Facts and figures go a long way in selling products, especially in a comparison-shopping scenario. Free shipping? Check. Used by hundreds of thousands world wide? Check. Choose from four fashionable colors? Check. Reminds us of our favorite song? Ahh, now we start to differentiate.
Buyers meander through a forest of data, discounts and deductive reasoning. But what makes us want to buy?
Is it about offering the lowest price? No, actually, too low a price makes us suspicious. One notable—and desirable—characteristic of a strong brand is that we are willing to pay more for it. What’s the logic behind that?
In most cases it isn’t logic. It’s emotion. We choose our favorite brands because they make us feel good. We express ourselves through them. We take pride in them. The best brands are downright irresistible.
According to Joanne Bloomfield, “Our emotional brain (the limbic system) rules the roost. Our logical brain (the neocortex) comes in a sloppy second. … We feel it, long before we think it. This isn’t up for debate; neuroscience has proved it over and over again and yet the vast majority of marketers are creating campaigns that pay no heed to the way our brains actually work. The most successful brands are those that engage with their customers on an emotional level (no matter whether B2C or B2B).”¹
“In the process of a continual series of brand encounters, how well are you able to communicate with the emotional unconscious?” asks James Heaton. “This process operates in your consumers’ brains separate from and in advance of any system of language. This is why design—the physical and aesthetic presentation of a brand—is so important to marketing. It’s also why experience … of a brand … is absolutely fundamental. Only after these essential tests have been passed by the brand can it begin to really tell its story in words, and literally make its indelible mark on the brain.”²
I’m not suggesting that we leave the facts and figures out altogether, and put puppies and babies all over the place. What I am suggesting is that first and foremost we need to sensorially appeal to our target, which of course requires knowing about them. Then, after you’ve made that heartfelt connection, give them the information they need to justify, compare, consider, and ultimately, buy.