When I speak about my concept “Love Branding”, adding my insights on romantic relationship building to the area of emotional branding, men in suits tend to giggle nervously. Ad execs and CEO´s are for sure curious about how to create an emotional connection with their customers, but they are still resisting, anxiously looking for ROI and ways to measure the power of love.
It is a shame that so many brands miss out on the enormous strength that lies in bringing feelings into the marketing mix. Today, many are comfortable with asking consumers “What do you think of my products?” but is that question relevant at all? Does it bring valuable knowledge that makes hearts beat?
According to Dan Hill in his excellent book “Emotionomics”, the three universal qualities that characterize emotions are:
A feeling component – physical sensation
A thinking component – conscious
An action component – reaction
Thoughts are on the other hand not action-oriented. You can have a thought without reacting on it or doing something about it. An emotion is harder to control and keep within.
70% of all purchase decisions are made in the shop. People decide within seconds which of the multiple choices to pick. Scientists say that designers have on average .06 seconds to make an impression on a shopper in the grocery aisle. True emotions are like butterflies – they have an onset, a peak and typically fade in a matter of seconds.
And they steer us, emotions are energy in motion. “A thought is about arriving at a judgment. Emotions are more like spontaneous events that unfold inside us”, writes Hill.
Some claim research is useless, and that brands should use brain scanners instead, to figure out what people like, dislike and buy. But is it even feasible to really understand people or could we simply give up? We are irrational and strange, unpredictable and crazy. No survey in the world can capture the mystery of mankind. All we can do is to be humble, absorb multiple sources of information. And stop listening too much to what people think. People can sit there and think you are awesome, but if they don´t move, your brand won´t either.
The wanted outcome of marketing is not to match a consumer with a product, but to make a product help a consumer to reach her dreams. Your brand is just a tool on her journey. "Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." Antoine de Saint-Exupery