The thought of ‘emotional connection’ triggered when I woke up with new version of song ‘mile sur mera tumahara’ airing on zoom on the morning of 60th republic day. It was a surprise that how easily I could make a connection with the two decade old original song with lot of other memories attached with Doordarshan. How would you define the emotional connection established here? I feel it was more of nostalgic feeling of childhood freedom in the form of association with golden past than a feeling of patriotism.
When we try to create an emotional connection with audience, while building or rebuilding a brand; its better to define what emotion the brand is talking about. Recently Fevicol celebrated its 50th birthday and launched ‘Moochwali’ campaign which reminded again the journey of time with a story of a girl bearing adhesive quality of fevicol through out her life and even beyond. I feel fevicol successfully established their journey of 50 years with the adhesiveness as the attribute with this ad.
Let us discuss a case in which attributes of the product does not make a real difference.
Let us take the branding of water; that’s too in India; where water is in abundance and quality of drinking water is at least priority for more than 50 % of the population. Water is a commodity; all major players in packaged water industry build their brands along with the category with a similar set of attributes; like taste, health qualities, source, uses, distribution etc. One of the important emotional connections some major players did with audience by color of packaging and shape of the bottle. Do aqua or blue triggers something when it is associated with drinking water? Can you recall some of your emotion while holding a different shape of bottle in your hand? Definitely yes. I feel it’s a good case to study in differentiating a commodity. In future of flat world, where all information and knowledge will be available to every one, the life of exclusivity will be very short. And there would be lesser scope to differentiate the products on attributes. I can see the branding using neuromarketing techniques to establish emotional connection is going to be prominent.
To establish emotional connection, it’s better to start from the creation of brand identity. While defining the positioning attributes, the brand manager should think of connection of each attribute to the emotional connection. Name, color, packaging, store placement, in shop branding, media and press advertisements; everything defining a brand must connect to the audience emotionally while demonstrating some of the differentiating attributes. The emotion and attributes must be defined to make it consistent across all marketing channel. This holds true for repositioning of a brand as well.
Establishing an emotional connection with consumer is not easy. We need to first understand the ways a consumer respond with each emotional trigger. You will be surprised with the variability in emotional triggers across region, language, customs, culture etc. Understanding target audience needs and emotions and common moments of truth is must. It needs intensive study of consumer. Most of the consumer research will come up with hundreds of ways to define the triggers. Choosing one, need real insight and a business acumen to know the investment and return over investment objectives. However; brand manager must make sure that selected emotional trigger must gel with attributes of the product being positioned.
Some interesting blog posts on emotional branding: