Have you heard of Woolly Mammoths?

Understanding the role of Emotions in Marketing

Have you heard of these giant mammals called Woolly Mammoths? 

Look at how majestic they are! 

As someone who loves wildlife, I wish we could bring back all the species that have gone extinct. But have you ever wondered why so many species, including these ferocious-looking mammoths, have gone extinct with time? I know, in modern times, human activities are to be blamed for most of the extinction, but we can’t deny the role of natural selection, can we? 

So, how is our species surviving? Emotions play a rather significant role among other factors like greater adaptability and a larger and more functional brain. The most famous naturalist, Charles Darwin, proposed that emotions evolved because they were adaptive and allowed humans and some animals to survive and reproduce. For example, feelings of love and affection lead people to seek mates and reproduce. Feelings of fear compel people to either fight or flee the source of danger.

In Psychology, there is a theory on emotions which states that emotions motivate people to respond quickly to stimuli in the environment, which helps improve the chances of success and survival.

I am throwing these multiple facts at you today because I want you to realize the mammoth role that emotions play in our lives. Ignoring (for now) the fact that emotions literally have helped us survive what dinosaurs and dodos couldn't, let's focus on how emotions drive us to respond or make decisions quickly. 

Who doesn’t want decisions to be entirely based on logic, but they can be best understood as the interaction between reason and emotions. This is why brands need to recognize the value of Emotional marketing. 

Emotional marketing refers to marketing and advertising efforts that primarily use emotion to make the audience notice, remember, share, and buy. Before we look at why I am talking about emotional marketing today, let’s look at a couple of successful examples of emotion-centric marketing -

(a) Uber’s anti-racism billboard - Uber launched a billboard saying, If you tolerate racism, delete Uber. The brand directly tapped into the emotions of unrest surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement.

(b) Life Insurance’s Unsung Hero - One of the most incredible emotional marketing examples that comea to mind is Thai Life Insurance. They have an ad called Unsung Hero, which doesn’t mention the product; instead, it directly speaks to the human in you. 

(c) #Like a girl campaign - The brand, Always, came up with this brilliant campaign #Likeagirl. Always is an American brand of menstrual hygiene products, and through this campaign, the brand explored the feelings of their target audience to present its idea of stereotyping the term "like a girl."

Now that you have seen some compelling examples of emotional marketing, let’s look at why should your brand give emotions a chance - 

  1. Great first impressions - Which brand do you think will make a greater first impression, one that simply talks about its product or the one that tells you a story, makes you laugh/cry while telling you about the product? If your answer is the second one, you are a survivor! An excellent first impression can help your brand stand out and become more memorable. 

  1. Speak to both the reason and the emotion - As mentioned before, our decisions can be understood as an interaction between our reason and emotions. By building an excellent and valuable product, you are already taking care of the reason side. However, to confirm a win, you need to speak to the emotional side as well. This is the biggest reason why your brand should be investing in emotional marketing. 

  1. Emotions are inspiring - Different emotions inspire different actions in people. For example, happy content makes people share it with others. Now, wouldn’t you want that for your content? Similarly, sadness makes people empathize and connect with the brand. So, depending on what your brand requires, you can choose a particular emotion and its action. 

Who knows, maybe emotional marketing will help your brand survive the not-so-natural selection in the market!

Some quick takeaways - 

  • Emotions motivate people to respond quickly to stimuli in the environment, which helps improve the chances of success and survival.

  • Our decisions or choices can be best understood as the interaction between reason and emotions.

  • Emotional marketing refers to marketing and advertising efforts that primarily use emotion to make the audience notice, remember, share, and buy.

  • There are various reasons why emotions should be a part of your marketing strategy. 

One last thought…

Storytelling is hands-down, the best way to connect with your audience. And I don’t think stories are possible without emotions. It will be like eating a dumpling without any filling.

No matter what emotion you pick, you can always spin a story around it. Just make sure that the story you are telling has a purpose and always connect your stories to your brand.