Brands and Emotional Connections“Emotions drive most, if not all, of our decisions. A brand reaches out with a powerful connecting experience. It’s an emotional connecting point that transcends the product.”
~ Scott Bedbury, builder of the Starbucks & Nike brands and author of A New Brand World

In her 1to1 Media article, “Stand By Your Brand: Cultivating Experience to Foster Brand Advocacy,” Anna Papachristos touches on this idea:
With numerous opportunities to make emotional connections with customers—a characteristic central to building advocacy… One way to connect more effectively with advocates is by extracting and analyzing social sentiment that’s shared by customers and influencers. These insights can help decision-makers to better understand advocates and then act on this information to help strengthen relationships with them. According to Katherine Wintsch, founder of The Mom Complex, “If everyone in the marketing department has a clear understanding of what the consumer wants, everyone can focus on fulfilling their needs in different ways. The marketing department can deploy lots of different tactics, but the key is having one North Star.”

However, as the late David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard pointed out, “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department,” supporting the idea that the “North Star” is the loyal brand advocate. As social media marketing evolves and remains unavoidable, these brand evangelists are vital to a brand’s marketing efforts. Marketers must continually engage social advocates, collaborate closely with them, and integrate their voice as part of the marketing strategy.

Can you think of any successful brands that offer a “promise” without tapping into buyers’ emotions? Do you agree that social advocates are key to a brand’s marketing efforts and should be considered an extension of, or even a core component of, a company’s marketing department? Are there any stories you can share of brands failing because they failed to connect emotionally with their target market?