Have you ever seen a commercial that made you laugh? Or perhaps even made you cry? Commercials that depict parents with their children often evoke emotional reactions from viewers, which is just what the advertisers want.
It’s one of the most tried-and-true marketing strategies that plays out across just about any industry. A consumer who engages with an ad or has a meaningful experience is more likely to purchase the product or service.
SHINING EXAMPLES The reason that emotional advertising works is because people want to feel a connection to something. For example, if you were to ask a biker why he loves his Harley so much, he would likely paint you a picture of riding on the open roads under a big blue sky. He would describe the freedom that comes with strapping on a leather jacket and going for a ride. Eventually, he might describe the specifics of the motorcycle itself, but his real attachment to the bike has to do with the emotions it evokes.
Another way advertisers create an emotional experience is through generating excitement. Anytime a new product comes on the market--be it the Model T Ford of yesteryear or the latest mobile device of today--marketers know that creating a buzz will generate sales. Something that is new is exclusive and even shocking. The excitement pushes consumers through the door with their wallets in hand.
Lastly, businesses that focus on creating a welcoming atmosphere are actually appealing to your emotions. Take a bookstore that offers quiet reading nooks, warm coffee and comfortable chairs. Immediately, bookworms picture themselves curled up with a good read and a warm drink. That image has captured an emotional experience; one that is comforting and even familiar. People in the market for a new book may be more inclined to visit a store that has created that emotional draw as opposed to one that pays little attention to environment. Just ask Barnes & Nobles, which has been largely successful for this very reason.
USING EMOTION IN YOUR BUSINESS Your event company can effectively use emotional experiences after some brainstorming and planning. Pool together key staff and ask the following questions:
· How does the customer want to feel?
· How does what you are currently doing feel to the customer?
· What kind of feel do you want to create?
If you already have an established company culture, the answers to these questions may be obvious. If not, this is a great exercise for figuring out your overall marketing strategy.
You might actually find that customers themselves cannot identify why they are loyal to your brand. In many cases, it is because their decisions have little to do with logic and much to do with emotion: They trust your company or they have fond memories of working with you. If you can recreate those emotions throughout your customer base, you can boost your business.
In his next installment, Jeff will discuss real vs. perceived emotional experiences.
Jeff Kirk serves as chief operating officer for Corporate Magic Inc., a Dallas-based event production and message development company specializing in one-of-a-kind projects.
Known as an innovative marketing strategist with a keen understanding of the role digital content and technology can play in building brand preference, Jeff brings nearly two decades of experience to his leadership role at Corporate Magic. In addition to managing the company’s day-to-day operations, Jeff is in the process of forming strategic alliances and recently spearheaded Corporate Magic’s entry into global markets. In mid-2015, the Dallas-based company will be producing the Salvation Army's 150th International Congress at London's O2 Arena.
Over his nearly 20 year career, his clients have included IBM, Accor, Aflac, Suzuki, JCPenney, Jaguar, Mazda, Land Rover/Range Rover, M&M Mars, Prudential Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Club Corp, Ford New Holland, Dallas Cowboys, GSD&M, Boy Scouts of America, Xango, YMCA, Sherwin-Williams, Uncle Ben's, Southland Corporation, George W. Bush Foundation, Rite Aid, Salvation Army, Ramada, Quaker State, Pizza Hut, Proctor & Gamble, Nike, NCR, Kraft, Kawasaki, Bayer, Campbell's Soup, Coors, Wendy's, FTD, Tournament of Roses and Republican National Convention Host Committee (Tampa 2012).