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Industry Insights

Harnessing Consumer Emotions: Recharge Your Brand and Fuel Growth

By Akhila Sriram on September 21, 2021

In the age of advanced technology and the informed consumer, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and firmly plant your brand’s image in consumers’ minds. Better products lead to more imitations and as such, competition is at an all-time high. So how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? By harnessing consumer emotions and using them to provide your brand with a fresh new voice that genuinely connects with your customers.

It is an age-old idea that consumer emotions drive brands. Several academic publications and practitioner research that have been conducted over the years corroborate the same. Studies have shown that emotions play a big role when it comes to decision-making, more so than logic. By tapping into the powerful behavioral effects that emotions have, you can fuel growth. Having understood the primacy of consumer emotions, what can you do to revitalize your image? Here are some tips to utilize emotions to grow your brand:

Defining the tone of your brand

The first step towards harnessing consumer emotions is to understand broadly what tone you want your brand to convey. It is important to recognize the different types of emotions that are generally applicable to your product or service, and hone in on one that you find most suitable. Think about your previous experiences with similar products/services to help you out. As you grow your business and gain customers, you can use their opinions to help guide what emotions your brand should relay.

Furthermore, you can use this information to develop guidelines for tone of voice, visual design concepts, and documents, such as through brand books. Having these guidelines in place will ensure that your company has a consistent tone. There may be times where your tone will have to shift, such as creating content that is focused on real world events. While it is fine to alter your tone at those particular moments, you need to ensure that it does not impact your brand’s overall voice. Be sure to always refer back to your established guidelines to stay on track.

Branded content

If you want to create an emotional connection with your target audience, you need to have a steady stream of content. The aim of this content cannot just be about simply getting social media attention and impressions. It needs to go beyond that and tap into an underlying emotion that may not be obvious at first. While this is no easy task, it is imperative that you get this right to truly connect with your audience.

Content consumption has drastically changed over the years. These days anyone can make content, not just massive organizations with large resources. This means that you need to work even harder to reach your audience, which is why tapping into emotions is so vital. A leading business review reports that customers who are “fully connected” emotionally are 52% more valuable to brands as compared to those who are just ‘highly satisfied’.

Refine your content targeting

Think about who you are trying to build an emotional connection with, and what that connection is. In today’s world, there are several touchpoints with your customers, and it’s fairly easy to get your messaging mixed up. Not having a clear messaging strategy can mean that you lose the opportunity to connect with some of your target audience. This is why the first point of this article is so crucial, it defines who you are going to connect with and how. Brands nowadays simply do not have the luxury of satisfying a variety of emotions, as competition in terms of content consumption is at its peak.

You need to narrow down which particular emotions you are chasing as much as possible. This may involve not even targeting all your current customers.  Rather than trying to please everyone, it is better to instead target a smaller and more defined portion of your audience. Put your efforts into learning their underlying motivators and discover the emotional triggers that you would integrate into your content strategy and overall tone of voice. Having accomplished this, you will be able to thrive in the niche you have discovered. Furthermore, as people interact with and share your content, your reach will grow organically to consumers who relate to the emotions you convey but were previously not your target audience. Growing in this way is easier and more sustainable than using a one-size-fits-all strategy, where you are trying to capture everyone’s attention with a generic emotion, and inevitably end up failing because you were not able to truly connect with anyone.

Using customer data to help you

There are several ways in which data can help you hone in on the emotions your customers relate to. One example is using text analytics. Text analytics refers to the process of converting unstructured text data into something that is meaningful for analysis. It gives insight into your customers’ minds, helping you understand elements like their opinions, feedback, and reviews, all of which can help further define the emotions you should focus on.

With text analytics, you can carry out exercises such as sentiment analysis, social media monitoring, and concept extraction, and can be applied towards understanding relationships between entities, understanding voice of customer, and learning about your customers’ experiences. All these exercises will allow you to truly put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Having this ability positively impacts the content you create as it will be more relevant, and, in turn, will bring out desired outcomes such as increased reach, revenue, and growth.

Other ways data can help you can include techniques such as voice and facial analysis. Remember that these exercises are iterative and will have to be carried out periodically for sustainable benefits.


OSG’s Work in Marketing and Customer Experience

At OSG, we are focused on creating experiences that help you understand your customers better. Our AI-driven big data analytics platform, OSG Dynamo™, can be a trusted partner on your journey towards harnessing consumer emotions. Dynamo can help capture the key messages which are unique and resonate with your target audience. Furthermore, Dynamo can also help ensure that these messages will reach the largest audience, as well as change consumer behavior in a way that positively impacts your business.

ASEMAP™, our bespoke behavioral analytics engine, uses a trade-off methodology to test various messages on your audience. This process ensures that messages are prioritized in terms of impact on consumer, thereby providing your business with a optimal messaging strategy that leads to growth.