Emotional Marketing: Understand How Emotions Can Help Your Business.

Capture customer’s attention is not enough: we have to retain him and, for that, to know him. Which tool can find a business to understand, charm, unite and keep its target? EMOTIONAL MARKETING of course! This concept is at the heart of effective marketing strategies, as explained in this article from Business2Community. You must forget purely informative and rational advertising campaigns: they are outdated because they are inefficient to win the support and to unite ever more volatile and urged customers (source). Now, marketing is based on emotions understanding.  The challenge is twofold: we need to arouse chosen emotions but also to respond to others sentiments to control them. You can be sure that a skillfully touched customer is a conquered and, therefore, an acquired client.

So, here is a range of emotions with proven effectiveness in marketing. You’ll find in this article decrypted emotional strategies and, emotions being reversible (fear can excite as much as terrify, sadness can touch and bore…), here are some traps to avoid…

1/ Happiness

This is THE emotion: the most widespread in marketing, the most incarnate in ads.

Because seeing people happy is contagious, based its marketing campaign on happiness brought by the acquisition or the use of a product is sure to win the support of the audience. Doped by positive messages, the public is conquered and wants more. It shares its sentiments with others and becomes itself an interesting relays for the brand that can rely on the virality of this feeling. Indeed, happiness involves satisfaction, pleasure, excitement and sharing. It is a productive sentiment resulting in consumption behavior: when we are happy, we want to enjoy, to savor. Advertisers understood that and many of them base their marketing strategy on this emotion. Today, we must be inventive in our use of happiness and renew our ways to generate joy.

©Coca-Cola based for a long time its campaigns on happiness (left, 2013) but the company decided to change its strategy this year (right, 2016).

Concretely, how to take advantage of a happy customer? Making him unconscious spokesman of his speech. Because a happy customer is a customer who verbalize his happiness and creates a wave of praise, he became an active supporter for the company. From target, he turns into commercial agent with the vector of pleasure and satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential for a company to know how arouse happiness, how to renew and maintain it, and how to transform it into loyal and active involvement of the consumer.

2/ Surprise

Obviously, the surprise appears as a seller emotion: if you surprise your consumer, you capture his attention and tickle his comfort zone. Often, if you generalize the effect of unexpected, you will create buzz and generate noise, these are factors conducive to a successful marketing campaign. Strike a customer by offering the newest, the incredible is to contact to his instinct of discover and to feed their curiosity. You incite your consumer to be seduced by the experience. It’s then your turn to transform the test in practice, the attempt in recurrence. For this, you will have to be creative, original, and not to hesitate to think outside the box.

©Guigoz 2012, this ad knew buzz thanks to its surprising point of view taken by the brand.

Yet, remain vigilant: surprise attracts the customer, but it doesn’t necessarily allows keep him! We must therefore keep ourselves from oversell the product provided at risk of disappoint the customer who expected better. Feeling fooled, he will not hesitate to run out on your company. Remind also to surprise regularly! When innovation becomes a corporate identity, it permits the creation of a strong connection with your consumers eager to discover the next surprise, therefor they are strongly engaged to your brand.

3/ Fear

After happiness, fear is the emotion most used in emotional marketing, especially in prevention campaigns (alcohol, tobacco …). Indeed, a terrifying content has the power to make a campaign viral: causing fear among consumers will encourage them to share their experience with others, either to reassure or to prevent them.


©Mudra Group 2010, Bangalore – Awareness campaign about road safety.

But be careful when you use this emotion: a too strong sentiment will get the upper hand on the provided information and on the desired effect! The consumer will just focus on the anxiety generated by the advertising and will mask the message trying to be transmitted. Even worse, shocked, emotionally abused, this customer will probably not want to hear more about this advertising, he will avoid it and try to forget. Goodbye marketing and any seduction strategy because a frightened target is a target which twist and flee. So, it is essential to know reasons of the anxiety its audience, to anticipate restraints to purchasing and to identify any potential blockages. It will permit to neutralize them and to consider a metered, thoughtful and mastered usage of this feeling both exciting and unstable. If to alarm his client is an interesting emotional strategy, it is still necessary to do it in a hushed, calculated and reversible way.

4/ Sadness

Sadness and disappointment are emotions related to our own bad experiences. It is a feeling rarely used because brands don’t want to be associated with bad experiences of their consumers to avoid a negative impact on their image. However this emotion, if well mastered, can cause consumer’s empathy which will build a closer and sustainable relationship with the brand which succeed to touch his deepest feelings.


©Acção Animal 2008, how to use animals’ sadness to forbid their use in circus.

A sad client was at first a loyal customer who has been disappointed or frustrated by the brand, this is now a potential deserter. Yet, expressing his sadness he warned an alert to the company, he points out that something is wrong. The company has to know how to understand these signals because they can highlight problems that the brand was not aware, but which strongly dislike the clients. Paying attention to the causes of sadness is a way for the company to implement customer experience improvement levers and recover the confidence of these consumers willing to leave.


This is an inherently viral emotion: an angry person is rarely silent. On the contrary, he shouts his anger, he shares his irritation! Consequently, it becomes productive in emotional marketing to generate this reaction to encourage consumers to share content.  But like sadness, anger is an emotion that you need to well master and to skillfully dose to avoid Bad Buzz. The main objective is to encourage consumers to convey information, not enrage them!

Colère Perrier.jpg

©Perrier 1990 : to use anger to express his desire for the product.

Also, anger should be clearly identified and guided. It must not carry directly on the company but provide a simple immediate, spontaneous, ephemeral mood. It is essential that it doesn’t continue because an angry customer is an opponent of the brand: he wants to harm it. Well, once this stage reached, it’s certainly losing its consumer. To avoid this pitfall, we have to handle anger with caution and restraint, and also react quickly, efficiently and in a satisfying way to its possible unwanted emergence. In case of not premeditated or desired anger from a client, it will be to calm him faster pleasing the user and canceling its unpleasant feeling.

6/ Disgust

Disgust is a violent and uncontrolled bodily aversion. However, this emotion is not reduced to an exclusively negative feeling. Rather, it has a commercial interest and can be used in a clever strategy of emotional marketing. This is the case in campaigns used to denounce bad behavior or to incite to boycott. Repulsion is then used for its destructive effect: the objective is to shock consumers and to make them stop using the offending brand.

Advertising from ©GreenPeace 2010 against ©Nestlé and its intensive use of palm oil.

Strong emotions with a large memorial power, disgust may raise against a competitor but shall not be turned towards his own project. Indeed, a disgusted customer is usually lost. He is lost so much definitively that the cost of re-acquisition would be too high to hire. Because disgust leaves a marked and indelible taste, because it is almost impossible to delete it, it’s better to avoid a bad use.

Happiness, surprise, sadness, fear, anger, disgust. These are all emotions essential to build an impactful, involveful and, therefor, successful marketing strategy. To master them in their appearance, their effects, their sustainability is therefore essential. For this, know your customer, his strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and inclinations, is the cornerstone of building a strong, sustainable and especially productive relationship.

Now, it’s your turn to look into emotions of your audience in order to decrypt and better control them. Decrypt them for free thought our online emotional analysis platform: http://qemotion.com/

Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and discover several times a week current news analyzed by the Q°emotion platform!

Crédit Photo : Inside OutDisney Pixar


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