In today’s day and age, everywhere you look there’s a business crammed next to another business, sitting below another business.  We’re so accustomed to shopping malls being built and having a new restaurant or clothing store pop up as soon as a site becomes vacant.  According to the Census in 2013, there were 18,000+ businesses in the United States alone with over 500 employees.  You can imagine how many smaller businesses exist and how much those numbers have increased in the last three years.  With so many companies competing against each other, trying to raise brand awareness and attempting to convince the public that their product is the right choice is becoming increasingly difficult.

Left and Right brain image

The key to getting people to connect with your brand and increase brand loyalty is to appeal to the consumer’s emotions and make them feel like they need your products, like they’d be making the wrong decision to not buy your product.  It’s all about the emotional connection between the consumer and your brand.

Here are three ways to create this emotional connection between your brand and consumers:

  1. Stand out by using experiential marketing
  2. Make socially responsible business decisions
  3. Have a well thought out advertising plan

Stand out by using experiential marketing

Experiential Marketing is becoming increasingly popular among companies today due to the huge impression made during unique and interactive experiences.  By hosting an event to market your brand and product, consumers willingly get to engage with whatever it is you are showcasing so you know they’re there because you’ve attracted their interest in some way.  The Event Marketing Institute and Experiential Marketing Agency, Mosasic, conduct a yearly survey “EventTrack” to provide insights and effectiveness of experiential marketing. Results from the survey concluded that 89% of people believe events give them a better understanding of a brand’s product or service as opposed to any other medium, and 98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending an event.

A great example of experiential marketing is the popcorn company, Propercorn’s “Institute of Flavour” campaign. According to Marketing Week’s article “How To Create Lasting Impact From Immersive Brand Experiences,” the company held a pop-up event in London to give consumers an inside look at just how obsessed with flavor the brand is.  The installation took fans underground to a “flavor lab” where they were educated on the five key tastes: salt, umami, sour, sweet and bitter.

Propercorn experiental marketing exhibit

Not only did Propercorn increase their brand awareness and educate consumers, they also were able to increase engagement with their consumers.  By hosting a creative marketing event like this, the brand opened themselves up to free PR and positive word-of-mouth buzz. Pop-up events and installations like Propercorn’s are great opportunities to handout free merchandise and coupons as well. Pair your best promo product in the right event and you can leave thousands of impressions. Almost all consumers who attend these events will create digital or social content and share it with their peers, what more could a PR agency want? The important thing is to make sure that your brand is generating positive experiences and emotions with these participants.  Engagement and understanding of a product along with a positive perception might as well be gold in the marketing world.

Make socially responsible business decisions

With Millennials steadily taking over the consumer population, it’s important to monitor what drives their connections with brands and what they want to see in a company.  87% of Millennials deemed it important that a company expresses a vision of a better world according to Havas Worldwide’s “Project: Superbrand” report.  Also noted in this report: 63% of Millennials said they are more likely to buy from a company that is doing good things for the world and 62% said they would like their favorite brands/companies to play a bigger role in solving social problems.  The report fully represents that consumers today are more interested in what brands are doing to give back to the community and how they make their goods.

More and more consumers today are willing to buy products that are more expensive, as long as they believe in the brand and feel an emotional connection.  Patagonia is a great example of a company that is resonating well with the Millennial consumer today.  While you may be able to find a jacket that is a better price, customers connect with the brand’s identity and ultimately feel better about their purchase after knowing the brand’s mission is to reverse the decline in the world’s environmental health.

Many brand’s today are quickly realizing this trend and have started enforcing socially responsible practices and programs both internally and externally.  What is your brand doing to appeal to this emerging market?

Have a well thought out advertising plan

Research by University of Southern California professor, Antonio Damasio, concludes that fMRI neuro-imagery shows that consumers primarily use emotions rather than information or facts when evaluating brands.  Think about it, if you had a bad experience with a brand and someone mentioned their name, wouldn’t you think of that one bad interaction until you experienced otherwise?  They could be the most recognized Fortune 500 Company, but if something didn’t sit well in your memory with them, that’s what you feel.  This then affects your behavior, resulting in not buying their products or services.

After reading Damasio’s findings, it’s no surprise to find that the most-shared ads of 2015 relied heavily on emotional content. Themes like: friendship, inspiration, warmth and happiness were all among these ads. Take a look at a few:

WWF For a Living Planet climate change ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People are programmed to have emotions and feel a certain way about everything so advertising can be a great tool in tapping into that.  Emotional advertising has proven to be nearly twice as effective as rational advertising and this is a trend marketers should be utilizing to connect with their end-users. Instead of providing facts and stats about a brand, providing success stories between clients and the brand to convey the positive effects the brand has had on the them is a great alternative.

If your marketing budget isn’t large enough for an ad campaign, consider promotional products to help convey the message you’re hoping to. Picking the right product to put your brand’s name on is one of the most important jobs a marketer has. Did you know the average cost per impression on a promotional product is less than one cent? A recent PPAI study found that a single promotional item can generate up to 5,700 impressions in its lifetime. That’s some powerful branding! Every brand has a mission and an image they want to portray to the public, and advertising is an endlessly creative tool to do so.

How Boundless Fits In 

Boundless acknowledges these three strategies and helps provide clients with unforgettable Brand Love moments and memories. From participating in client events and tradeshows, to creating a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, and using social media to promote the power of promotions, Boundless strives to connect with all of our clients and prospects to create an amazing brand experience.

Lisa Ghera author bio

Learn more about how Boundless helps spark Brand Love moments for our clients!