Show Some Emotion in Your Marketing

Jan 10, 2019

What do companies like Apple, Coke, and Nike all have in common? Successful emotion-based marketing. Meaning, the ability to make you feel. Feel like you’re trendy, close to friends, or athletic; feel like you’re using a quality product; feel loyalty to the brand; feel like you’re part of something bigger.

At the upcoming AESP 29th Annual Conference & Expo in San Antonio, TX, Nexant’s Brie Gutmann and Shelly Dolbeer are teaming up with Cindy Sargent at Brainspur. Their hands-on lab will give you practical tools for adding some drama to your customer data that will make marketing messages more powerful and meaningful, so you can kick-start real-world adoption of these ideas for success over the long run.

Why is there so much emphasis on emotions? Emotions play a big role in our decision making, even though we may not realize it. Scientists have found evidence that humans feel first and think second. When confronted with sensory information, the emotional section of the brain can process the information in one-fifth of the time the cognitive section requires.

Emotions also play a large role on brand loyalty. According to a 2016 study by the Tempkin Group, when individuals have a positive emotional association with a specific brand, they are 8.4 times more likely to trust the company, 7.1 times more likely to purchase more, and 6.6 times more likely to forgive a company’s mistake. In 2016 Nielsen released a study which revealed that ads with an above average emotional response from consumers caused a 23% increase in sales compared to average advertisements. And the Harvard Business Review has also stated that a positive emotional bond with a company is more important to consumers than customer satisfaction.

Most energy efficiency marketing currently focuses on the energy efficiency, savings, and other facts. Remember what successful brands like Apple, Coke, and Nike use their advertising? Not facts. Motivation, behavior, and emotions are what they focus on. As most consumer decisions are made based on emotion, there’s no reason the same principles employed by the big brands can’t apply to utilities selling energy efficiency programs, products, or behavioral changes.

When choosing emotions for your campaign, make sure they fit within the brand, so it seems like a natural extension of your marketing strategy. Take the time to ensure you have a strong understanding of the emotional drivers in your category.

For example, when people build a new home, they are emotionally attached to this investment. They look at features such as aesthetics: countertops, color, thickness of carpet, etc. So don’t try selling them on the energy efficiency aspects of an ENERGY STAR home, sell comfort and safety, and other non-energy benefits (NEBs)!

Although we energy geeks totally take into account the energy use and savings in our purchase decision process, others do not. Some of the factors that come into play (and can be used to enhance the emotional driver of your marketing) include: lower hassles in replacing lights, performance and maintenance of appliances & HVAC, productivity benefits for businesses, etc.

Be sure to check out Session 5D: “Want to Drive Customer Behavioral Change? Get Emotional.” on Wednesday, January 23 to learn more! Contact Brie Gutmann or Shelly Dolbeer on LinkedIn if you have any questions or would like to meet up at AESP.