Emotional Branding- what is it?

Good afternoon beautiful people!

Almost every day I am approached by somebody asking me what emotional branding really is. So today, I will do my best to explain principals of emotional marketing and their application to business.

So, broadly speaking emotional branding is an approach to marketing relating to consumer emotional states, and building long lasting relationship with them based on their emotional attachment. It is a customer centred orientation aiming to exceed consumer expectations and to tie them to brand for long time, experience the brand with all the senses. I like one of the statements by Nyimpini Mabunda (Marketing Manager of luxury alcohol brands) which I read a few months ago:

“Customers define themselves through brands they use. The branded clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the drinks they consume, university they attended, favourite spots to hang out, and so on”.

However, it is only one side of marketing approach. The philosophy was created by Marc Gobe over 15 years ago and has evolved a lot since then. Consumers who associate themselves with certain brands usually feel that it reflects their values and identity. These days however, emotional branding is more about finding authentic values which represent certain group of people, rather than persuade every consumer to try the product and agree with brand values. It is like starting good and lasting relationship based on emotional approach and trying to make that marriage work as long as it is possible. Very important part of emotional branding is appealing to their senses and responding to their preferences, passions and needs.

Usually, when consumers have strong connection with one brand, they tend to be loyal and not to think about any fling with another brand.

When I used to work in retail environment for a while, I had seen it almost every day. Our regular customers at L’Occitane rarely had reacted to competitors offers like Molton Brown, Neals Yeard or Jo Malone, to name a few. On the top of it, they used to be the best advocates for the brand, showing us their of loyalty by telling us what competitors are doing to beat us, and how bad their products or services were in comparison to our offer. Although none of us was expecting such honesty, clearly they had demonstrated good emotional attachment to their favourite cosmetic brand and its values.

It is worth adding what marketing strategy L’Occitane had chosen. First of all, it was consumer centred strategy. When we put the words into practice, we can notice the following: approachable, helpful customer service, strong focus on personalised offering through digital and traditional POS channels, replenishment offering, “invite your friend” promos, extended guarantees- money back if the product is not right even without a receipt, sampling, local events, appealing to customers senses through in-store promotions like complimentary hand massage, facials, serving teas, coffees, sweets, using certain music compilations with seasonal focus, plasma tv’s introducing brand’s story.

Appealing to consumers emotions is clearly at L’Occitane’s heart.The message behind the brand is very consistent and emotional. It is based on family and tradition values, underlining quality and importance of natural and organic approach to healthy living. They appeal to consumer’s emotions related to safety and love by sharing stories of families behind the produce, talking about ingredients responsibly sourced to ensure them in the right choices. They build strong self-actualization feeling by making consumers feel that their purchase is right for an environment and community alike.

So, emotional branding is a great strategy for organisations aiming to build lasting marriages with their audience. Organisation is here to please, not to persuade to try useless product or create false desire. It is a strategy for brands which have long-term plan in place and clear values to communicate.



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