Connecting Emotionally Elevates Your Marketing & Branding


According to the Federal Reserve, over 14 TRILLION financial transactions are conducted every single day. Making a deposit. Applying for a loan. Withdrawing money. Writing a check (wait, does anyone still do that?).

Those are not just transactions—they are emotional decisions. Why? Because money is emotional. Talk to anyone about money and watch how emotional they get. Feelings like sadness, happiness, frustration, anger, disappointment and joy often enter the conversation.

A Gallup survey showed a customer who is “emotionally connected” to your place of business is likely to spend 46% more money than a customer who is merely “satisfied” but not emotionally bonded. Other research indicates that as much as 70% of purchase decisions are made on emotional, not economic, criteria.

So not only is money emotional—emotions bring money.

Since we know money is more emotional than transactional, how do you elevate your marketing and branding to those levels? Here are a few tips:

Emphasize benefits over features


We routinely tell our clients in our marketing audits that “features tell, benefits sell.” Why? Because benefits are emotional. Benefits like saving consumers time, making them more money, earning them better returns connect. You have to communicate your messages clearly, quickly and credibly while striking an emotional chord. One way to do that is to promote benefits.

Make the image dominant and not the copy


The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true when it comes to clearly communicating emotions. Pictures and images strike an emotional chord much more so than dry text. Whether it’s an e-mail blast, a lobby poster or a page on your website say cut the copy and emphasize the visual.

Use video


If a picture is worth a worth a thousand words then a video is worth about a million. Videos can pull on heart strings, tap into emotions and even use music (which in and of itself is also emotional). Consumers are no longer reading; they are watching. Whether it is a simple testimonial or a short story, telling it via video is a powerful way to connect.

Tell stories


People love stories. So tell stories in your marketing. A recent graduate’s first car loan, a family’s trip to Disney an entrepreneur’s new business venture. Research suggests that the brain is tuned out and daydreaming 30% of the time….unless a story is involved. Don’t let people tune out when viewing your marketing.

Ensure your brand stands for something


Great brands find relevant ways to tap the emotional drivers that already reside deep within each of us. Does your brand vision convey emotion or is it just more “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah?” As Howard Behar, one of the driving forces behind Starbucks said, “A burger joint fills the belly, but a good coffee house fills the soul.” How well is your brand vision at connecting to consumers’ souls?

Transcend a product only relationship with consumers

The Council on Financial Competition noted that, “Customers will pick their providers not on operational characteristics—which are converging around similar standards of performance—but on intangible, emotional or personalized interactions.” It’s not about your checking accounts, your auto loans or your mobile banking. Most financial products are fairly dry (and boring). So go beyond the product and focus on the consumer.

It’s important to remember that your marketing and branding tie to something emotional. The most successful brands—including financial institution brands—are those that are focusing on the emotional benefits of the organization.