There are many reasons why we decide to make that big (or little) investment. For each and every one of us, that may be a completely different reason, but there’s one common thread… emotional connection. Emotion is the real reason we invest in a program or simply purchase that product. As humans, we tend to back it up with logic to better inform our decision, but at the heart, we say yes or no through solid emotion.
A brand is processed through our subconscious first. We may notice the logo or colors and appreciate it, but we don’t have to consciously notice these things to feel a connection. It’s not one thing that makes up a brand, but many elements that seamlessly work together (photography, copy, logo, colors, and composition). All of the elements that go into a brand create that strong branding and strong connection. It’s through identifying with that brand as a part of ourselves that keeps us as lovers and enthusiasts.
So how do we connect emotion into our own brand? Here are a few ways to make sure your brand is giving off the emotion and solution your right people are looking for.
Understanding the three levels of purchasing…
There are three levels to why someone decides to invest in our services, program, or simply purchase our product. As a business owner, we’ll most likely hear that client/customer’s external problem, aka the more obvious surface level of why they are coming to us. The external problem is what our potential client needs, the actual product or service.
When we go a little bit deeper, we understand our client/customer’s desires towards how our brand can help, showing their internal problem. The internal problem is the core desire that is motivating her/his purchase.
The last level is the heart of the client/customer’s big vision. The emotional problem explains the core feelings she/he desires to have after purchasing.
Here’s a real-life example:
The external problem
Eden needs help and guidance as she transitions to working for herself.
The internal problem
Eden struggles with the thought of branching off on her own. She’s looking for support through this process.
The emotional problem
Eden wants to live a fulfilled life without anything holding her back and is truly afraid to take this big leap. She wants to help others through her own vision and unique voice, and she’s hoping this will in fact happen for her.
When we truly understand our audience’s external, internal, and (most importantly) emotional problems, we’ll help create that emotional connection where the client/customer feels seen.
Take a moment to review your own client/customer avatar, or think back on a past client or customer. Can you identify their external, internal and emotional problems? If you’re not 100% sure, what would you imagine they would be?
Pro-tip: sometimes our own experiences help us better navigate our client/customer’s external, internal and emotional problems. If you’re feeling stuck, think back on your own experience making an investment. How did you feel?
What was the service or product you were seeking (external)? What outcome were you hoping for with that service or product (internal)? What was your core vision (emotional)?
Get this all out on paper to have a clear vision and see how you can start implementing the emotional problem and big vision into your messaging.
Re-visit your mood board or create one…
One of the most important aspects of creating a mood board (or sourcing inspo on Pinterest) is to elicit a certain mood or feeling you’d like your brand to portray. A mood board creates the initial gut feeling your client or customer will have when interacting with your brand. You want to view your mood board as a whole picture and less focused on each visual. These different visuals will help create that unique mood you are working towards.
If you are going for a grounding “I’d like to connect with nature on a deeper level” vibe then the imagery of saturated colors or textures that feel more human-made than natural may not create that same initial gut response towards the emotion you’re striving for.
When you move onto the design phase, referring to your mood board to make sure it gives off that similar feeling is important and really helpful! The subtle emotions and feelings that arise within a simple wordmark can be tough to pin down, but they are there, almost on a subconscious level. Having your brand design and mood board side by side can be really useful to see if they connect and complement each other.
Take a moment to update your own mood board (if it needs a refresh) or create one from scratch. You can do this through Pinterest and create a specific board for your brand, or you can even find some inspiring magazines and go the good old cut and paste route. However you do it, make sure you view your mood board as a whole. The feelings you have towards your mood board will also resonate with your right people.
Pro Tips: Look for imagery that’s a mix of textures, patterns, photos, illustrations, typography, people, interiors, landscapes, etc.
Look back on that bigger emotional problem your helping solve for your audience. How can that show up in your visuals? Ex.: Bright and airy aesthetics can give a freeing and calming feel if your audience is looking for more peace and harmony in their lives.
See what colors and styles are popping up for you. Are you pinning more neutrals or bright colors? Are you choosing cleaner lines or more textured and organic lines? How do those visuals make you feel? Asking yourself these questions will lead to better clarity within your brand.
Taking some time to work on both your messaging and visuals will help create that emotional connection with your audience. If you pay attention, you’ll notice your own initial reactions to different brands. What brands are you loving and why? A lot of the time it’s because we see something in that brand that we see in ourselves. We see our own big vision (emotional problem) or a mood that connects with us on a subconscious level. There’s a deeper connection than choosing the product or service because it will benefit us, it’s our emotional connection that creates an amazing relationship with that brand.
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