How Brands Motivate Consumers to Spend on Feelings
Think about the cell phone or laptop you use. Is it simply for work and education, or do you have some attachment to the brand identity?
Now think about the type of shoes or uniform you prefer. Why are these the brands you choose to support? And how about the protein powder you consume? Odds are, again, you’re partial to a specific brand.
Why do consumers purchase the same brands over and over and over again? Simple—they’re connected to it on an emotional level. And once this happens, it becomes nearly impossible to change.
Emotional brand advertising is the key to motivating your fanbase. It appeals to their senses and their desires. Ultimately, it increases brand credibility and transactions, and creates an immediate ROI if done right.
Let’s discuss the 101 on emotional brand advertising in sports and how brands motivate their target audience to spend based on feelings.
Understand Your Fans
First thing’s first, brands need to understand their target audiences in order to tailor their brand ads. When it comes to emotional brand advertising, you can’t expect to connect with your target audience on a personal level until you have an intellectual sense of who they are, what matters to them, what their current challenges are, and what motivates them to take action. This will create better results for direct response advertising and performance based ads.
A simple way to do this is to develop your buyer persona. This will guide your product or service development, advertising campaigns, web presence, and drive your marketing efforts.
Create a Buyer Persona
Hubspot reporter Pamela Vaughan explains buyer personas and their intrinsic value in effective brand advertising.
Based on data and research, buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. They help you focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development to suit the needs of your target customers, and align all work across your organization (from brand marketing to sales to service). As a result, you’ll be able to attract high-value visitors, leads, and customers to your business, who you’ll be more likely to retain over time.
Elements of buyer personas are demographics, including age, gender, location, and household income, lifestyle and workstyle, personality, goals, pain points, and common objections. A deep understanding of your potential customer is necessary to drive product development and sales, create better brand ads, and increase customer acquisition and retention. It ultimately makes it easier to tailor each of these elements to meet your customer’s specific needs, concerns, behaviors, and desires, and build a strong brand.
Focus on Personalization
One element to focus on once you have your buyer persona is personalization. In our modern world, individuals want to feel appreciated for who they are and what makes them unique. And an effective brand marketing strategy will consist of visual elements and messaging that evokes an internal response from your fans, connects with them on a personal level, and makes them want to engage with your product or service. Personalization improves the customer experience, drives revenue, increases brand loyalty, and creates consistency across different channels.
An example of personalization in sports brand advertising is custom fan gear. Individuals can personalize their favorite sports team’s official jersey with their last name and chosen number. This creates an emotional connection with the customer as they feel special and connected to the brand. That is what the fans want—to feel a part of the community that they support. And more often than not, they will choose to pay the price of admission for the long game.
Engage with Your Fanbase
To understand your fans and appeal to their emotion, engage in immediate action and conversation with them. This not only creates an opportunity to ask questions, receive direct responses, and offer solutions but also to build lasting relationships and stronger loyalty. Fans adore players who are active on and off the field.
Think about the types of sports brand advertising content you see shared across media platforms. If it’s not a highlight on the court, it’s a highlight in the community, during interviews, or when engaging in public contact. When considering your overall marketing strategy and advertising yourself online, always remember to keep it professional, showcase a consistent brand identity, and keep others’ emotions in mind.
Consider connecting with your community on social media through direct response marketing, live events, web presence, responding to fan comments, and sharing an insight into your daily life. Fans appreciate this special touch and develop strong brand loyalties, emotional ties, and a more favorable impression to the business. This type of emotional brand advertising is practically free and can generate an immediate ROI as fans are tempted to purchase more gear, more tickets, more services, and even more network subscriptions.
Use Storytelling to Communicate
Take a moment to think about the most significant moments in your life. Perhaps it was a game-winning shot in overtime of the minor hockey league or a home run in little league that tied the score against a challenging team. Maybe it was practicing every day and making the high school soccer team.
Whatever the victory, you’ve likely shared that moment in a story. Why? Because human beings are hardwired for narratives. We’ve been telling them since the dawn of man.
Stories are the most memorable method of communication for any business, whether it be on television, in home videos, or at the cinema. Stories are the most effective way to captivate, convince, and convert your audience.
In emotional brand advertising, consider each creative asset, the brand’s logo, message, and ad to be a piece of the story, an opportunity to communicate our brand’s purpose, and why consumers should care. When we do so, we are creating a human connection between our brand and the individual, and ultimately eliciting a direct response from our fans with intelligent and emotionally-appealing branding campaigns.
Use Human Connection
Human connection through storytelling is the foundation of any successful emotional brand advertising, from brand ads to campaigns, video marketing assets and brand campaigns. It is used to communicate players’ backstories, the iconic history of teams, the legacy of a coach, and showcase brand identity. It resonates in the minds of fans and tends to be a highly effective marketing strategy at increasing brand recognition and driving sales.
An excellent example of human connection in sports brand advertising is the 2021 Nike campaign: We Play Real. The brand marketing campaign recognizes black women in sports and centers around a video including incredible moments for black female athletes across all sports. The music is inspiring, the visuals are captivating, and the messaging is clear—“it’s not just magic, they are the real thing.” This is emotional brand advertising at its finest. And the goosebumps the viewer gets in the final moments of the video say it all.
Use Captivating Visuals
As mentioned above, captivating visuals are another essential part of any successful brand marketing strategy. They drive our emotional sense as we search for human elements within digital advertising, including facial expressions. These are visual cues on how we’re meant to feel when understanding the story on-screen, and they help drive our actions and purchasing decisions later on. In any emotional sports brand advertising campaign, captivating content must be included in brand ads, such as a video, animation, gif, creative logo, or still image.
An example of a sports team crushing it on social media is the Carolina Panthers. Their brand advertising is consistent, and their brand identity is recognizable, and their brand ads are diverse and engaging. They use a blend of other visual elements, too, taking advantage of all the in-app resources, and actively replying to fan comments. They also maximize on their stud athletes, sharing features and beloved athletes. By giving your audience what they want to see, and focusing on your brand’s story, you’re fueling their desires, increasing brand awareness, and driving future sales.
Differentiate Your Business
To connect with your audience and appeal to their emotions, you also need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In addition to the above tips on understanding your audience and communicating through stories, you can establish a more intimate experience with a positive brand image, a display of ethics and solid morals, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and respect.One company that is an excellent example of standing out is Coca Cola. Their brand is iconic, their logo is easily identifiable, and their fans are dedicated. They have built a strong company with emotionally appealing brand advertising campaigns, a clear voice, and authentic feel.
Positive Brand Image
In the modern day and age, someone is always watching and bullies and bad guys are almost always caught red-handed. Nothing is worse for businesses than negative press. Avoid bad publicity by ensuring that those who represent your brand, from your athletes to management, align with your brand values, treat fans with kindness, and are respectful to the media.
Individual athletes can develop a positive brand image by connecting with their audience on mutual interests. They can also showcase the parts of their personality that make them unique, more likable, and interesting.
For instance, Joe Burrow, the stand-out QB for the Cincinnati Bengals is taking the world of football by storm not only because of his athletic talent, but his positive, infectious, and pleasant personality. Burrow has managed to revitalize the Cincinnati Bengals and amass national support comparable to well-seasoned veterans. His spirit and camera-ready attitude have fostered positive brand awareness for himself and his team.
A brand must also stand for something. That is the key to unlocking audience emotions in brand advertising. Seek to utilize and influence the values of our culture and country. Understand the benefits of your product or service and communicate these.
In addition, research what your competitors are doing, analyze the effectiveness of their brand marketing strategy, and make it better. Also use written and visual content that communicates your values and your why. Seek to reflect emotion in each piece of brand advertising and ensure you follow through with your brand marketing campaigns and interact with your audience.
Increase Customer Loyalty
If you’ve done each of the above steps, you have likely been able to retain customers and increase brand loyalty. This is a natural byproduct of emotional brand advertising done right.
In addition, you’ve likely reaped the financial benefits as your brand awareness grows, fan base strengthens, and individuals consume more of your content, products, and services. This is the reward of properly understanding your fans, using storytelling to communicate your brand, and differentiating yourself from the competition.
However, it doesn’t stop here. Building brand credibility is an ongoing process, always a factor in maintaining relevance, relationships, and growing success. Remember to stay consistent in your branding across platforms, show appreciation for those that are loyal, and continue to establish meaningful campaigns.
Businesses can use emotional brand advertising to launch sales, establish customer loyalty, build community, and provide a source of connection, identity, and value for their audience.