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Emotional Branding Tips and Tricks: How to use emotional branding to your advantage?

It goes without a doubt that consumers connect to brands on an emotional level. This is not only true for huge brands but also smaller ones. Evoking consumers’ emotions can be very beneficial to your brand. In our blog post about Brand Personality, we established that consumers connect to a brand that reflects their characteristics. It is similar with emotions. If your brand evokes the right emotions, the ones your customer values and longs for, the connection will happen more naturally and lightly. That’s where emotional branding comes in handy.

What is emotional branding?

Emotional branding is the process of forming a relationship between a consumer and a product or brand by provoking consumers’ emotions.

Emotional branding plays to humans’ natural longing for emotions such as love, joy and power. When people see these emotions in an advertisement, they subconsciously make connections between this emotion and the advertised brand, which leads to a belief that a specific brand will help an individual feel that emotion. Emotional branding can also use negative emotions like fear to achieve the effect of scaring people into deciding (e.g. to buy insurance or quit smoking).

What are the benefits of emotional branding?

Effective emotional branding has many benefits. These can be:

  • Establishing an emotional connection with customers
  • Differentiation from competition
  • Positive brand recognition
  • Increased brand loyalty
  • More profit

“We are more vulnerable when we are only vaguely aware that our emotions are being influenced, and most vulnerable when we have no idea at all that our emotions are being influenced.” – Antonio Damasio

Top 10 tips and tricks to using emotional branding in your advantage

1. Create a brand identity that evokes emotions

Humans are very visual beings. Invest in your visual identity and optimize its different elements, from logo to fonts and colours for positive emotional experiences. Study the psychology of colours, typography and shapes to achieve what you strive for.

2. Make your brand’s interactions with customers personal

Personalized interactions will form a relationship between your brand and costumers. Don’t think of your costumers as pure consumers, think of them as unique individuals. Each interaction counts. Keep in mind all the different touchpoints, where your costumers come in touch with your brand, and make each of them feel unique and genuine.

Customers are 3-times more likely to consider purchasing from a brand that showed personal value.
3. Use the power of values

For sure, your brand has defined some of the core values that it shares with its customers. Incorporate these values in the way you communicate your brand. Think about how Disney portrays family values and the essence of childhood in its branding. One of the fundamental values you need to focus on is building trust. By being honest in your emotional branding, it will build trust from your customers, making your brand one of their top choices.

4. Be authentic

Authenticity is one of the main factors when deciding whether to support a brand.

Be authentic, showcase your brand’s personality and don’t be afraid to play on emotions.

You can also make a literal statement in association with a specific emotion about your brand or product, as long as it authentically represents you. Take, for example, the app Calm. The feeling is already in the name!

5. Use the eight hidden needs

In his book, The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard suggests that there are eight hidden needs that consumers have, and you can use symbols to represent them. These eight hidden needs are:

  • Emotional security
  • Reassurance of worth
  • Ego-gratification
  • Creative outlets
  • Love objects
  • Sense of power
  • Sense of roots
  • Immortality

These needs are subconsciously emotion-based and can serve as a foundation for emotional branding. Customers will want to buy from the brand to fulfil the promised need. Learn more about the psychology of branding in one of our previous blog posts.

6. Use emotional advertising

Emotional advertising and emotional branding may sound similar, so you may ask: Is there any difference between the two? Sure there is.

Emotional advertising has to do with marketing; therefore, it refers to how we want the customers to see our brand. Branding is how they perceive it.

However, the terms emotional advertising and emotional branding are related. Through emotional advertising, you evoke emotions, leaving consumers to associate the brand with the advertised emotion. This can be achieved with the help of powerful imagery, music, story and other advertising elements.

7. Create an experience

Consumers are no longer only looking for the best product or service; they are looking for experiences. Experiences create an emotional memory between the consumer and the brand that goes beyond need. Buying an experience creates an added value which often explains why some brands can offer their products or services for a much higher price than the others.

8. Discover the power of dialogue
Emotional branding encourages dialogue.

Brand’s communication is often one-sided and leaves no space for customers’ answers. Encourage customers to respond to your messages. Use call to action on your social media. And remember – your customers will not respond to boring communication. Infuse your messages with emotions, and you will more likely open a space for dialogue. Also, don’t forget to respond to public relations issues quickly. Timing is of great importance!

9. Become a preference
Emotional branding helps a brand become a consumer’s preference.

Your products and services need to be of excellent quality, but this will not at all be the only factor in deciding if your brand will become preferential to customers. Make sure you create a more profound impact.

10. Persist

Consistency is one of the keys to branding. The same goes for the use of emotional branding. Be patient and persist. Emotional branding is not something you try once, only to say it doesn’t work. It may take some time, but you will start seeing the benefits if you give it a chance.


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References, sources and further reading:
Clever Tap: What is emotional branding and how to use it effectively
Wikipedia: Emotional branding

Founder and lead strategist at studio Atlas Authentica. Her mission is to help businesses form agile and strategy-driven brands as well as mentoring young creative enterpreneurs.