TRUTH TOLD BEAUTIFULLY- Great Great Brands Don’t Sell Products, They Sell Emotional Connections

Posted by Hanna G Fitz on Monday, May 5, 2014 Under: Brand Development

Most brands spend millions of dollars a year on advertising campaigns, event sponsorship and other promotions. But what sets brands Nike apart from the crowded market for sporting goods or Coco Cola from other fizzy drinks? How did Apple make such a big commercial come back in 1997? What are these brands doing differently? Well you might say they have bigger marketing budgets, but it goes deeper than that. These companies focus on combining key ingredients: the absence of product, drawing attention to their core values by telling truth beautifully and making universal understood emotional connections. Here are some of the ways great brands tap into the hearts of their customers:

  1. Sell Universal Emotions

Regardless of how rational people claim to be, emotions rule our daily lives. People generally make decisions based on how they feel at a particular time. Psychologist, Robert Plutchik developed the emotion wheel and identified 8 primary emotional dimensions: happiness vs. sadness, anger vs. fear, trust vs. disgust, and surprise vs. anticipation.

Often great brands influence our behaviour by tapping into our positive emotions. Tag Heur taps into our trust emotion and challenges our fears by asking “what are you made of”.

Coco- Cola has built its brand around the concept of happiness and is able to create subliminal perception with its “Open Happiness” message. Their advertising often portrays this emotion with various real life experiences. Coco-Cola hardly ever talks about the product, how great it taste, the unique recipe or any product centered information.

Instead they have focused on great storytelling, showing people enjoying life and sharing happy moments. This is the secret of Coco-Cola’s success in branding. While watching the commercial you are on a journey of experiencing the emotions they want you to feel. They also ensure that Coco-Cola is always at the center of these positive experiences, the happy moments that almost everyone can relate to, regardless of demographic, socioeconomic and cultural factors.

See Coco Cola Ad here:

The emotions that they tap into are universal. It’s no surprise that Pharell Williams “HAPPY” song is such a global sensation with over 1,500 Youtube covers globally as of May 2014. People love to feel happy and be associated with happiness.

2. Hero vs. Villain

For as long as anyone can remember, stories of heroes vs. villains have always captured our hearts and emotions. Walt Disney is a global success because of the brand’s ability to create stories that capture our imagination, illustrating the setbacks, challenges and pain, while leaving us with the sweet satisfaction of victory and happily ever after. This has been the magic of Walt Disney, as they stay focused on their core values of dreams can come and good over evil, in all their stories.

Nike which means “victory” uses athletes at the top of their game, pushing their limits to ensure victory against their (mental or external) opponents. Again the product, its features or awards are not mentioned. These athletes wearing Nike, show the brand at the center of their journey to success and the achievement of greatness. This subtle message allows the audience to associate achievement with the brand.

3. Simple and Actionable Message

Great brands like Apple, Nike and Patek Philippe all have very simple taglines that can be universally understood. Apple’s “Think Differently” tagline was launched for the first time in 1997, when Steve Jobs decided to move the company’s branding in the direction of product less marketing.

Apple realized that it had been spending millions of dollars on advertising yet the company nearly hit bankruptcy before Steve Jobs returned and turned things around. The commercials became more purpose driven, inspirational and affirmed that thinking different is an ingredient of greatness. The tagline challenges the customer to think different and challenge the status quo much like Apple.

Nike’s “Just Do It” is an epic tagline that will be talked about for generations to come. This three-word statement is a motivator all by itself. It is a call to action, it sends a message of drive and accomplishment. It is simple yet, everyone, regardless of culture, can relate to it.

Finally, Patek Philippe’s tagline “Begin your own tradition” is simple yet very effective in connecting emotionally with its target audience. Their

campaigns highlight the universal emotion of the father son relationship. Almost everyone can relate to that special piece of jewellery or watch that has been passed down from one generation to the next. If you never had this tradition in your family, then they are challenging you to begin.

Therefore, the key is to connect with the things that matter to people. However, these company combine this with a “call to action” message. Your brand does not need to rant and rave about features and benefits all the time. There is a saying, you gain more from giving. Let the success, joy and achievements of real people speak for your brand. Tap into the emotions that matter to your target audience and do so artfully through great storytelling. Rick Julian said “there is nothing more memorable than truth beautifully told.”

In : Brand Development 

Tags: emotional branding  strategy of great brands 

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