How Brands Solve Emotional Problems
with Re Perez
with guest Re Perez #MakingBank S4E41
You may not have noticed it before, but everyday companies all around us are helping us solve our emotional problems. We’re not talking about therapy, ladies and gentlemen! The truth is, you don’t need an advanced degree in order to help a target audience work on their feelings, you just need good branding!
Brands solve a much different kind of emotional problem for us by giving us an outlet, and a way to feel better about ourselves in the process. There are as many ways to connect with your audience emotionally as there are emotions. The opportunities are literally endless.
The vast majority of good brands are addressing our emotions in some way. The goal is not just to sell, the goal is to create a lasting relationship with your audience, and tapping into our emotional side is the most effective way to do that.
Here are a few examples of how brands connect with our emotional sides.
- Giving People Something to Identify With
Nike positions themselves as the fitness masters, the ones who keep going no matter what. They’re the elite with the ‘Just Do It’ mentality, the ones who will not let anything stand between themselves and their goals.
When you don Nike attire, you inevitably feel yourself taking on that same energy, you feel an added ability to push through the pain, run through the rain or get that 5am workout in. You are transformed into a different person when you wear their clothes. That is solving an emotional problem.
Nike may be the best brand in the world at this. They give people an outlet to assume the identity they have branded for themselves, to feel their own power, to think of themselves as fierce warriors – even though they’re just going for a jog.
2. Delivering Pure Pleasure
DIsney is selling much more than just movies and tickets to amusement parks – they deliver dopamine directly to the brains of you and your entire family. They make people happy, the most sought after emotion of all. Who can resist that? Who would want to?
You remember watching Disney movies as a kid. You may remember a trip to one of Disney’s theme parks if you’re lucky. Was there anything more magical than that? Is there anything more magical now for children?
Marketing like this is brilliant because it not only solves an emotional problem for children, it makes their parents happy as well. That’s why they’re able to charge so much for entry to their parks, and how they’ve built such a powerhouse. Selling what amounts to hits of dopamine is probably the best branding you can ever hope to do.
3. Community Building
Many varieties of brands – from health insurance to social networking to AAA – sell the idea of community, of belonging to something bigger than ourselves. This is an extremely effective branding technique because we are currently in a time when many people don’t feel connected to a community. By giving people something to connect to, brands fill an emotional need that many of us yearn for.
Even banks cash in on this type of branding, touting their commitment to individuals over money, promising that their local reps will remember you by name and deliver you personalized service. Being able to deliver on this is easier said than done, but if you can pull it off, this has proven to be an emotional problem we all wish to have solved.
4. Promising Security
Helping people feel safe and secure is a great approach to solving an emotional problem, especially for parents and homeowners. Think of all of the security companies we see advertised that demonstrate how they will make you feel safe via advanced technology, doorbell cameras and more. But this also applies to other products like baby monitors and cars that focus on safety first, like Volvo.
Helping parents calm their fears helps them sleep at night. It helps them go to work and know their property and family are both safe, or even just gives them a chance to check in on their dog while they’re away. These brands are doing more than just protecting homes, they’re giving people peace of mind. That type of service is invaluable.
5. Stoking Your Anger
Political campaigns have done this extremely effectively in the past several elections – think Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – but certain brands also play this card very well, like PETA.
We are going through a turbulent time in our society right now. We are waking up to all of the injustices in the world, and many of us are very, very mad about it. If you can give people hope, if you can join in on that anger and offer a solution to some of these problems, you’re going to create a customer base that will go to war for you.
Anger may in fact be the most powerful emotion to build a connection with.
6. Tapping Into Sadness
Charity organizations are the best at tapping into your sadness in order to build their brands. Commercials that show us starving children, or even something less appalling like not having the resources to be able to learn to read, are extremely effective at getting people to open up their wallets and send money flowing in a direction that will have a positive impact on the world.
This lets people feel good about themselves because they are alleviating the problems of others, an extremely powerful tool.
You want to be careful here. If you push this narrative too hard, people will wind up tuning you out, changing the channel and not wanting to contribute to your brand at all, but if done well, this is an effective strategy that you can also build a meaningful career around.
There is no more powerful tool at your disposal than building an emotional connection with your audience. If you are about more than just a sale, people will recognize that, and you will be rewarded with their business over and over again. If you do this well, and if you do it authentically, you give yourself the chance to build meaningful relationships that not only build your brand – they make the world a better place as well.