Thursday, March 30, 2017



Subscribe



The ultimate – Adding emotions to your brand

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 30, 2007

By Jay Gronlund, vice president and managing director, Latin Pulse USA
Mario Quiñones, president, Latin Pulse

Mario Quiñones 

Mario Quiñones, president, Latin Pulse

 hmprjaygronlund.jpg

 Jay Gronlund, vice president and managing director, Latin Pulse USA

Photo: Elena del Valle

As the world of marketing becomes more complex and demanding, marketers are focusing more on emotional branding to distinguish their product/brand.  Emotional connections are vitally important in creating brand loyalty. The critical challenge for today’s marketers is twofold: how to make your brand come alive with more specific, meaningful emotions; and how to test the emotional appeal of your brand and key marketing initiatives.

Why Emotional Connections are So Important for Branding

During the past 25 years, social psychologists in neuroscience have researched the emotional foundation of human behavior, concluding that brand decisions are related primarily to our senses and emotions, which are much more important than rational thinking or the appeal of functional benefits. According to Damasio, a leader in the neuroscience field, “over 85% of thought, emotions and learning occur in the unconscious mind…to put it simply, our reasoning strategies are defective”.  Another neuroscientist, Calne, stated that “the essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action, while reason leads to conclusions.” 

The discipline of branding, the heart and soul of marketing, is undergoing a fundamental transformation by seeking new ways to better articulate the emotional profile of brands, and then to test these emotional benefits with consumers.  We at Latin Pulse see a big opportunity for marketers to focus more on the emotional appeal of their brands as a powerful way to capitalize on relevant insights, differentiate from competition and address new, emerging consumer needs in the dynamic Hispanic market. 


“Emotional Branding: How to capture the heart and mind of the Hispanic consumer” audio recording

Jay Gronlund Mario Quiñones

Emotional Branding” was recorded January 2007 during the Strategic Research Institute 13th Annual Blockbuster Marketing to U.S. Hispanic and Latin America conference in Miami, Florida. Receive a free downloadable copy by completing our Visitor Survey.

 Click here to receive a free copy of Emotional Branding


Elevating Branding to Focus More on Emotions 

Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, wrote a highly acclaimed book in 2004 called, “Lovemarks” that has crystallized the importance of emotional branding.  Kevin argues that the functionally driven concept of branding has worn thin, and intense competition and demanding (and cynical) consumers require a more emotionally defined idea of branding – “super-evolved brands” or what he calls “Lovemarks.”  He defines a Lovemark as a product, service or entity that inspires “loyalty beyond reason”, and it represents the next evolution in branding. 

The biggest challenge for marketers, says Roberts, is to create a strong emotional consumer bond for the brand and to re-invigorate loyalty. “Lovemarks can reach the heart and gut, as well as the mind, creating intimate, emotional connections… Lovemarks is a relationship, not a mere transaction…you do not just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them with passion”, according to Roberts.

Making Your Brand Come Alive – Emotionally

Branding is essentially a strategic tool, best used to provide clear direction for the development and monitoring of all marketing initiatives. A common dilemma for marketers is to describe the positioning and brand personality in a truly distinctive and meaningful way. All too often, the benefit statement in a positioning lacks sufficient differentiation, at least a perceived point of difference, and does not include an emotional dimension. Examples of successful brands that articulate both a functional and emotional benefit include:

• Gatorade: functional benefit – liquid replenishment; emotional benefit – capturing a winning spirit
• Pantene: functional benefit – healthy and beautiful hair; emotional benefit – being proud of your look
• MasterCard: functional benefit – usage across all levels of purchases; emotional benefit – helping you enjoy those lifetime (“priceless”) moments
• Viagra:  functional benefit – being able to perform sexually; emotional benefit – getting your loving relationship back

Another shortcoming is that the emotional benefit and brand personality are too generic and one-dimensional. Using common adjectives like “trustworthy,” “peace-of-mind”, “empowerment” and “dependable” is a good start, but marketers must dig deeper to find more specific and engaging emotions that could more effectively distinguish their brand and form this emotional bond with consumers.

Innovative Consumer Research for Building Stronger Brands

The customer is the lifeblood of any business. Simply satisfying your customer is not enough. One must delight and captivate him/her emotionally. Brands should represent a constellation of meaningful values, associations and emotions in order to build a special relationship with its customer and strengthen brand equity. And developing a powerful DNA for a brand starts with smart, reliable market research.

The biggest challenge is to identify and measure those emotions that will become the foundation for your new “lovemark” brand. This will require a fresh perspective, creativity, and smart, in-depth consumer research. Neuroscientists agree that emotional reactions function as the gatekeeper for human behavior and decision making, and have tried to measure these emotional reactions by experimenting with three different research methodologies:

1. Verbal Self-Report – consumers are asked to express their emotions from open-ended questions or to rate their emotions by using a prepared scale, such as the widely recognized one developed by Robert Plutchik, his “Emotional Profile Index”.  This methodology identifies eight basic emotions as the foundation for all human emotions, plus six sub-emotions that reflect varying intensity for each.  (Plutchik’s research is the basis for AcuPOLL/Latin Pulse’s E-Factor model, which uses both open-ended questions and scales to quantitatively measure emotional responses to marketing initiatives.)

2. Visual Self-Report – this also measures subjective feelings, but is based on cartoon-like figures representing different emotional states.

3. Moment-to-Moment Ratings – this technique tries to measure the magnitude of an emotional reaction to advertising stimuli in real time, and tests “autonomic” measures or bodily reactions (e.g. facial expressions, sweating, heart rate, skin conductance, etc.). 

Implications for Marketing to Hispanic Consumers

The growing diversity of the U.S. society requires the brand-savvy marketer to recognize how every pertinent ethnic group of consumers thinks, feels and behaves. The emotional profile for each culture will have subtle nuances, and brand managers and market researchers must find imaginative ways to better understand their emotional “DNA” and then describe those new brand emotions that will create a loyal bond with them. 

The Hispanic consumer market in the U.S. today represents extraordinary potential not just for its growing economic importance, but also because of the opportunity to start developing a strong emotional relationship with them.  By nature, Hispanics tend to be more emotional, and most have yet to establish a firm loyalty to U.S. brands. The key is to recognize the importance of constructing a relevant emotional profile for this emerging segment, thoroughly researching their emotional needs/desires, and working with professional marketers to innovate and build strong, emotional brands. 

Jay Gronlund is a marketing professional with over 30 years of senior management experience in large multinationals and consulting, and has been teaching a branding course at NYU since 1999.  Jay’s international consulting firm, The Pathfinder Group, joined forces with Latin Pulse in 2003 to expand its services in the U.S. Hispanic market.  Mario Quiñones, also an experienced marketing professional, founded Latin Pulse in 2000. Under his leadership Latin Pulse has experienced continued growth in México, Central and South America and the U.S Hispanic market. This article was originally published in Pulsadas, from Latin Pulse.


“Emotional Branding: How to capture the heart and mind of the Hispanic consumer” audio recording

Jay Gronlund Mario Quiñones

Emotional Branding” was recorded January 2007 during the Strategic Research Institute 13th Annual Blockbuster Marketing to U.S. Hispanic and Latin America conference in Miami, Florida. Receive a free downloadable copy by completing our Visitor Survey.

 Click here to receive a free copy of Emotional Branding


Bookmark and Share