Many people think that the decisions we make are based on a rational analysis of the alternatives presented to us. The truth is that, on many occasions, our most emotional side influences us to the point of practically deciding for us.

In his book, “Descartes’ Mistake”, Antonio Damasio argues that “emotion is a necessary ingredient in almost every decision we make”. When we are faced with a decision, emotions from previous experiences set values to the options we are considering. These emotions, therefore, create preferences that lead us to choose one option or another.

Emotional marketing: emotions in the decisions we make

Damasio’s vision is based on his studies of people who had damaged the brain area of emotions . These people were capable of processing rational information related to the different alternatives, but were unable to make decisions because they lacked an emotional anchorage to the options they had to decide on.

The importance of branding when choosing

Currently, brands are looking for strategies to build customer loyalty , as well as to capture the attention of new consumers to generate long-lasting relationships. It is not about buying only the product, but about feeling the brand as your own. I’m sure we all have acquaintances who want to buy the Iphone 7 before it is on sale. Successful companies create expectations in individuals and generate emotions through experiences. Thus, they seduce consumers by making them accomplices in their commercial stories and reaching their hearts. By generating proximity to the potential customer in an efficient way, they increase their chances of selling their products. This is what is known as emotional branding or ” branding “.

In his book “Emotional Branding: the new paradigm for connecting brands emotionally”, Marc Gobé explains: “Emotional branding is the conduit by which people subliminally connect with companies and their products in an emotionally deep way. Sony’s innovation, Gucci’s sensual elegance, Vogue’s insatiable glamour, reach us emotionally, awakening our imagination and promising us new realms. Another example may be Nike, which associates its products with great sports stars, in the hope of transferring the customer’s emotional attachment to the brand or product. All these brands have an associated image that generates emotions in customers.

Branding is not just about coming up with a logo, a name or using certain colors. A brand implies the creation of an identity , of a personality, the creation and promotion of certain values that make it desirable from an emotional point of view.

Emotional advertising: selling emotions

The branding is just one example of how it is intended to reach the consumer through the generation of affective relationships. But the concept of emotional marketing does not only include branding through emotions, it also involves generating feelings in your products or making the brand visible. This is achieved through advertising, which is a point of contact with the customer. Examples of advertising are: the retail environment, the merchandising , the company buildings, the digital environment or the media advertisements. Ideally, the creation of a brand and its management should start from branding and be projected through advertising.

With the emergence of emotional marketing, advertising based on highlighting the benefits of what you are trying to sell is lagging behind, as today almost all products offer similar advantages. For this reason, there has been a proliferation of emotional advertising , highlighting above all values associated with the desires, wishes and internal aspirations of potential consumers.

What emotional marketing strategies propose is that in order to leave a mark on the consumer, it is necessary to provide stimulating networks based on pleasure and well-being, accompanying the individual in special and unique moments and situations, or provoking emotional reactions of guilt through unpleasant emotions. For the neurologist Donal Caine ” the essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion incites action , while reason only leads to conclusions”. In other words, the human being is an emotional being, which is transferred to his purchasing decisions. The more intense the emotion (positive or negative) associated with the product or brand, the deeper the neurological connection achieved in the brain of the potential consumer.

That is why advertising campaigns reinforce this association between neural networks, since they are the ones that finally motivate the impulse purchase of certain products. An ad can make you feel more attractive, more sophisticated or, on the contrary, it can make you feel guilty so that you leave money in charity. Through the brand, you can come to believe that you are a tough guy because you drink Jack Daniels or drive a Harley Davidson .

The use of happiness in times of crisis

The companies mentioned above know how to captivate the customer through the 5 senses. By transmitting emotions and feelings, these companies have created a special connection with the customer and have made their products have a special meaning for them.

One of the companies that has used emotional marketing the most is Coca-Cola. This soft drink does not seduce by offering carbonated water full of sugars and colorants, instead it sells happiness. It’s funny how a soft drink that could be calmly associated with obesity ends up becoming synonymous with feeling “happy”. As if this were not enough, in his campaign “Share the Happiness”, he placed dozens of names on his packages and cans, so that people would know that this product had been created specifically for them.

He also created “the happiness cashier”. A teller that could look like any other bank’s, but in reality, it was a teller where people took out 100 euros for free with the only condition of sharing it with someone. It’s already known: in times of crisis, happiness sells .