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Appealing to your customer’s emotions with your marketing messages leaves a lasting impression, as long as you do it effectively and ethically. These are approaches I’ve learned to master over the course of my 20-plus years in business, so let’s dive into it.
Storytelling: Using empathy and other emotions
Emotions are the universal language that connects us all. Weave narratives that captivate your audience, drawing them into a world where they can relate and empathize. Identify the primary emotions you want to evoke, whether that be nostalgia, empathy or excitement. Make sure you choose an emotion that goes with your brand. For example, it may not be appropriate for a funeral home to use humor in its marketing. Always use your discretion; you know your brand and your audience best.
If you’re part of a charity and the goal is to alleviate poverty, using empathy would be a great way to connect with the donors. You could recommend to the charity to reach out to past individuals who received help and see if they’d be open to sharing their stories in order to help more people. This type of emotional storytelling could inspire more donations and support.
Authenticity: The beacon of emotional connection
In a world rife with gimmicks, authenticity shines like a beacon, guiding you toward genuine emotional connection. Be true to your brand’s values and let your message reflect its essence. Authenticity creates trust, and trust allows emotions to flow freely. Avoid the pitfalls of insincerity and let your audience feel the authenticity in every word you craft. To be authentic, be consistent, reliable and make sure you actually care about your audience. Also, make sure you’re being as transparent as you can.
If you own a sustainable clothing company, just stating you’re sustainable isn’t enough. You need to be transparent about what you’re doing consistently to be better for the environment and the people. You can show your supply chain process, share images and videos of the workers and their working conditions and show real statistics on how your brand is different than your competitors.
The art of surprise and delight
Although routine and predictability often prevail, it is essential for your marketing message to stand out and create a memorable experience for your audience. Injecting surprises and moments of delight into your message can ignite joy and leave a lasting impression.
Imagine you are a bakery launching a new line of cupcakes. Instead of simply showcasing the cupcakes’ flavors and ingredients, you decide to take a creative approach to surprise and delight your audience. You craft a marketing campaign where customers are encouraged to order a box of cupcakes, but each box contains a hidden cupcake with a unique flavor not mentioned anywhere in your marketing materials.
Customers eagerly receive their cupcake boxes, filled with anticipation as they bite into the delicious treats. They’ll enjoy the basic flavors like vanilla and chocolate, but imagine how they’ll react when they see a hidden cupcake with an interesting flavor. Maybe it’ll be lavender cream or coconut pie flavored. The element of surprise adds an extra layer of excitement and delight, creating a memorable experience that sparks conversations and drives customer loyalty.
Using all five senses
When you use aspects like specific colors, design elements and music that align with your brand and your audience, you’re more likely to stir their emotions. The trick to great emotional marketing is using as many senses as you can in your messaging and campaigns.
Let’s say there’s a new yoga studio in town and they decide to invite the community to check out the space and see what they’re all about. The studio can use all five senses on opening day:
- They can start by creating a comfortable and tranquil space that is visually appealing through design elements and decor (sight and touch);
- Burn incense or vanilla-scented candles (smell);
- Play calming instrumental tracks with soft piano melodies and gentle nature sounds in the background to add to a mind and body experience (sound)
- Host a yoga session (touch). Maybe the yoga mats are new and extra soft or maybe there are comfortable pillows around in the seating area.
- Offer healthy snacks like fresh fruits from the local farmers market (taste) or organic, hydrating drinks post-yoga session.
By creating a multi-sensory experience, you’ll make it more likely that your brand will stay top of mind.
Creating a compelling and unique emotional marketing campaign isn’t necessarily easy, but when you use storytelling, embrace authenticity, surprise and delight your audience and use strong sensory experiences, you will create an experience your audience won’t easily forget.