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Brand Therapy: Share how that makes you feel

feet up on desk


I remember my experience, years ago, when I sold my BMW and downsized to a sensible, functional sedan. It had the new car smell, but I missed that solid thud when I closed the door. It was comfortable, but not luxurious. It got me where I needed to go, just not in style. No one ever tried to race me at traffic lights anymore. Never. Ever. It was logical, but it wasn’t love.

As business people, marketers and entrepreneurs, we like to think that we dwell in the world of rational decision-making. We cloak ourselves in an array of justifications as we get behind the wheel of our high performance sports cars to sit in city traffic, stop for a Starbucks and trade up to the latest cool phone or electronic device of choice. Logic is usually outmatched by emotion when need wrestles desire. Need is hopping onto the subway while Want pulls into the Maserati dealership.

Whether you are branding an industrial or consumer product or service, one of the smartest ways to engage your target audience in your brand is through their emotions. Tire companies appeal to your sense of responsibility by showing a baby in their ads. Even commercial truck ads are appealing to your rugged manliness rather than just selling on the technical specifications.

As Steve McKee mentioned in an article for BloomsbergBusinesweek, Brands: The Power of Emotion, “A feature can always be matched. A claim can always be mimicked. But an emotional sweet spot is something your brand can occupy all by itself.”

The reality is, no matter how much we see ourselves as hard-bitten, crusty, logic-driven individuals, we buy on emotion. Discovering the feelings that underlie customers’ choices, then positioning your brand to own that “emotional sweet spot,” will strengthen the value of your brand to your target audience. They will feel understood and listened to. How would that make you feel? I'm afraid our session is up for this week. See you next week.

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Next Issue:

Eyes Wide Shut: 5 Dangerous brand assumptions

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