What is new in emotional branding?

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • What is new in emotional branding? • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz
Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia

Love, joy, sadness, optimism, fury, surprise… are some of the many emotions that human beings feel. But how can we use these emotions to benefit our brands and products?

Surely many of you had the opportunity to read the book Emotional Branding by Marc Gobé, which was released in 2005 and translated into many languages. This text is a classic of innovation and marketing. When I first read it over 15 years ago it was very inspiring for many of the papers and articles I have published over the years. The book has a very interesting message: “From the perspective of emotional branding, design must respond to people’s emotional needs and their desire for sensory pleasure. This work requires passion, honesty and above all a desire to improve the world in – Does it sound utopian and radical to you? – Well, ask the people on the street, everyday people”. In this column, we will look at some basic definitions and also some of the current trends in this fascinating topic.

Branding (also known as Brand Management) is based on the effective management of the brand strategies of a particular organization. Brand management contemplates the creation, planning and management of brand elements to take advantage of the perception of the business in the minds of its consumers.

Emotional branding is an advertising strategy that seeks to generate an emotional connection with people, strengthening the bond between brands and consumers. In other words, emotional branding is a type of advertising strategy whose main objective is to create an emotional connection. Brands execute different actions that seek to have a sentimental impact among their target audience to remain in their minds and become a quickly recognizable brand. Humanizing the brand, generating a relationship of trust and aligning feelings with business objectives are other goals. Next, we are going to see some of the booming trends in emotional branding:

Sensory emotion: Companies are incorporating sensory elements into their branding experiences, such as scents, music and textures, to create stronger emotional connections with consumers. This may include using specific fragrances in stores, creating personalized playlists for online shopping experiences, or designing packaging that is pleasant to the touch. Sensory emotion is presented as one of the great opportunities to innovate in the cosmetic industry.

Immersive experiences: It is about creating experiences that transport consumers to other worlds, making them feel part of something bigger. This is achieved through virtual reality, augmented reality and other immersive technologies.

Emotional well-being: Brands are positioning themselves as advocates for consumers’ emotional well-being, offering products, services and experiences that promote mental health and emotional balance. This may include creating meditation apps, partnering with mental health organizations, or offering inspirational and motivational content.

Emotional personalization: It is using data and analytics to better understand consumers’ individual emotions and create personalized experiences that resonate with them. This includes creating personalized content, offers and recommendations.

Stories that matter: Brands are using emotional storytelling to connect with consumers on a human level. These stories share values, experiences and emotions that resonate with the audience.

Nostalgia: Companies are evoking feelings of nostalgia to connect with consumers through experiences and references that resonate with positive memories from the past. This may include using retro imagery or music, recreating past experiences, or collaborating with childhood cultural icons.

Micro-moments: The strategy is to create emotional experiences in micro-moments, those small moments throughout the day when consumers interact with their smartphones. This could include personalized messages, timely notifications, and in-app experiences that delight and surprise.

Humor and joy: The goal is using humor and joy to create positive and memorable experiences for consumers. This may include creating humorous advertising campaigns, using memes and GIFs on social media, or hosting fun, interactive events.

Emojis and informal language: Brands are using emojis and informal language to connect with consumers in a more authentic and human way. This helps create a sense of community and belonging.

Emotional Artificial Intelligence: This is one of the most interesting trends we are seeing in 2024. Brands are using artificial intelligence to create personalized emotional experiences for consumers. This may include creating emotionally capable chatbots, using mood-based product recommendations, or offering personalized content that matches individual emotions.

Emotional influencers: Brands are partnering with influencers who share their values ​​and can connect with their target audience on an emotional level. These influencers can help create authentic content and build brand trust.

Emotional communities: Companies are creating online and offline communities where consumers can connect with each other and share their emotional experiences. This may include creating online forums, organizing in-person events, or using, for example, private Facebook groups.

Emotional Virtual Reality and Emotional Augmented Reality: We can use virtual reality and augmented reality to create immersive emotional experiences for consumers. This may include creating games or simulations that evoke specific emotions or using AR filters to allow consumers to try on products virtually.

Emotionally intelligent advertising: The challenge is to develop advertising campaigns that harness the power of emotions to drive action. These campaigns evoke feelings such as happiness, sadness, anger or fear to generate a lasting impact on consumers.

Emotional Gamification: Gamification is a great tool to create engaging and motivating emotional experiences for consumers. This can include creating gamified loyalty programs, using games to educate consumers about your products or services, or hosting exciting contests and challenges.

Measuring emotional impact: Brands are measuring the emotional impact of their marketing campaigns to better understand how they are connecting with consumers. This helps them refine their strategies and create even more impactful experiences. For this reason, we are seeing many innovations in neuroscience techniques applied to branding.

Emotional transmedia storytelling: Brands are creating emotional stories that unfold across multiple platforms, such as videos, podcasts, social media posts, and in-store experiences. This allows consumers to immerse themselves in the brand’s story in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Emotional Live Events: It is about creating exciting live events that allow consumers to connect with the brand and each other in a personal setting. This may include concerts, festivals, workshops or classes.

J. Walter Thompson said that: “Advertising is a force like electricity, which not only illuminates, but electrocutes. Its value to society depends on how it is used”. One of the challenges for the cosmetics industry is to create truly transformative experiences that impact consumers on a human level and drive loyalty and business success.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz
John Jimenéz
Senior Exploration Scientist at Belcorp Colombia

John Jiménez is currently Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia. He is a Pharmacist (National University of Colombia) with a Master degree in Sustainable Development (EOI Business School, Madrid) and specialization studies in Marketing, Cosmetic Science and Neuromarketing. John has 28 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation.
Maison G de Navarre Prize (IFSCC 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America and was President of Accytec Bogotá from 2017–2019.

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