Emotional Marketing – Creating Lasting Memories
- How does your company survive the Coronavirus epidemic?
- How can your business thrive with emotional marketing?
You remember the day you got married, the moment when you held your child for the first time, your first kiss, the place where you were on 9/11, and the funeral of a loved one. Some memories last a lifetime, while others fade away fast. Emotion is what makes the difference.
The memory part of the brain is an integral part of the emotional brain. The Hippocampus, our memory center, is only one synapse away from the Amygdala, which is the gatekeeper of our emotions. When a message or an event triggers strong emotions, we remember them much more clearly and for a much longer time.
During this Coronavirus epidemic, the last thing that customers care about is what you sell. However, if your company’s marketing message reduces their fears and keeps them calm, it can catch their attention and create a positive emotional connection. There is a good chance that they will remember your brand and your message for a long time.
Emotions Change Our Perceptions and Buying Behavior
In a study at the University of Virginia, researchers asked subjects to look down from a 2-story balcony. Half of the subjects had a history of fear of heights; the other half did not. Subjects were asked to estimate the height of the balcony. Those who were afraid of heights gave much higher estimates. Their perceptions were altered by their existing fears.
The Coronavirus pandemic has generated a great deal of fear. Fear of becoming ill and getting in close contact with others is causing people to avoid making purchases. Many businesses are struggling. Social distancing rules have even forced businesses to shut down. People who are afraid tend to overestimate risks. How can companies get their marketing messages through when emotions run high?
Our Selfish Brains Keep Us Alive
During this global pandemic, there is no shortage of soliciting emails or discount offers from businesses, desperately trying to sell something. When fears are rampant, our brains go into high-alert mode and only pay attention to our own survival needs. The brain is a very selfish organ. It filters out all messages that don’t need our immediate attention.
When depressing news is coming out from all fronts about the Coronavirus, consumers are hesitant in making buying decisions, unless they are absolutely necessary. If no one wants to buy, can businesses that rely on consumer spending survive?
Reduce Fears and Anxieties to Increase Trust
Some businesses have found ways to restore confidence and improve sales by making their customers feel more secure.
- Allstate, the insurance giant, is offering its customers $600+ million in payback. During the nationwide lockdown, people drive less and cause fewer accidents. Fewer accidents mean cost savings to insurance companies. Allstate made an unprecedented move to give its savings back to its customers during these trying times. The media coverage of such a bold move and its long-lasting impact are worth far more than $600+ million.
- Novo Nordisk, an insulin maker, is offering 90 days of free insulin supplies to diabetes patients who have lost their health insurance due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Over 30 million Americans have diabetes. Many of them will benefit from this free offer and even more will remember this company’s brand. The statement from its president says it all, “Patients have enough issues to worry about at this moment. We don’t want being able to pay for their insulin to be one of them.”
- In its quick response to the Coronavirus epidemic, CVS Pharmacy is offering FREE delivery of all prescriptions and additional essential products to its customers. This temporary free service allows its customers to stay home while getting their prescriptions filled in time. In contrast, a competing household pharmacy store still charges its customers an extra fee for home delivery.
- Best Buy, the appliance chain, is offering curb-side pickup for online customers. Products are delivered to customers in the parking lot by employees, who load items into cars with no personal contact. The company moved very fast to ease customers’ concerns. At the same time, it builds trust in customers’ minds.
Dr. Terry Wu is a renowned Neuroscientist who understands the relationship of the brain to consumer decision-making. His TED talk on Neuromarketing will give you insights into how emotions affect consumer decisions.
When you understand the emotional triggers that can slow down your business, you can apply Neuromarketing principles to compensate. Finding creative ways to serve your customers well during a crisis makes the experience more memorable. For smart business leaders who understand emotional marketing, a crisis can present an opportunity to make your company stand out in a highly competitive field.