Emotion – how can something so personal and individual to each person we encounter play a role in helping your brand? With something so powerful, brands need to carefully decide what emotions they would like to evoke in their audience. Sometimes there is a fine line between the emotions that people may feel and their perception of what your brand is trying to portray. When your brand shifts perspectives to forming an emotional connection with your audience, it truly is a game changer – an audience truly invested in your brand.
Let’s have a look how we can achieve this:
WHAT EMOTIONS DOES YOUR BRAND REPRESENT?
Brainstorm the desired emotions you want to give your audience when they interact with your brand – and work backwards.
How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand?
This is hugely important as many clients go with one brand over another based on an emotional connection, or a feeling that they get from your brand and your people.
Excitement? Happiness? Inspiration? Energy?
These positive emotions may come to mind initially, but scratch beneath the surface and you may find that there are some negative emotions that your brand may want to also portray. For example, if your business is selling a new product or service to solve a problem the audience may have, you may want to evoke a sense of frustration towards the problem. And then, perhaps, a sense of empathy – the feeling that you know what they are going through.
Lastly, excitement, that your brand may be able to solve the issue at hand! The audience will be excited to work with you to resolve their problem. Remember, emotions are complex and don’t always have to be positive – a negative emotion can make a connection stronger at times.
However, you do need to end your interaction with a positive emotion – for example, evoking excitement for a new path that you can offer. Make these negative emotions into positive ones. When your audience has an emotional investment in your brand, it makes for a better experience and brings them enjoyment to engage with the brand.
TELL YOUR STORY
Let your audience know your background.
Where have you come from to become the brand you are today? How was your brand started? And why? By who?
An inspirational start-up story showing your roots connects you to your audience and creates a sense of trust. What is your brand ethos? What do you stand for? Is your brand eco-conscious? Do you ethically source all your supplies? Do you support local business? Have you brought employment to the area? Share this on social media and your website. Your audience will feel more of a connection to your brand when you open up, especially if your brand beliefs stand for the same causes as them.
A great example of a start up accomplishing this is the Vegan Sandwich Co., an Irish company that started with one man’s mission to create all-vegan versions of the traditional Irish breakfast roll and chicken fillet roll – a feat that included vegan bacon, eggs, chicken, cheese and more. Vegan Sandwich Co. has grown from a one person market stall to opening two full shops in Dublin, selling their products in retail stores, and even their own app.
A huge part of their success has been their informal brand tone and emotional connection to the local community, as well as filling a true gap in the local food market.
When choosing your branding, almost every aspect that you choose will have an impact on your audience emotions. You need to consider:
- Bold bright colours may portray excitement.
- While monochrome can portray style or an aspirational lifestyle.
- Does your brand want/need to use music?
- Does your brand support a specific cause/belief?
- Are you using open, conversational language? If so, your audience will feel comfortable and less intimidated to make contact as they will feel on the same level as your brand.
- Informative, factual language can portray that you are an expert in your field.
- Imagery and graphics with dark colours as opposed to delicate floral imagery will evoke two completely different emotions in your audience.
- Take time to choose a selection of stock images for the brand, or better still, find a photographer that can capture your brand.
- The tone and phrases that your brand chooses to use can put your audience at ease when interacting with you.
- Choose your tone and stick to it. This ensures consistency and your audience will know what to expect.
- A cursive font may portray elegance, while uppercase and bold may evoke urgency.
- A font type could be a deterrent for your audience to make contact if they feel your brand may be too exclusive or find the font type intimidating.
What are best practices to keep your content emotionally powerful? Here are a few:
Spotlight your team – what better way for the audience to get to know your people, especially in times where online meetings and working from home are the norm? Building a human connection is important.
Use nostalgia, if appropriate for your brand, to evoke a sense of familiarity.
Think about what emotions will be evoked with everything you are putting online – are you keeping on brand? Are you setting the emotions that you want to portray? Will this make an emotional connection?
Remember – go above and beyond just what you sell, try to connect with your customers. Showcase what makes your business what it is today and stand out from the crowd for people to support you.
Keep the emotion portrayed front and centre of your mind – this will be your brand and what your audience will connect to. Companies with strong emotional connection to their audience are proven to stand the test of time to become a ‘go-to’ brand, rather than just be another company selling a service.
Word of mouth from an emotionally connected audience will usually trump powerful sales channels and can help you develop your brand further.