Are your customers in the mood for buying?

In a crowded marketplace, there may be little to differentiate one product from another, so we go with the brand we trust – the one we feel provides the most value. Trust has both an emotional and a logical dimension.

Even if we’re not engaging directly with a person when we’re contemplating a purchase – it maybe a website, an advertisement or an in-store display – whichever it is, we still engage with our emotions because that’s what humans are programmed to do. Although we like to think of ourselves as rational, weighing up the pros and cons of a particular purchasing decision, it is often the brand personality rather than a specific utility that is the key lever in our buying decision.

If there are two key messages in marketing, it is these: your marketing should appeal to human emotions; equally, your brand should express a personality; because a personality is founded on emotion and engages people by acting as a mirror to their own emotions.

Thus, your design needs a personality, while your copy has two objectives: to make consumers feel something and then to propel them to act on those emotions. Once you have identified the target audience and segmented them into relevant groups (it’s not one-size-fits-all), you need to consider what the emotional triggers might be that will help you connect with them as individuals.

Here are five ideas (there are others – contact us if you’d like to know more) for making that vital connection:

Trust – This is a hot one, especially after the financial crisis and a decade or more of mis-selling scandals. We increasingly buy from trusted brands.

Value – Value is essential. It is not the same as price and doesn’t mean you are the cheapest on the market – you can add value in many ways.

Belonging – People are tribal, and consumers often purchase a product to feel part of a specific group. Can you make customers feel part of your family?

Fear – Fear is a powerful emotion and can be used in a wide variety of marketing messages, ranging from cleaning products to insurance.

Guilt – Consumers often respond to messages that trigger emotions of guilt – think pester power for children’s toys or the potency of the messaging around TV campaigns like Comic Relief and Children in Need.