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Posted on: May 22nd, 2013

Managing Emotions (Part 3 of 3)

Emotional Factors in Marketing & Branding

Humans are emotional beings, so it’s not surprising that using emotions in your marketing strategy and branding can yield powerful results.

Wikipedia defines emotional branding as the focus of “building brands by way of connecting a brand proposition and purpose to people’s emotional need states and aspirations.”

In parts 1 & 2 of this series we discussed how our five senses can help set the mood and how our actions, words and emotions can help manage our customers’ emotions. In this final piece of the series, we will discuss how emotions can be used to create a winning marketing strategy that will keep your customers coming back.

For many years, car washes have been considered a commodity and have been marketed based on price, location, and speed of service.  As competition grows, however, people are starting to have higher expectations and are turning to the service providers they feel an emotional connection to.

The six stages of emotional branding are as follows:

  1. Emotional Stage 1: How do you get someone interested?
  2. Emotional Stage 2: How do you get someone to consider a purchase?
  3. Emotional Stage 3: How do you continually reinforce that their purchase decision was the right, or “winning” decision?
  4. Emotional Stage 4: How do you create a loyal customer?
  5. Emotional Stage 5: How do you create a brand ritual so that your brand becomes part of your customer’s life?
  6. Emotional Stage 6: How do you get your audience to be your cheerleader?

Some of the primary emotional factors in marketing are trust, fear, guilt, pride, love, belonging, and humor. In order to help get someone interested in coming to your car wash, it is important to make them recognize the need, show them they can trust you, and then wow them with the service, quality and value once they come in. If the customer drives away feeling a sense a pride from their sparkling clean car, knowing they got a great value, and feeling empowered that they used an environmentally-responsible wash that recycles water and supports the community, they will not only return to your wash, but become your brand ambassador by telling all their peers about their exceptional experience.

In the same sense, it is crucial to avoid leaving your customers with any negative emotions from using your wash. Long lines, rude employees, dirty surroundings, and equipment that causes damage to one’s vehicle, all leave the customer with feelings of frustration, anger, and a lack of trust. These negative emotions can be disastrous to your reputation and overall branding.

Ultimately, while emotional marketing can be a powerful tool, it is important to maintain honesty and integrity. Making false claims or falling short on the delivery of your promises can compromise your business and have the reverse affect on your marketing strategy.