In a busy marketing world where consumer attention spans are getting shorter (as they constantly get flooded with ads) and competition pops up daily, how do you ensure your brand/product stands out? By tapping into a major component of the consumer’s attention span. A major factor that ties into their purchase decision.


Emotional Marketing is the process of marketing a brand/product in such a way that it appeals directly to the emotional state, needs, and aspirations of consumers. 

Basically, it refers to marketing and advertising efforts that use emotions (happiness, sadness, fear etc.) to make consumers remember, share, and buy. This article will explain how emotional marketing has so much power and how to leverage that power to better connect with your target audience and spur them to act.


Why It Works

1) Emotional marketing makes a good first impression: First impressions form in a matter of seconds. The same goes for the first impression of a product or brand, and marketing emotion can help shape that impression and help that brand or product stand out in your mind. Take, for example, two products. You’re watching your favourite show when ads for products run back to back during the commercial break. The first one had a voiceover or text just tell you about the product while the other had a storyline with relatable characters that made you smile, laugh, or cry. Which ad (and by proxy, product) are you most likely to remember?

2) Emotional marketing helps people decide with their hearts: Maybe not 100% of the time but emotions influence your purchase decisions. Think back to the last purchase you made. Sure, you compared prices and read all you could about the product options but when it came to it, you relied on your heart instead of your head because of an emotion you felt or wanted to feel. Kinda like how you bought that iPhone even though the slightly cheaper Samsung has the exact same features because you keep chasing that high that comes with being part of the “Apple Elite”.


Emotional Marketing Strategies

Even though all the below strategies can be combined, we encourage to start with this:

1) Know your audience: Like any marketing effort, you want to elicit emotional responses that relate to the desires of your target audience. Researching your audience will better inform your marketing decisions and save you precious time and resources. Because if you don’t know your audience, how will you know what kind of content they’ll respond to best?

2) Lead with colour: It has been proven that emotions are closely tied to colours. Therapists paint their offices with colours that calm patients, movie producers design the colour scheme for posters and trailers that elicit feelings of fear or surprise etc. And it’s the same with brands. A good example is Coca-Cola. The colour red evokes strong feelings such as love, excitement, and joy (as well as anger and warning). In the case of Coca-Cola, red portrays positive, friendly energy.

3) Tell a story: Storytelling is a surefire way to connect with your audience. Whether through sadness, anger, passion, or excitement, stories are easily relatable and shareable, regardless of the makeup of your audience. An example is the Peak milk adverts starring now-retired Nigerian footballer, Kanu Nwankwo. The ads chronicled Kanu’s rise from poverty to being a superstar footballer, his battle with heart disease that threatened his career, and how he recovered from that disease to be even greater. The grass-to-grace story made viewers feel inspired. You might say that inspiration is not an emotion (and you’d be right) but the process of feeling inspired definitely evokes a range of emotions like joy, excitement etc.

4) Create a community: Successfully establishing a community around your brand keeps people intrigued about the crowd’s activities by using the bandwagon effect. Communities of camaraderie and acceptance can create a sense of loyalty to your brand. You see this happen all the time when world-famous pop stars give their fans a unique moniker e.g Beyonce calls her fans “The Beehive”, Nicki Minaj has “The Barbs” etc.

5) Project an ideal image: The goal behind projecting an ideal image through your marketing is tapping into emotions you think your target audience wants to feel. (As opposed to emotions they’re already feeling.)  Example of a brand that does this is Heineken. You see it in the way it’s marketed to a particular type of crowd (the premium elite). Great emotional marketing uses emotion to convince consumers that your product is not only the right solution but that you can also feel great using it.


How To Measure Emotional Marketing

Emotional Marketing is measured like any other marketing effort…except you’re measuring for the emotional response itself, in which case manual analysis is necessary. To get a read on your audience reaction, consider running surveys or providing a space for feedback during your initial campaign launch. This open-ended, quantitative approach will leave room for honest, real-time audience reactions and give you ideas on where you can improve. Another method of manually analyzing audience feedback is holding a focus group.


Weaving emotion into your marketing and advertising is a surefire way to attract, resonate with, and encourage your audience to act. Think of emotional marketing as the secret weapon you never knew you had. To successfully put emotion in your marketing, all you need to do is know your audience and know which emotions would resonate most. Align these with your overall marketing goals, and your emotional marketing efforts will be some of your most effective.

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