Balancing Emotional and Rational MessagesAre you speaking to both sides of your customers’ minds?
Emotional marketing has been around since, well, the beginning of marketing. Messages that tug at the heart strings or that elicit fear or excitement or aspiration move consumers to take action—and to justify their impulse purchases later by rationalizing them. Whatever the purchase might be, in the end, consumers often look for ways to satiate both their emotional and rational needs.
You Need Both
It’s easy to overextend in one direction or another, leaning into the practical benefits of a product or service or dialing up the emotional appeal. But, forsaking one for the other leaves your message incomplete.
Rather, think of your audience as a complete person with both rational and emotional needs. It’s likely you can identify the rational reasons why someone would invest in your product or services—it’s why you’re in business.
To help you with the emotional side of your messaging, try focusing on the basic categories of emotions: happy, sad, afraid, surprised, angry, and disgusted. Be mindful of using negative emotions as it can cast a poor light on your brand. In fact, a New York Times study found content aligned with positive emotions drove more engagement and was shared more often.
Who’s Doing it Right?
Trying to get your message to appeal to your entire consumer is tricky—there are agencies and teams of creative people who spend all day thinking about brands and products and services to strike the right balance. And the biggest, most successful brands invest millions of dollars on their creative alone. You may not have their deep pockets, but you can learn from what they’re doing.
In general, automotive brands do an exceptional job of appealing to consumers both emotionally and rationally. They appeal emotionally with lifestyle choices, aspirational stories, and luxurious features, and then balance with practical concerns such as safety, efficiency, value, and price. Insurance companies have become increasingly balanced in their messages, whereas they used to focus more on rational benefits alone. Even pet food brands have revised their tactics to include a balance.
Check out these links for some inspiration:
- Subaru – “I’m Sorry”
- Nationwide – “Boy”
- Iams – “A Boy and His Dog Duck”
- Coca-Cola – “Love Story”
- Clorox – “Fish Dinner”
We Can Help!
Striking the right chord with consumers can be a challenge, but don’t despair! We have teams of talented designers and storytellers who would love to put their talents to work for you, uncovering new ways to showcase all of the reasons why your products and services are both feel-good and logical. Contact us today.
Sources: Tierney, John. “Will You Be E-Mailing This Column? It’s Awesome” New York Times. 8 Feb 2010.