How close are you to your brand?
In marketing, businesses are always trying to create a strong relationship with their consumers. And not just on a superficial level, but an emotional one.
Emotional branding seeks to build a strong emotional connection between the brand and the consumer. “And that’s the object of emotional branding: to fill the empty places where non-commercial institutions, like schools and churches, might once have done the job” said Douglas Rushkoff, writer and correspondent for PBS’s Frontline.
Although emotional branding is one of the latest trends for building brand equity, does that make it the best way to do things? I’ve seen both sides of the coin in my research. It works really well for some (e.g., Subaru’s ‘Love’ campaign), but not so well for others.
For instance, “There are a few examples when advertising really does cast a Svengali spell. AT&T has done it. Hallmark has done it. Coca-Cola has done it,” said Bob Garfield, columnist at Advertising Age. “But most of the people who’ve tried to make emotional connections with consumers over the years – by far the vast, vast majority – have failed. They’ve gone down in flames.”
And, Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, isn’t sold on the practice either. “When you listen to brand managers talk, you can get quite carried away in this idea that they actually are fulfilling these needs that we have for community and narrative and transcendence. But in the end, it is, you know, a laptop and a pair of running shoes,” said Klein. “And they might be great, but they’re not actually going to fulfill those needs, but which serves them very well because, of course, that means that you have to go shopping again.”
In conclusion, I think emotional branding can be very powerful, but it must be done the right way. Otherwise, there’s no real point of even trying.
If any, what brands are you emotionally tied to and why?