A study by Carnegie Mellon University found that when people put on their analytical hats, they tend to donate lesser to a charitable cause.
While logic helps us to make wiser choices, emotions drive bigger actions.
If you have a product that you feel is life-changing, it only makes sense that your customers should feel the same!
Think about how your product can appeal to your customer’s emotions, and you can begin to build true brand loyalty. And drive customers to talk about you with their friends.
According to Chip & Dan Heath’s made to Stick, one of the best ways ingrain a message is to make people feel strong emotions while engaging with it.
Consider the following ads by Nike which are focusing on an Individual.
This ad features an underdog, someone who isn’t special. Someone like us.
His similarity to us makes his story relatable, and we can feel his drive to succeed.
This is (part of) what makes a good narrative.
According to Made to Stick, eliciting emotions isn’t just about being a tear-jerker. It has to make people care about something.
When we feel and care for something, we’re much more willing to act.
This Nike ad challenges the mainstream understanding of “greatness”. Greatness isn’t a genetic trait, nor something possessed by a selected few.
An overweight boy then comes into focus, jogging slowly but never stopping. It tells us that achieving greatness is everyone’s game.
Focusing on the underdog, the common man, can be far more effective than the use of a celebrity. Celebrities are hard to relate to, while the underdog can be any one of us.
In particular, Chip and Dan highlight four ways to appeal to the emotional side of us:
- Focus on an Individual – We feel more for a visceral picture of a starving kid than a “100 kids die from starvation daily” statistic.
- Establish an Association – Allow people to associate something they do with something you want them to care about.
- Appeal to one’s Self-interest – Tell customers what they stand to gain, not the features your product has.
- Relate to one’s Identity – We buy things that appeal to our identity: who we are, and what we value.
One of the more effective ways of getting people to adopt your brand/message is to associate it with something they already care about.
This works well either for something that no longer has significant meaning, or something relatively new on the market.
Below is an interesting marketing campaign by Listerine – the self-made solution of bad breath:
Before Listerine was known as an antiseptic mouthwash, it was used for anything from cleaning floors to curing Gonorrhea.
But in the 1920s, Listerine started positioning themselves as a cure for chronic halitosis, aka bad breath.
Their ads dramatized how people were turned off by those with bad breath, then presenting Listerine as the solution.
Even though bad breath wasn’t a big deal then, Listerine became a multimillion dollar company in less than 10 years.
Listerine essentially made bad breath a problem, and then sold the problem-solver.
What is your motivation? What makes a message memorable? Which ads would be more effective; the ones in acted by the celebrities or by the common person?
Author: Akau Alier & Shitanshu Singh