Emotional Branding Psychology: Creating Brand Trust in the Mind of Your Consumer
Emotion is the most powerful motivational force known to humans. Emotions stem from the subconscious mind and they are the real reason why brands exist, and will continue to do so.
The previous post emphasized the importance of drawing emotion from your consumers for your brand. When trying to connect with your consumer, it’s essential to build a relationship between your brand and your consumer that fosters high love and high respect – i.e. it’s essential to make your brand a ‘LoveMark‘.
Every relationship comes with obligations which require both parties to take some form of effort-based action. Maintaining your friendships, family relations, and spousal relations, require effort on both parts. Maintaining the relationship between the brand and the consumer, requires effort on both parts. The moment the emotions disappear, the desire to fulfill obligations and to take action also disappears. And that’s when the relationship starts to deteriorate.
Brand’s live in the mind, but they cause ACTION from the heart.
As brand owners, you want your consumers to make the effort to take action towards your brand. You want them to buy your product or service. You want them to speak of your brand. You want them seek out your brand wherever they go. In the same way, your consumer expects your brand to fulfill its own obligations as well. Why? Because the relationship can’t be one-sided. Because at the end of the day, your consumers will only take action towards your product or service if they’re driven by emotion.
So what are the obligations that are expected of your brand, by your consumer?
A quick psychology lesson:
In evolutionary psychology, one of the fundamental human needs that we have developed is the need for a sense of control. This need is perhaps the deepest need people have. It’s related to survival and is sustained by the need to predict and have a sense of certainty. From an evolutionary standpoint, if we are in control of our environment, then we have a better chance of survival. One of the ways we acquire a sense of control, is by giving it to others who we TRUST. Trust and control support one another. Not only does trust give control, but the need for a sense of control drives us to seek trust. If you trust a close friend with your car keys, your need for a sense of control is satisfied because you can comfortably predict and know that your car is safe and will be returned to you.
Now what does this mean for your consumer’s relationship with your brand? Through our close relationships, we are able to satisfy this need of a sense of control because we tend to highly trust those individuals whom we LOVE and RESPECT, the LoveMark’s of our lives. Thus, the way to create love and respect for your brand, the way to create a LoveMark brand, is through maintaining and creating TRUST for your brand in your consumer’s mind.
Consumers want to be able to know with great conviction, what will be the outcome for them if they take the action that you are requesting. “What will happen after I buy your product?” “How can I believe you?” “Why should I believe you?”
Brands need to communicate these things to their consumers. Your brand needs to communicate what consumers can expect if they choose your brand. Answering these questions is the opportunity for a brand to build trust with its consumers, because trust enables prediction.
So how can a brand build long-lasting trust with its consumers? As a brand owner, how can you ensure that the fulfillment of your consumer’s deepest evolutionary need is associated with your brand? The answer is through the BRAND PROMISE.
A company’s brand is a promise. Successful brands consistently deliver on their promises which is how they create brand value and brand trust. Just like with any relationship, trust is stable as long as promises aren’t broken. If you break a promise, you are cutting into the ‘evolutionary’ needs of an individual, which will naturally lead to STRONG negative emotional reactions.
Examples of successful promises kept:
FedEx – Your package will get there overnight. Guaranteed.
Apple – You can own the coolest, easiest-to-use cutting-edge computers and electronics.
Coors Light – “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer”
Geico – “15 Minutes of Less can save you 15% or More on Car Insurance”
Examples of false promises: Just checkout this blog called Alphaila, where brands have made numerous false promises to their consumers. Although these promises are visual-based advertisements, I don’t get how fast food companies don’t realize that creating such fantasy based ads is more detrimental than beneficial. Promises matter to consumers.
It’s amazing when once in a while, a brand like Volkswagen releases an honest, genuine, and sometimes even self-deprecating ad. Is it really surprising that those are the ads that effectively gain our trust? Is it really surprising that when we actually try their product or service, we realize it’s actually pretty good? Authentic ads demonstrate the brand’s self-confidence. Consumer’s recognize this on a deeper level – there must be a reason for someone to be so confident.
How do you deliver on your brand promise?
In the next few posts I will write on creating effective brand promises and brand promise strategy.
For now, it’s important to realize that brands need to build trust through minor promises. This is one strategy that is sure to work. Trust is built through reliability – this is extremely true for consumers. The more reliable a brand is, the more confidence consumer’s will have in it, and the more trust will be built in the brand-consumer relationship. As promises are consistently and repeatedly kept, over time trust is guaranteed to increase.
Feel free to contact me with your thoughts, questions, and ideas.