Emotional Intelligence – An impactful tool for branding and marketing strategy

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the concept of emotional intelligence
  • The components and process on how should we go about using emotional marketing.
  • Benefits of EI in marketing and branding strategies.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) in marketing refers to a company’s ability to comprehend its target demographic’s emotional state, behaviour patterns, potential pitfalls, acquiring triggers, and so on. Many brands while forming the emotional marketing strategy do consider Emotional Intelligence as that’s a sweet point for targeting consumers and leading them for actions.

Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be able to create content and present it to your audience at the right place and the right time for maximum conversions. This tinkering works wonders in terms of developing more robust and impactful customer relationships. An emotional marketing strategy refers to marketing efforts that rely heavily on emotion to get your target audience to recognise, recollect, start sharing, and consider purchasing. To elicit a consumer response, emotional marketing typically taps into a single emotion, such as happiness, sadness, anger, or fear.

Why Emotions are a sweet spot for brands to attain consumers?

Emotions are the basic instinct that humans possess. It was well said that a consumer decides with heart, the brain just gives them the reason to justify.
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Emotional Intelligence has five components that contribute to the development of marketing strategies:

  • Self-awareness: Understand your brand’s personality, what you offer, and what others think of you.
  • Motivation: What do you hope to achieve with your marketing? Be upfront about how you want people to react to your marketing.
  • Empathy: How will your marketing be received? Do you have their best interests in mind or only your own? Do they benefit more from the transaction than you?
  • Self-Regulation: Are you able to filter out insincerity, self-interest, and anything else that will annoy, offend, or interrupt?
  • Social Skills: Can you convey your message in a thoughtful, authentic, and humane manner?

Benefits of it are:

People have feelings. We can’t help but feel emotions, even if we wish we didn’t, for example, after a heartbreak or while watching a scary movie. It’s in our Genetic code.
This is one of the reasons why emotional marketing is so effective. Here are a few more.
“Emotional intelligence in marketing creates excellent first impressions.”

What, in your opinion, makes a great first impression? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you meet someone new?

Consider starting a new business. Which of two advertisements would “impress” you more: one that purely talked about product offerings or one that made you laugh out loud? Isn’t it the second one?

First impressions form in a matter of seconds. The same goes for the first impression of a product or brand, and marketing emotion can help shape that impression … and help that brand or product stand out in your mind.

Consider your most recent large purchase.

How did you decide which option to buy when it came down to the wire? Better yet, what finally pushed you to click “buy”? (Because let’s face it, you probably purchased something online.)

Sure, you compared prices and read about each product, but when it came time to make a decision, I’m guessing you went with your heart rather than your head.

I’m guessing that an emotion you felt, or desired to feel, pushed you in the right direction. The marketing of Dove is a great example of this. Their inclusive, down-to-earth commercials emphasise the importance of making every woman feel beautiful, making their product appear to be an origin of many emotions — acceptance, serenity, positivity, and self-love.

According to studies, people make decisions based on emotions rather than facts. Emotional responses to marketing have a greater impact on a person’s intent and decision to purchase than the content of an advertisement or marketing material.

Out of 1,400 successful advertising campaigns, those with purely emotional content outperformed those with only rational content (31 per cent vs. 16 per cent).

Emotional Intelligence usage in marketing motivates people to act.

While emotional marketing is an effective tool for eliciting a purchase or two, it also encourages other activities that can help your business and brand grow.

Here’s how that activity is broken down by emotion:

Happiness motivates us to share… and sharing increases brand awareness. If bad news sells, then good news spreads quickly. According to studies, good news and positive content spread faster than any other type of content on social media. This is similar to the “social smile” of infancy when babies reciprocate a smile. When we see someone who is happy, we tend to feel the same way, which leads us to share any content that made us smile in the first place.

Sadness causes us to empathise and bond… Empathy motivates people to give more. According to a 2007 study, feelings of empathy lead to altruism and the motivation to act on behalf of others. It’s no surprise that organisations such as the ASPCA use sad photos and a moving song to solicit donations. Sadness motivates us to act and help others, which usually manifests itself in monetary donations.

Surprise and fear cause us to cling to what is familiar… Embracing what is familiar leads to increased brand loyalty. Marketers are usually afraid to use fear in their advertisements because they are afraid (literally) that customers will associate negative feelings with their brand. However, the opposite is true.

Anger and passion make us obstinate… and tenacity results in viral content and devoted followers. Consider a Facebook video about a local tragedy or political issue that has thousands of likes and comments. Powerful emotions such as anger and passion, like happiness, inspire people to share content. According to studies, creating content that purposefully elicits anger and anxiety leads to virality and increased views.

Being more aware of your buyer’s emotions allows you to-

  • Semantic search can help you drive traffic to your website.
  • Make the content more relatable to increase conversions.
  • Improve your marketing automation.

Emotional Intelligence used correctly in branding and marketing strategies encourages people to make decisions based on their emotions.

Why not allow data to build their confidence and trust in your brand as a continuous process? Unleash the data’s full potential!

Today, it’s more than just data. It is a 360-degree view of the data spread across Omni-channels and an automated system that can predict user behaviour. More than 78 per cent of customers conduct product research online, keeping the sentiments of local reviews in mind before making a purchase decision. Emotions are fragile, and when used sublimely, they can determine product relationships!

No surprise, modern psychology, as adopted and employed by social media, has demonstrated that emotions can be subtly manipulated. It’s not surprising these days to find positive future postings of your brand after manipulating your customers and making them addicted to your marketing techniques. Dramatic data capabilities have enormous potential. Thank you to the Internet of Things for making it easier for marketers to tap into their customers’ emotions on a more personal level.

But hold on! Breaking through the clutter of noisy advertising and getting noticed extends far beyond the laundry list that most marketers make the mistake of stepping on. The challenge is figuring out how to strike an emotional chord with the data you collect to get them to act.

Shareable information should be posted.

Consider the information you’re presenting to your audience for a moment. Are they aware of the key features? Will it have an emotional impact? Why will your target audience choose your brand over others? Customers’ emotional needs may differ and extend beyond product features. But what if you could provide them with an emotional differentiator that made them feel fantastic? Share information that speaks to their interests, passions, common problems, and solutions, demonstrating an understanding of target audiences. When they contact you, the initiative will motivate them to share your information.

Encourage the use of digital conscience strategies in application fields.

Currently, 70% of customers expect a self-service implementation on a company’s website.

Nowadays, customer service is the norm. Consider your customer happily completing an entire transaction journey without the assistance of a LIVE Chat agent or assistance. For example, in the travel industry, everything from online booking to web check-in, printed boarding passes, digital baggage tags, and automated bag drops are available via a smartphone via a self-service portal that requires little to no human interaction. Today’s customers expect instant service and quick response times, which can be met by providing self-service tools. Provide the most frequently asked questions, assist them with screenshots, video, and audio whenever possible, optimise the website to be mobile-friendly, optimise search fields for quick results, and so on.

Encourage social media mentions

Encourage social messages that elicit emotional responses from customers. A sense of belonging, immediate gratification, meant to appeal statements, and so on frequently reduce the vacuum by nearly half of the percentage created in social media. Allow your customers to feel cool, trendy, and sophisticated. They will be motivated to act because they will feel emotionally connected, satisfied, and valued. Not only that but The greater the likelihood of such emotions being expressed on social media and amplified among peer groups, the more likely it is that they will be amplified.

Aids for Video Posting

People form emotional connections with video solutions that are rich in data. They are an excellent way to capture the attention of the audience and influence their decisions. Testimonial video, candid video, awareness video, and seasonal video all appeal emotionally and, when used to reach the right people, can open up a world of untapped opportunities. Emotional responses are profitable and, surprisingly, produce powerful results.

Some examples of EI used in marketing and branding strategies in India:

1. Gillette’s “Perfect Isn’t Pretty” where Emotional Intelligence is used in Branding and Advertising Campaign

As the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro approached, Gillette released an emotional video highlighting four Olympic athletes. It demonstrated that being perfect, which is loosely defined as Olympic-level athleticism, necessitates a great deal of sacrifice and pain. Even though Gillette only sells razors, which are only vaguely mentioned in the commercial, the brand created an emotional pull in its audience by aligning itself with the world’s hard workers. While viewers may not know what kind of product features Gillette can provide, they do know what kind of mission the brand supports. And this will be useful when buyers are ready to buy new razors.

2. "Thank You, Mom – Strong" by P&G

P&G created another extremely emotional campaign for the 2016 Rio Olympics, emphasising the role of mothers in our lives. In this video, Olympic athletes recall how their mothers encouraged and comforted them as children, which gives them the confidence to compete in the Olympics. P&G is a company that encompasses a wide range of products all aimed at the home, so doing a little emotional branding on the home aspect of their company just as millions of people sit down to watch their commercial from home is a powerful move.

3. The "Let's Keep Traveling Forward" Campaign by Airbnb

In 2018, Airbnb launched the “Let’s Keep Traveling Forward” campaign in response to the US travel ban. They mention a highly contentious piece of legislation that barred several countries from visiting the United States due to their religion and/or involvement in certain American-centred international political scandals. Many people around the world, including Airbnb’s founders, were understandably outraged by this move. They took advantage of the opportunity to invite their audience’s rage while also providing a positive beacon to cling to.

4. Nike's "Believe in Something" marketing and Advertising Campaign

Nike took a risk in this sentimental ad campaign by teaming up with an athlete best known for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against African American men in the United States. As a result, half of the country was outraged and burned their Nike merchandise in protest. The other half was praising the brand and buying Nike products to support it. Nike, on the other hand, was the talk of the country that year, regardless of which side you were on.

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In a nutshell, yes. When you use emotional intelligence to your advantage, you are more likely to drive traffic to your website. Specifically, you should get a better inflow because you should have a better understanding of your user’s search intent and the context surrounding their search.

This is why it’s critical to keep your audience’s emotions in the forefront of your mind as you create content. When you can connect on an emotional level with website visitors, they are far more likely to click through to your website and stay to see what you have to offer.

Siddharth Agarwal

Content writer

Oshi Jain

Graphic designer

Ashish Singh


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