by Katie Mientka

What happens when you watch a Nike commercial?

Did you get a little choked up? Did you feel inspired? Motivated? Excited? Encouraged? Proud? Did you feel great? Did you lace up your shoes and get up off the couch? Admit it: this ad had you all in the feels. This is the power of emotional appeal, and Nike just does it. They are masters of brand storytelling. They also have a $3.6+ billion annual advertising and marketing budget, so they can afford to be that brilliant. The good news is that you can leverage the power of emotional appeal and storytelling to build your brand – and do so at a price point we’re going to guess is somewhere south of $3.6 billion.

Packing an Emotional Appeal Punch

Think about how many words you consume online every day. If it seems like a lot… it is. Americans are exposed to more than 100,000 digital words every single day. Now think about how many of these words resonate with you. Considerably fewer than 100,000, right?

There is typically a commonality among those that do stick: they tell a tale. Ninety-two percent of consumers want brands to create ads that feel like stories. Why?

We are hardwired for story. When we hear a well-told story, our brain mirrors the person who is telling it. That’s right: our brain reacts just as if we were living the adventure, the struggle, the tragedy, or the comedy for ourselves. We feel what they felt; we experience their emotions.

Our bodies release cortisol, a stress hormone which makes us root for the hero as they endure conflict. We also release oxytocin, a.k.a. the bonding chemical. This is what makes us care; this is what makes us empathize. And it is what makes us remember: we are 22 times more likely to remember a story than fact alone.

There’s a lot going on here: our brains are lit up on several levels, and our bodies respond like we’re actually walking in the main character’s shoes. For all intents and purposes, we are living the story, and feeling every bit of it.

Why Emotional Connection Matters

Let’s get down to brass tacks. So, you tell a great brand story. So, your emotional appeal created a connection with consumers. So what? How does this benefit your business?

  • Forrester research indicates that emotion is the single biggest driver of loyalty.
  • Emotionally loyal customers (i.e. those who are emotionally engaged, advocate for and recommend a brand, and will spend with that brand no matter what) spend twice as much or more on brands to whom they are loyal.
  • Brands with emotionally connected customers increase basket size (i.e. number of items sold in a single transaction), purchase frequency, and profits.
  • Emotional engagement can boost annual revenue by 5%.
  • 86% of consumers with high emotional engagement immediately think of the brands to which they are loyal when they need something.
  • 82% of emotionally engaged consumers always buy from that brand when they need something.
  • 80% will promote the brand to their friends and family.

Forging an emotional connection to your prospects and customers pays off.

Leverage the Art of Brand Storytelling

Telling compelling brand stories is key in establishing, nurturing, and maintaining an emotional connection with your target consumers. And, as we mentioned, you don’t need a Nike-sized budget to do it. What you do need is authenticity. This is what resonates with people.

In this video for Wesley’s Landscape & Lawncare, for example, we get a glimpse into the company’s terrific employees and culture. When management noticed that their people started playing some pickup soccer on Friday afternoons, they wanted to join in on the fun! Wesley’s prepared a field, put up goals, gave each employee a personalized jersey, and created a great team-building activity that everyone loves.

This is a story that gives folks insight into Wesley’s; it makes the company human, and we feel a connection to good people doing good work, together. And it didn’t break the bank!

Whether you need to start or strengthen the emotional pull of your brand, get in touch with Haven.

Are you connecting with your prospects and customers on an emotional level? Are you telling brand stories that resonate and compel them to action? We’ll help you tell your story of experience – with impact.

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