Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Making Your Brand Desirable," examines the drivers of purchasing decisions, brand desirability, and how emotional attributes factor into the purchasing process. The majority of financial decisions are logical and emanate from the brain versus the wallet, as most people do not have unlimited funds. These types of arrangements are acts of necessity, such as paying a cable or utility bill. Conversely, we are also highly swayed by our emotional makeup which is from the heart. It's what we feel after we have made a logical decision.
Therefore, when a brand can reach deep into the heartfelt emotional psyche of a customer, and open the faucet of heart fuel, those types of buying decisions set the mantle for success. Gerald Zaltman, Professor at Harvard Business School, states, "95% of purchase decisions are based on subconscious thought."
One of the most impactful aspects associated with subconscious thought is that of stories. People tend to remember a good story, particularly one that can strike a chord in the emotional sphere. Think of the brands that offered products based on emotion, such as the pet rock, the smiley face, or other seemingly low-value products that sold in the millions. People related to a feeling, or more succinctly put an emotional tie-in.
The 4ocean Bracelet
The story of the 4ocean bracelet is an excellent example regarding an emotional tie-in to an organization. 4ocean is a charity organization whose focus is to remove trash from the ocean. 4ocean came about after two surfers were shocked and moved by the vast amounts of trash they encountered while surfing in Bali, Indonesia. They came to understand that ocean trash not only impacts surfing, but the fish industry, the local economy, and the region, as well. Their awareness was the impetus behind the surfers' idea to create a product to raise money to remove trash from the ocean, hence the 4ocean bracelet.
It's easy to understand why consumers would flock to the 4ocean bracelet. The story is emotionally compelling, and consumers want to help eradicate ocean garbage. Thus the brand that creates the bracelet is more desirable, and purchasing a 4ocean bracelet makes people part of the solution.
The Exclusive Countdown
Brands that promote exclusivity, which tends to include higher price points, create an idea that consumers and brand fans could miss out. Exclusivity is especially true when luxury items are available for a short time. The time cutoff appeals to the FOMO (fear of missing out) mentality.
We can learn from the luxury brand mentality. Most luxury brands tend to limit their supply. For these brands, their mindset is to limit accessibility to consumers, rather than increase it. The very fact that the item is limited or exclusive creates desire and interest in the brand and its products as something to possess.
The countdown sales tactic, however, is a crucial online selling strategy. Whereby the brand offers a discounted item for a short time, thus also invoking a FOMO approach. That said, that particular strategy is quite different from the luxury brand approach, where luxury brands are promoting exclusivity.
Emotional One Offs
Brands that can perfect emotional stories or can project passionate emotions and deliver them across all touch-points tend to develop more long-lasting relationships with consumers. When a brand can create a particular emotional bond with consumers, that provides the brand with a competitive advantage that competitors are unable to duplicate. Emotions are non-transferrable and non-replicable.
Emotions play a big part in brand loyalty. Consumers that have emotionally bonded with a brand tend to be increasingly engaged, more likely to take action, and over time, become more loyal. Brand loyal consumers are ripe to become brand ambassadors or even influencers for the brand.
Meaning and Emotions
The notion of creating an emotionally charged marketing campaign, complete with a compelling storyline is easier said than done. Emotional content must have sufficient significance as the backdrop for its conception. Merely suggesting that your brand is appealing, or moving to capture emotion without meaning is useless. Useless emotion is akin to serving an empty cheeseburger to a Burger King customer. The brand must have the inner parts of what makes the cheeseburger content viable to evoke the emotion of taste.
Tiffany's & Co. is an excellent example of creating emotional aspirations. This brand has an extended purview of including emotional ties to branding, copy, and products, right down to the packaging.
Tiffany's "Believe In Love" campaign spells out the desirable love emotion, which has the propensity to attract consumers all over the world. Tiffany's also promotes that exclusivity aspect. Love is exclusive. The love between two people is unique. Tiffany's offers the opportunity for a customer to select the setting, the diamond, and a personal inscription that uniquely speaks to the love two people share. The enduring bond of love, along with the blue bag, has made Tiffany's one of the more desireable brands for wedding and unique occasion rings and gifts.
Emotions That Empower
It's one thing to evoke an emotional tie with a product or the brand itself. It is quite another for an emotional response to benefit the consumer in their day-to-day lives. You have to ask the question, "What does that emotion illicit?" How does it empower the consumer? Does it make them want to get in better shape? Does it inspire them to find a new job? How about making them want to get a degree or learn something new?
Lloyds Bank's "By your side, for 250 years," campaign slogan covers a range of banking solutions that tie into emotional lifestyle events. Events such as marriage, childbirth, redundancy, first-time homebuyers, car purchases, and other lifestyle events that most of us will encounter at some point. When a brand can tie emotional buy-in to lifestyle reference points, those events can help elevate the brand's desirability to a new level.
Regardless of your industry or product set, creating emotional content via storytelling will raise interest in the brand, and if done correctly, will convert consumers into brand loyalists. People buy from brands that they like or love. As 95% of purchase decisions are subconscious thoughts that arise from an emotional equation, you will find greater success if you can make your brand emotionally desirable. Remember, emotion drives purchases. Thanks for reading, "Making Your Brand Desirable."
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