Companies realize that these days marketing or more specifically emotional marketing is more about identifying with their target audience and humanizing their brand. They know they need to have a story. Their customers care about who works for them and what they stand for. Simply having the best price or the best product is no longer a company’s strongest asset. They have to care and be cared about.
Hallmark has always believed that emotion marketing is THE marketing strategy. In their book on the topic, marketers from Hallmark’s Loyalty Marketing Group, Scott Robinette and Claire Brand, say, “Equity is a combination of the trust a brand earns and an identity that allows consumers to feel emotionally connected to it.” So what are the emotions a consumer would feel when they begin to trust a brand or connect with a brand’s identity?
Courtney Seiter dives into the science that drives emotion marketing. She breaks out the four basic emotions and the actions they invoke that would appeal to brand marketers. For example, happiness inspires the action of sharing, which is why it is the leading factor behind social media sharing. Studies have shown that the more positive an article is, the more likely it will go viral. Another example is the release of oxytocin (which has been found to generate feelings of empathy and understanding) is vital to establishing trust. Oxytocin can be released during moments of bonding. It is important for brands to bond with their audience in a positive way.
Seiter refers to an analysis of over 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns to point out that those with purely emotional content performed twice as well as those with rational content. Collaborating with online influencers is one way to create emotional content that will resonate with a brand’s audience and create a positive bonding experience. Popular bloggers, Pinterest pacesetters, Twitter personalities, and the like using emotion marketing have already begun building a relationship with their audience by addressing a need – whether that is a need to start a new hobby, or find nutritious recipes and healthy eating tips for children. By fulfilling the needs of their readers, these influencers are establishing an emotional connection. Let’s say the reader identifies with a blogger they often look to for travel tips. The blogger posts about the importance of learning about different cultures through travel in an article sponsored by an international air carrier. The blogger, the air carrier, and the reader all find global integration to be valuable and thus may establish a bond. This potential release of oxytocin within the reader may solicit him or her to begin trusting the brand as they have already formed a trust for the blogger.
While product reviews have been one popular way for brands to create content and to reach their audience through these public figures, the brand is missing a bigger opportunity to create a long term relationship by establishing top of mind positioning through emotional marketing. By utilizing the influencers’ emotional connection to their audience and collaborating to create content that both fulfills the need of the audience and communicates the brand’s story and values, the brand can surface more frequently and easily for the customer during the purchasing process.