There are lots of ways that a brand can approach customers. An interesting brand story, a strange brand name that provokes customers’ curiosity or simply a funny brand logo that impresses a teenager at first sight, etc. could be examples for the different approaches. All let me think of the human emotion that a brand aims at. Or I could say that it somehow is called emotional branding.
The term Emotional branding, first defined by Marc Gobe in the book named: Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People. There also found many sources that refer to this term. To me, emotional branding is a way a product creates a particular feeling inside or toward the customers. Joseph Neusy, a Digital Marketing Strategist, has said that: “Emotional branding is the practice of creating a love affair between consumers and a product”
An emotion is something that is irrational, non-cognitive and inexplicable. For different brands, consumers surely have different feelings that come very naturally indeed. What makes a brand stand out in a crowd is such the positive feelings it brings to customers and if it is strong enough for the next purchase. In the market that more and more similar brands are introduced, consumers are purchasing more with irrational decisions than rational ones (factors influence customers ‘purchase are 80% emotional and 20% intellectual). So the role of a smart marketer is to catch customers’ needs, to reach their heart before reading their minds.
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream has proved quite well the approach of using human emotion in brand building. First of all, such brand has an emotional story, which is about the long-term relationship of the two childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. They started in 1978 which the ice-cream business at an abandoned gas station in Nothern Vermont. The idea is just simply that something that creates mouth-feeling – so big chunks added in the ice-cream (Chunky Monky). The image of the two founders of Ben & Jerry basically recalls an image of ones that have a dream and are always trying to achieve it. Like other businessmen, they have to grow their business, to struggle for it and to success after great efforts.
Furthermore, I bet most of you have tried Ben and Jerry at least once. I do not know which feeling you guys have about their ice-cream. I just simple felt so great and a bit curious of what I am going to bite when having a box of new Ben & Jerry’s products. It is because the product name sometimes does not tell so much about what it has inside. Well, I would say fun names (e.g. Chubby Hubby) and surprise chunks are Ben & Jerry’s.
Another aspect to share is about their packaging design. It is quoted that “a brand package is designed to satisfy consumers; functional and emotional needs” (Laforet 2010). With the use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Paperboard Containers, it proves the care of Corporate Social Responsibility. Once again, an emotional connection through the use of environmentally friendly ingredient is created. It is clearly that Ben and Jerry has created the bonding connection between the products and customers through many ways. People who come to Ben & Jerry’s trucks enjoy fun, creativity and love.
So how about you? Does any brand come to your mind with a strong emotion? And do you think that it is really a very smart and effective way to influence customer’s purchasing decision in a very saturated market today?
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Laforet, S. (2010). Managing Brands: a Contemporary Perspective. McGraw-Hill Education, Berkshire, UK