Branding Tag

Welcome to the first in a four-part series in which we'll be exploring major trends in communications for 2022. In this initial installment, we're examining the concept of emotional marketing, its traditional definition,  and its current state. People have been appealing to emotions to motivate others for millennia. Aristotle himself established techniques for emotional appeals that were quite persuasive. While appealing to emotions may seem manipulative, it's usually not nefarious. Emotional marketing connects people with the things they want and need on a deeply personal level. True, some marketing and advertising campaigns play on negative feelings of fear or greed.  Here, however, we're looking at how emotional marketing can elicit positive results, and why it's a major trend in communications with tremendous staying power.

What is emotional marketing?

Emotional marketing identifies and builds on an audience's emotions to market to them more successfully. Rooted in current best practices in research and behavioral psychology,  today's emotional marketing requires a deep understanding of the feelings a specific audience has toward a product or service and its competitors.  To work, emotional marketing has to get a good handle on an audience's vibe, and how it affects their view of the entire product genre. A very simple example is marketing campaigns for online talk therapy providers where emotional marketing is essential to conversion. The target audience naturally includes anyone who's experiencing distressing emotions and could benefit from online mental health counseling. You don't have to look far on Twitter to see people tweeting about their struggles with mental wellbeing - and you also don't have to look far to see ads for these therapy providers in the same places.

Is it ethical?

celebrity spokespersonI've worked with a fair number of famous people, from Ralph Nader to guys from Duck Dynasty. Although it's really not in my wheelhouse anymore I sometimes still get calls to find out how much it would cost for a celebrity to attend their event, endorse their product or contribute to their non-profit cause.   No matter how great your product , or how important your cause, stars generally don't do anything for free unless its for their own foundation (or for George Clooney). The good news is that almost any celebrity can  be booked if you have enough money. Here are a few tips for figuring out how to find someone, how much they cost and what the process might be like.
  • Find out who represents them. The easiest way is to buy a subscription to Who Represents an online listing of virtually every celebrity agent, publicist and manager.  Although some people like to go through managers first, I always call the agent. Agents are usually straightforward, no BS types who will give you prices and explain the ins and outs of back-end deals and endorsements.
  • Know your budget.

Why are Bond films so successful? First, you start with an incredible hero brand. Enter the dynamic James Bond -- a man with a hypnotic and cheeky personality loved by both men and women. He owns the coolest gadgets and cars on the planet and saves the world from destruction and terror. What more is there to love? Throw in a far-fetched espionage script with exotic cinematography set in stellar locations coupled with electrifying stunts. And finally, no Bond film is ever complete without a creepy assassin and an uptight British supporting cast. Energy, suspense and sheer entertainment -- therein lies the secret sauce. (No, not the martini.) For more than 50 years, this recipe of success has not changed. And why should it? The Bond brand has kept its core audience and gained new fans along the way. Producer Albert R. Broccoli figured out how to make a ton of gold bullion and keep people coming back 50 years later, despite repackaging the lead a number of times. Here are five things Agent 007 can teach us about branding:
  1. Know your audience. Cater to them and give them everything they expect and love from your brand. Don't mess with your brand. Think Coca-Cola -- don't mess with a good thing.
  2. Keep the message simple. Don't convolute your product message. You can't be everything to everyone, so keep it simple. Brands like Dove, Apple, KFC and Tiffany & Co. all stay closely aligned with their brand purpose and so should you.
  3. Stick to your core product design. We like the tux, we want a catchy theme song, and we relish the villains. Like Bond, stay with what works for you.
  4. Deliver an indelible brand experience. Make your customers feel and appreciate what you do at every touch point. Make them ambassadors of your brand. (Me writing this blog post is an excellent example!)
  5. Keep the brand fresh. Although you have to know what works, you also must ensure your brand is relevant for current audiences. You may be 50 years old, but you've got to keep it fresh. This is what we mean by a "transformative" brand. (Thank you Adele for singing Skyfall.)

One of the greatest examples of integrated marketing communications is a plan so seamless and flawlessly executed that it deserves a place in the hall of fame for a completely immersive experience that didn't even feel like marketing. Who will ever forget the Smell like a Man, Man campaign , AKA “Old Spice Man?” This particular IMC campaign heavily integrated advertising with content and social media marketing. Combining television ads with wildly viral video and above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty social media engagement, Old Spice plucked the memorable, tongue-in-cheek character of Old Spice Man, initially portrayed by Isaiah Mustafa, straight from television screens across the country and deposited him on YouTube. This was the start of pure magic. It all started with a 30 second ad spot that was widely run and exceptionally well received. Realizing the potential reach and cost effectiveness of YouTube, particularly when marketing to a younger generation (the target demographic for their line of body washes – who were already being assailed regularly with memorable ads from brands like Axe), the Old Spice team uploaded additional videos in the campaign series online. Fans of the character could see him in action far beyond the reaches of their TV screens. As interest in the character and the ads became clear, Old Spice released additional television commercials. These were supported with continued YouTube content, one of the first and certainly most spectacular examples of how video on TV and video online can work perfectly together. But Old Spice had the smarts to not just upload ads, but to pay attention to what people were saying to the character in tweets and video responses. They added the perfect twist that accelerated results astronomically. 

In honor of being incredibly lazy this week, here's one of my fave 2009 posts - the last Friday of every month I'll throw a repeat of one of the more popular posts, just in case you missed it! [stextbox id="alert" color="000000" bgcolor="17e8e8"] A product, service or book is probably the greatest thing in the world - to its creator. But when an editor or producers says "pass" it's the publicist who has to tell the client. Sometimes ZERO  media are interested. And for anyone who has written a book, started a business or provided a service, that can be a pretty personally hurtful message no matter how carefully it's couched. For me, it's the equivalent of having to tell clients "your baby is ugly" 95% of the time, without hurting their feelings. Nearly impossible.

[caption id="attachment_928" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Wax Marketing mug to the first 5 who ID this photo"][/caption] I got so many questions about my last post "7 Steps to Bigger Marketing Muscle in 2010" I thought I'd give you some detail on each one of the steps.  Measurement seems to be really tricky for people - but it's actually pretty simple. Once you have some basic measurements in place and you feel a need to go deeper, visit KD Paine's measurement blog - she's the real guru. I'd love to hear specific examples of how people are measuring their own results, so comment away! Here's my quick and dirty take -

I  tell my clients that marketing is a lot like working out - you have to be consistent or you won't see results. No one expects to see muscles popping out all over after one visit to the gym. For the same reaons you can't expect immediate, lasting results from one promotional campaign. As you look toward 2010 and what will surely be a better year for all of us, it might help to build a marketing practice that looks a bit more like a workout schedule. Here are few ways to do just that.

We've had some juicy celebrity crisis' lately that make writing this post lots of fun. When your company, product or personal brand encounters a crisis it's important to decide what 'voice' you're going to use.  Choosing the right approach is one of the reasons little-known (but uber-powerful) flacks like Marty Chalmers and Eliot Mintz make the heavy wood.  Let's take a look at some of the characteristics of voices being used most recently - as well as a few thrown in from the past.

Above It - How can I write this post without addressing Tiger Woods' current situation? As I write this, he has refused to meet with the police and has posted a note on his website thanking his well- wishers and telling everyone the rumors are all lies and he wants to keep this 'private'. First of all, not cooperating with the police right away sends the message that the guy has something to hide. Second, he doesn't tell us what happened. Apparently we aren't privileged enough to hear the real story. How would we feel if Oprah showed up 50 pounds thinner and refused to tell us how she did it? This voice implies arrogance and an attitude that Tiger's above it all. Not a good move for America's favorite sports hero and NEVER a good move if the law is involved.