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Emotional Consumerism: The Art of Tapping the Heart

Jan 03, Kadambari Srivastava | 4 min read

“People do not buy goods and services; they buy relations, stories, and magic”

These words by eminent author and entrepreneur Seth Godin ring truer than before as it brings forth the true nature of brands and the connections they create with their target audience.

Indian consumers are an emotional lot. There are innumerable examples to prove the same. Be it Vaseline with its old-age quotient that has been passed through generations, or Maggi, which has been a part of staple Sunday diet for nearly two decades, brands have been tapping the emotional quotient of consumers since times immemorial, and successfully so. However, in the advent of globalism, how do international brands or even newer domestic brands penetrate the market and take advantage of these ardent sentimental connections?

Trigger to Figure

Triggering the right emotion in your target consumer is extremely crucial to eventually figure out a marketing technique that hits the bull’s eye. For that, it is essential to know the type of feelings you wish to generate in your target audience.

One of the best examples is that of Dove. The beauty brand figured that even though there is a plethora of beauty-related services and products, all call out to the insecurities of women and none cater to their beauty and confidence. Thus, they came up with the concept of Every woman is beautiful. Dove sold its products by bonding with their target audience, rather than making them realise that their product would do any miracles. The mantra is to target and trigger your audience, to figure out what they want, and tap the same while marketing.

Tie the Familial Threads

Ours is an isolated world. With most of us having figured out ways to entertain ourselves in solitude, seldom do we turn towards familial comfort. However, that does not imply that we avert from the ties when confronted with those. A successful brand is one which does not develop an audience, it creates a family. An example of the same is Apple, which even though expensive has managed to create a group of people who pride themselves on being a part of an elite family. The Apple stickers which come along with the product are displayed proudly. This even makes Apple users connect with each other when in public, and ties them to the brand in a familial manner, a bond much stronger than the usual customer-brand one.

The ‘Cool’ Factor

Everyone wants to be seen as a class apart, nowadays. While there was a certain safety and comfort that people found in familiarity, in the earlier days, the same doesn’t ring true now. However, more than being a part of a raging trend, there is a certain sense of excitement in being the one who starts the trend. This tendency is even fiercer in the demographically younger customers. The best part is that this generation of customers doesn’t require elite and high-cost products to come aboard. All it needs is a click apart from the cliche which resonates with their sentiments.

One great example of this is Coca Cola who launched their Small World Machines to bring two countries that are almost always at war with each other, together — India and Pakistan. A live interface was created by using vending machines, wherein people from both the countries could interact with each other. This turned out to be one of the most innovative campaigns which garnered huge response on social media.

Indians are emotional beings by nature, regardless of any parameter. Nostalgia runs in our very beings. So, why not use the same to create products and experiences that will create an everlasting bond with the customers? Be it a vintage writing accessory that brings back the emotions of an era gone by, or a bag which exudes the essence of carefree school days, anything that strikes the chord of nostalgia is well is going to stay in the mind for a long time; be it that of a customer, or a business associate. Create things that forge relationships and not just inanimate objects with a short shelf life.

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Kadambari Srivastava

Storyteller at 5By7. A finance professional by degree and a word connoisseur by heart, I believe that words, and only words can overpower, overturn, and overwhelm. Just doing my bit by adding the fire of my passion to it.

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