy! They want to see the good.
One of the most, if not the most, recognizable brands in the world is Coca-Cola. And what’s their signature tagline? “Open happiness.”
Drink a Coke, and instantly, YOU’RE HAPPY! It’s that easy.
Or, again McDonald’s: “I’m lovin’ it.” Undeniable happiness in every bite.
Focus on connection, bonding and love, if you want to elicit happiness in your customers.
Your goal isn’t to make your customers sad; it’s to show them how they could be sad, if they don’t work with you or find a solution (hopefully yours) to their problem.
Sadness doesn’t always have to be bad. In fact, it can be an essential tool for motivation, inspiration and action-taking.
In 2015, Gatorade put out an ad, “Forget Me” with Abby Wambach, retired pro soccer athlete. The ad shows imagery of Abby cleaning out her locker and reminiscing on her career, as well as its end. For Wambach fans, it must have been heartbreaking to see their favorite athlete throw in the towel.
But, then the sadness takes a turn to show young athletes training, growing and setting the stage for their careers. In the end, whatever melancholy feelings the ad started with are wiped away by the promise and hope of these new, budding soccer stars.
If you’re gonna pull at heartstrings, bring it full circle so you leave your audience inspired and looking towards the future.
When it comes to fear, we’re not talking about hide under the bed fear. Here, we’re talking about creating an instinct to take action. We want to create a feeling of urgency.
Remember those Mayhem commercials from Allstate? They comically portray the dozens of ways your car or home could be compromised in the event of a disaster or accident.
They’re funny, quirky and entertaining, but also address a valid point: if you don’t have the right insurance coverage, you could wind up paying thousands.
What is your customer’s biggest fear?
How does your solution address that fear?
What is the possibility of not addressing that fear?
Anger doesn’t have an entirely negative connotation. In fact, it can spur people into action, much like the other three emotions.
You can elicit anger by pointing out injustices in gender, class, age, etc., and then use that anger to propel change.
A famous example is the “Like A Girl” ad campaign by Always that points to the inequalities between girls and boys. It even won an Emmy and a Cannes Grand Prix award, among others!
Tips for Marketing to Consumers’ Emotions
Use just the right amount of emotion in marketing.
The key to successfully evoking emotion in your buyers is not to overdo it.
Along with that, you want to think about which emotion will speak most to your customers and the solution they’re looking for. Make sure it aligns with what you can actually provide for them, rather than just what you think they want to hear.
For example, if you’re an inspection group, your buyer is looking for security and trust. In that case, you may wait to point to the fears associated with not conducting an inspection, or the anger of working with ill-intentioned inspectors.
Another example could be a family law attorney. Your buyer seeks guidance and relief. You could point to the happiness a client may feel after their case is painlessly resolved. Or, you could prompt the fear or surprise of unexpected costs and fees that other attorneys may try to hide from their clients.
Consider your buyer’s fears and goals, as well as their expectations and prior experiences with similar service providers.
Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.
Imagine you were your buyer. What emotions might you be feeling?
How does your buyer’s problem affect their job, family, finances, hobbies, relationships, and so on?
If you’ve been in the same position as your buyer, that’s an added plus, because you can
Share your story.
If you have a similar experience or can relate to your buyer’s problem, tell them about it!
A personal anecdote is one of the most compelling marketing tools you can use. Be authentic, be vulnerable, and above all, be real!
Sharing your story instantly makes you more relatable and will boost your credibility in the eyes of your customer. And credibility leads to trust.
We all like to work with people we not only trust but we can see ourselves in, right?
What do you think about emotional marketing?
Let us know in the comments below how you supercharge your content with emotion! Did we miss anything?
If you’d like some guidance on how your business can move forward with just the right marketing, contact us here for a FREE business growth call.
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