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Photo marketing that works. It’s time to get emotional!

Marketing without emotion will not work.

I recently read emotion stimulates the mind 3000 times faster than rational thought, and I believe it. Though many people say we live in a rational world, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an emotional world we live in.

Emotions drive our behavior; the world is driven by emotions. Rational thought leads customers to be interested in a product or service, but it is emotion that sells. People really aren’t much interested in attributes; they want to know if they can have a product that suits their personality. It is all about values.

The heart buys; the mind justifies.

Emotional marketing is better in many instances than rational marketing that focuses on product attributes. Capturing minds is one thing; capturing hearts is quite another. Build emotions in your marketing strategies; don’t always chase “share of wallet – chase “share of heart”.

Image of heart from Flickr user jjjohn

Image courtesy of Flickr user jjjohn

Make an Emotional Connection with Your Customers

Brands that don’t make emotional connections with their prospects and customers will eventually lose out to those that do. The practice of emotional marketing is all about getting your target audience to connect with your product, service, and brand at a very basic and fundamental level – the level of emotions.

In a recent article, Spence Kramer, VP of Marketing and Communications for Virgin America in the United States spoke about emotional marketing. He said:

Emotional marketing doesn’t mean much if the company’s people, products and services don’t back it up. Nike doesn’t succeed because Wieden and Kennedy make great commercials. Rather, Nike succeeds because its core belief-its brand promise, its love of the potential for the athlete inside everyone lives inside the people in Beaverton. When that love is manifested in their gear, consumers manifest it in their own lives.

The result is not only an emotional connection but an individual one. Having a one-to-one relationship in today’s marketplace is essential.

Delivering an individual experience

Other examples of building personal emotional connections can be seen with other top brands such as Starbucks or Porsche. These products and services make an emotional connection with the people they serve. Your challenge is to find how your products/services can connect emotionally. What is the larger purpose? What type of experience can you offer your customers?

When your product or service delivers an experience, get prospects to participate and experience it themselves. Emotional marketing is a powerful strategy if you can deliver a strong customer experience. It’s what we’ve “preached” for years, and we can tell you from our own experience that it works. Emotion adds value to the product.


Being first in any class is going to give you the edge – being the leader comes from being first. It’s easier to get into the mind of consumers first than try to convince people you have a better product or service than the one that got there first.

Improvements are always made to product/service inventions and innovations but the first in has a head start. Once you are the leader, a place mostly gained by being first, it is pretty hard for competitors to dislodge you, as long as you keep your products up to date and of comparable quality.

Further, the first in to the market has the opportunity to have its brand name adopted as the generic group name. Once you are first and get the consumers to buy your brand, often they won’t bother to switch. People tend to stick with what they’ve got.

It’s better to be the first than it is to be better. If you can’t be first in a category, change the nature of the category or set up a new class you can be first in.

Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions; and sometimes it’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.

The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.

Marketing effects take place over an extended period, so be patient, make a plan and then, work the plan.

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  • Ben Leavitt

    Great stuff as usual Bev! Do you have any additional reading you’d recommend on the subject of attaching emotion to your marketing?