As originally published in Forbes.com.
Emotions play a role in almost everything we do and every decision we make. And when a marketing campaign captures an emotion, making consumers feel a deeper connection to the product or service the brand is selling, the purchase is more than just a box arriving on their doorstep — it is unboxing a feeling of understanding and community.
Some campaigns capture consumers’ fears. That fear is either missing out by not owning the product or not having it before everyone else, creating a false sense of urgency. We even have an acronym for that: FOMO (fear of missing out). Derivative of that campaign of fear is also greed and pride. While those marketing campaigns can and do work for some brands, taking a more positive stance on selling your products can help create a deeper emotional link to your brand and services. Let’s use a new dishwasher as an example.
A marketing campaign could focus on a new dishwasher that friends and family jealously coo over as the homeowner gloats over the benefits of the new appliance, all while holding up a shiny glass to the light. We have all seen TV commercials or print advertisements with that type of messaging.
But instead of selling a product with jealousy and desire, that same campaign could focus on how much better that dishwasher is going to make life for the family who just had it installed. Maybe the campaign focuses on a stay-at-home dad who has more time to tidy up the rest of the house because the jets of the new dishwasher are much more powerful, and he doesn’t need to pre-wash. Or maybe this dishwasher is quieter so that mom can run it while baby is happily sleeping in her arms.
Which scenario speaks to you? Making friends jealous or making your life easier? While no campaign is one-size-fits-all, taking a more positive approach conveys a message that most of us busy consumers can understand and relate to.
But how does a marketing campaign start to relay a feeling that will get the consumer to tap the “buy” button on your website or walk into your brick-and-mortar location? It starts with identifying your audience and their needs. What does your product offer them to make their life better, easier or happier?
When our agency, Clearbridge Branding, onboards a new client, we take the time to not only get to know them, their product and their goals but also ensure that we have a strong understanding of their current audience and what new demographics they might want to include in that audience. No marketing campaign should start without considering the audience. Otherwise, you’re just throwing the proverbial spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.
Understanding your audience doesn’t mean only knowing basic demographics like age, gender and marital status, but rather, their lifestyle and how your product can make a difference in it. From there, you can use emotion to interpose your product through a marketing campaign that consumers feel speaks directly to them.