emotional branding

I’ve been working on a project and thinking about how to use emotions in a brand. It makes me think about how I tie emotions to certain brands:


My dad loves Pepsi. Always has. Now, when I’m doing my own grocery shopping I’ll buy Pepsi before Coke, because it reminds me of my dad. There is nothing about Pepsi or Coke’s marketing plan that causes me to feel that way, it is just my own emotional connections to the Pepsi brand.

Is there a way to build on this in a company’s branding?  Of course, there are the brands like Aunt Millie’s bread that call on you to imagine yourself eating bread straight from your aunt’s oven. But what about other brands? Branding for institutions or companies that don’t sell specific products? Is there a way to make someone emotionally bonded to a brand through marketing alone–or must there be a built in emotional connection to the brand on the part of the user?

~ by monifree on January 11, 2010.

4 Responses to “emotional branding”

  1. Similar to real life or better yet a HUMAN connection – An emotional connection between a brand and consumer takes time and effort. A long, long time ago your dad and Pepsi went on their first date. That first sip or kiss if we may, had to have something special that resulted in him wanting a second date. As time went on the relationship developed into something remarkable – the sparks begun to fly. This relationship became so meaningful, so special, that for all these years your Dad never cheated on Pepsi with a product like Coke.

    I truly believe that any organization can establish an emotional connection with a consumer. The only thing that will make this happen however, is hard work, a remarkable product and a solid marketing team. Hard work I think is the key, it doesn’t happen over night and like anything else that is hard to do – Its worth it. We just have to keep our eyes open for slip ups, It takes years to establish a strong relationship…only one night to find yourself signing divorce papers.

    Great post! Glad I stumbled upon your blog – And I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on it…

    • Thanks for the comment, Ross. A connection does take time and effort–it is much more than a tagline. We’re working with an institution–something that has a lot of connection with people, a lot of memories, a lot of emotions. But capturing all of that in the brand is going to be difficult–but ultimately rewarding. Hard work and deep understanding is going to be the key!

  2. Yeah, Ross is right. You caI think taping into “Emotional Branding” is all about experience and consistency. Experience includes the product itself as well as the marketing, customer service, packaging, etc. that back it up. You really can’t control what, when, or how strong a custoemrs “emotional” connection will be. But if you are consistent, you’re likely to get the response you want—and then create and refine that experience regularly time and time again so that when users have that connection, it can be sustained.

    I feel like I’m talking in circles. I read all that crap in a book. Ha. Great blog, Monica.

    • Thanks Drew–I really think you have hit on the key: consistency. Without that, you can’t promise the consumer the same experience, so you really can’t promise anything. And there definitely has to be a brand promise to make it anything that people will seek out again. Maybe you should just write the book next time!

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