Traditional marketing theory tells us that when consumers shop, they prioritize rational over emotional decision making, considering factors such as function, quality, and price before anything else. But behavioral economics – the theory that consumers’ purchasing behavior is linked to psychological, cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural factors – tells another story.
According to Gallup, buying decisions may be weighted in favor of emotional thinking as drastically as 70% emotional and 30% rational. They also found in a study of 10 companies that those who applied behavioral economics in their business strategies outperformed peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin during a one-year period.
As sellers near the busiest time of year for retail, it can be incredibly impactful to take a moment to reassess your marketing collateral. Are you appealing to emotional thinking on your product detail pages and banner ads? Do your social ads come across as personable and relatable?
Drawing on emotional factors to influence shoppers’ decisions doesn’t mean that marketers should ignore pragmatic factors. They are top buying considerations. Rather, it means that marketers should enhance their answers to pragmatically-minded questions by delivering them within an appeal to emotional decision making.
Incorporating an appeal to emotional thinking in marketing can be done in your visuals and images.
In visuals, it involves showing positive emotions, such as joy, relief, or pride. It highlights the experiences enjoyed because of a product.
This image from JumpOff Jo’s Blanket Fort is a prime example. In this image, the product is part of the background, and the focus is instead on the experience: The kids are bonding, enjoying spending time together in their blanket fort.
This image is great for use on a website, social media, and the Amazon listing page. It appeals to our emotions and helps us visualize using it with our own families. To complete their pitch and also appeal to rational thinking, JumpOff Jo includes studio images as well, which highlight product features.
Reach out to Kaspien’s Creative Services team to produce custom photos, videos, or graphics.
In copy, appealing to emotion relies on the writer’s principle of “show, don’t tell.” Instead of writing, “your child will love riding their new bike,” you can write, “Watch your little one whoop and laugh, eyes wide, as they race down the road by themselves for the first time.” The former tells; the latter shows.
This approach to copy and visuals can and should done in any media representing your brand, from your packaging to your Amazon listings.
One brand that executes this well is Big Betty, a brand that makes oversized glassware and novelty items, including Pinot Protector, an elastic wine stopper.
They utilize the same personality and humor from the product in the listing copy, without sacrificing keyword density. Their branding is consistent across media, and their appeal to emotion (in this case, an admittedly crass sense of humor) is woven together with pragmatic factors, such as the airtight seal and reusability.
Marketing to rational thinking comes easily, but it can be tricky to consistently market to emotional thinking as well. The most effective way to ensure that you consistently appeal to emotional thinking is to incorporate it into your branding.
To create effective branding, it should be framed as a story. All good stories have distinct characters, which means your brand needs to have a distinct look and feel. This includes your imagery and copy across all channels, offline and online.
Offline and online marketing impact each other, especially when they’re coordinated to work in tandem. If you’re memorable in one place, you’re memorable elsewhere. That’s what makes cross-channel marketing one of the most effect tactics in the industry. Shaping a good story across your brand outlets can provide a significant advantage across channels, especially on the highly saturated marketplace that is Amazon.
Our favorite stories consist of protagonists to root for, sympathize with, and relate to. They share our values, inspire us, make us laugh, or provide something else of tangible or intangible value. A marketer’s job is to make that protagonist your brand, there to help your customers overcome problems and achieve goals.
By creating a distinct, personable, relatable, and truthful brand persona, you make your brand memorable, invite increased engagement, and earn customer trust.
Branding is multifaceted and varies greatly by industry, but here are a few universal tips for how to get started: