Friday, November 5, 2010


If you take the ‘e’ out of emotion, you’re left with a word that is synonymous with action. Small wonder then, that when it comes to human behavior, nearly all of the voluntary stuff is fueled by some sort of feeling that comes from within. Whether it’s a fist pump into the air or in someone’s face, our actions occur only in the presence of emotion.

When people fall in love with brands, they don’t fall in love with its face. They fall in love with what lives at the heart of the brand. And emotional appeals can’t be forced or contrived and be successful. When they come from the heart, people will respond in kind.

These days, successful brands have a set of attributes that include:

Human - Can people relate to your brand as though it were a person? What are the personality traits of your brand? If it were a movie character, what would it look like? Is it a man, woman or child? Is it young or old? And how do these traits reveal themselves in your marketing?

Engaging - How many ways are there for people to interact with your brand? Are you producing content that doesn’t look or sound like advertising? Are there ways you could be entertaining your customers? What kinds of experiences do you provide for your audience besides a buying experience?

Authenticity - Does your marketing accurately convey the spirit or soul of your company? What kind of promise do you make to your audience about the kind of experience you provide? Do you make good on that promise during all possible interactions with your audience?

Relevance - Who, specifically is your audience? How would you describe them in human terms? What is the purpose of your brand in the lives of these individuals? How does it fit into their every day existence. Does what you offer increase their likelihood to feel positive emotions toward your brand?

Tension - What kinds of ideas do you present to your audience that challenges their current thinking about the world? Is there enough drama in the content you put out into the world? Can you identify the audiences “enemy” and somehow insert your brand as a hero?

If you have covered all of these bases in the development of your marketing, you have established a strong foundation for building an emotionally charged brand with which people can identify on a deeper and more meaningful level.

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