Why Emotions Matter When Branding

The Problem with Emotions and BrandingMuch like the vision of a company, branding is a subject that is lost on many would-be startups and small business owners.   I believe that all entrepreneurs have a basic understanding that marketing is important and that branding is something that the likes of Pepsi, Coca Cola and Madonna spend a lot of money on and is outside of their budget.

Nevertheless, this is a big mistake.  Branding is not just for the giants. It is a concept that should be at the “heart” of their business ethos and actions.

So where do small business owners go wrong?

I believe they focus too much time on the “lack of” budget rather than recognising the connection between branding and values.

What does this mean?

There is a common perception that branding comes after the marketing decision has been made and is merely a “brick and mortar” exercise.  The focus is on tactics rather than executing the original vision. Consequently, the branding concept becomes an afterthought, which will eventually create a lackluster experience for the customer.

Therefore, when designing your brand, entrepreneurs should balance the physical, intellectual and emotional in all decisions.  I am a great believer in the emotional connection because without the emotional connect between brand and your core customers, you will fail to build a valuable and long standing relationship that ultimately keeps them buying, promoting and advocating your products and services.

Let’s take the common beige mac, the basic staple of any wardrobe for both men and women.  What is the difference between the BHS and Burberry mac that commands a difference in price that runs in the hundreds of pounds and dollars?

The Problem with Emotions and BrandingIt’s the emotional experience pure and simple.

Burberry have successfully integrated the brand perception and experience by moving from a heritage (totally British) to a relevant, hip brand without losing its global luxury status.  Craftsmanship, innovation, design lie at the core of its business values.  Over the years their strategy has been to extend the brand’s reach and engagement through marketing excellence and innovation; including increasing their presence in Japan’s luxury market.

Overall, Burberry has attracted a new generation of millennial consumers through its digital platforms and collaborations with Google, Apple and WeChat.  In addition to this they have ensured that at all touch points the customer has a positive (luxury) and consistent experience e.g. from website, store, adverts, online etc.

Burberry is a great example for small business owners not to underplay the importance of emotions, values and beliefs at the design stage of their business or any subsequent campaign thereafter if they wish to maximise opportunities (and sales) at all customer touch points.

Any branding activity should build a rapport and a trust with the individual.  Esteemed business guru Zig Ziglar states, “If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”

This is where the power the upgrade comes in.  Apple have built such an excellent relationship and reputation with their customers that they can persuade them to upgrade perfectly good products for untested ones? Apple iPhone 5 and now iPhone 6 with 7 rumoured to be launched soon. Liking a product and trusting a product are often confused with one another.  Appreciating this emotional connection between the customer and the company is critical.  If customers trust your company (and its branding), they are more likely to listen to your marketing message.  Apple demonstrate how to keep your customers engaged and wanting MORE!

While all of these observations may seem obvious, stay true to your original ethos while appreciating the fact that the emotional connection between the brand and the product is a link which should never be overlooked.