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branding: the Power of Emotions

Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.” VINCENT VAN GOGH

You might be skeptical of the value of branding. Welcome to the club. Most business owners think that branding is reserved for companies like Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton, or BMW. Not true! Branding is necessary for any business, regardless of size, to realize its full potential.

Branding, especially good branding, works—and here’s why:


Brand choices are Based on Emotions

Why do thousands of people line up for hours to buy the latest iPhone from Apple? There are other good smartphones on the market, but none create the same frenzy when they’re released.

A number of neuro-scientific and marketing studies have shown that buying decisions are emotional, explaining the unequalled loyalty of Apple’s customers. Apple has succeeded in creating a tremendously strong emotional attachment to its brand.

People buy products and services for emotional reasons, like the desire for status, belonging, youth, or to solve a problem. The facts hardly matter—it’s the feeling that counts. Facts are only used to justify the emotional decision.

Why does a pair of designer jeans sell for two, three, or four times as much as a knock-off? They’re pretty much the same except for the label. But that label, and the emotions attached to wearing that label, are worth a lot more than the jeans. Even shopping for the lowest price is based on emotions.

Decisions are not Logical

Your clients may believe their decisions are logical, but they are really based on emotion. Yes, people may want more information about your products or services before they decide to buy, but they’re not going to get to that point unless they’ve already been “sold.” That’s why two very similar products or services can sell for different prices.

Psychologists have identified a number of basic emotions such as joy, sadness, fear, anger, trust, and distrust. These emotions all relate to either a desire for pleasure or the avoidance of pain, a theory of human behaviour known as the pleasure principal.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re deciding to buy services to solve a problem, an $800 smartphone, or a $30,000 car. Emotions override logic and are at the heart of every decision you make.


Does your website focus on emotions or facts?

Think about some of your past buying decisions. What made you spring for that meal, vacation, new kitchen, or even a particular brand of toilet paper? You might say your decisions were practical and logical, but that’s only in hindsight. You really made an emotional choice, then backed it up with logic because we all want to appear to be logical creatures.

Your potential clients are no different. They first make an emotional decision and then back it up with facts. But many, if not most, service providers try to sell facts such as their experience, education, accreditations, or awards. These are important, but people won’t even get to those facts unless they’ve already been emotionally “sold”.

If your website and other marketing collateral focus on facts instead of creating an emotional response, your potential clients are likely to remain potential clients.

Making your business look
as awesome as it really is