Getting emotional: Using feelings to connect with customers
There are simply too many options in the retail space these days. From electronics to beverages to fashion, customers are exposed to thousands of products every day through online ads, TV, and radio. Consider this: 15 minutes of every hour of paid television are allocated to ads. Factor in online ads, branded messages on apps and innumerable emails and messages, and it’s easy to imagine how saturated an average customer is of the run-off-the-mill content, promising the “best products at the best prices.”
In a study conducted by the IPA databank, which contains 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns, campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those with only rational content.
In short, ads that make people emotional have a higher chance of getting them to buy their products. This makes sense based on what scientist already know about the brain, i.e., people feel first and think second.
A good example of such marketing is India’s latest smartphone maker – Realme. Launched in May 2018, the company has launched two mobile phones till now. Its first device, Realme 1, won the title of the top rated mobile phone in Amazon’s best sellers’ rankings. This was followed by a new iteration, Realme 2, which sold 370,000 units within 10 minutes across two sales on Flipkart, setting the platform’s record for sales of a single mobile phone product.
The runaway success of Realme can be attributed to not only its emphasis on creating gaming phones with long battery life and diamond-cut graphics on the back cover but also its focus on reaching out to the younger crowd through its advertising. Owing to its pocket-friendly pricing, a notched screen and ultra-fast processor, the company’s Facebook page is filled with customers enquiring about new launches from the company. In contrast to other brands which try to serve large chunks of the age demographic, Realme is unabashedly vocal about its target audience and has reaped rewards for having its finger on the pulse of the post-millennial customer.
Connect with your target audience
With the youth being one of the largest consumer groups today, more and more brands are trying to reach out to them. Realme has done very well in this space. Its brand positioning is ‘Proud to be Young’, which, in effect, is all about celebrating the ideals of the younger generation. The young are those who always strive for the best; they are their own mentors; and they are never afraid to chase their dreams.
The thoughts are best captured in a film that Realme recently came out with, which features three youngsters living in New York City. One of them is an Indian boy, who, despite his educational commitments, chooses to pursue his passion for boxing.
Realme’s phones are also such that they complement the lifestyles of the youth. No wonder, then, that the brand has emerged as a market disruptor today. Realme is one of the fastest growing smartphone brands in India, with a 4% online market share in just 30 days in 2018 Q2, according to Counterpoint! Realme 2 sold 2 lakh units in the first phase and 1.7 lakh units in the second phase, successfully completing the sale of 1 million handsets.
The handset manufacturer now plans to take over the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Emotion is key
Often, people rely on emotions, rather than information, to decide if they like one brand more than others. Another fine example of this is Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) Christmas ad starring Paddington Bear. The ad, which features Paddington Bear along with a burglar dressed as Santa Claus, has very little product placement but scores high on inducing a spirit of festive cheer among the audience. Such meaningful content, which evokes feelings of intense happiness, warmth, and nostalgia, are more likely to get customers to view one brand more favorably than others.
Another interesting example is that of the sports apparel brand Under Armour. Its founder Kevin Plank, a football player at the University of Maryland in the mid-1990s, was frustrated by the normal cotton T-shirts which got sweat-soaked during games. He, however, noticed that compression shorts worn during practice stayed dry. This inspired him to make a T-shirt using moisture-wicking synthetic fabric. The signature story continues to provide authenticity to the brand.
While it is hard work to trigger the right emotions, from the right audience, at the right time, emotional marketing will increase brand loyalty and attract future customers to your company.
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