It is one of the maxims of marketing – you need to connect with your audience through emotion.

We pretend we are rational creatures but studies have demonstrated we make emotive choices more often than not.  We then look for a logical argument to back up our emotive decision.

What does this mean for marketers? Raj Ragunathan, author of the above study, suggests, “The earlier you make the emotional connection the better, because once consumers have decided they like a particular option, the more difficult it is for them to backpedal. Their thinking falls in line with the emotions.

Looking at recent advertising we can see a real effort by brand custodians to connect people to their brands emotionally, backing up the brand advertising with price or value placements.

Officeworks is one example with their school campaign.  It signifies the opening of back to school season, but their pitch is aimed at those starting school for the first time and the innate potential in these little humans.

It taps the emotions of love and wanting the best for your children and a sense of wonder and a little breathlessness as you remember your school years and hope your children blossom.


Many brands tend to tap big emotions for a big impact, like love and anger.

brands and politicians use anger to further their cause

And sometimes it works.  But sometimes the big emotion doesn’t sit well with your brand.  Every time I see the Officeworks ad for example, it jars.  It seems like appropriated emotion rather than appropriate.

So instead of going for the big emotions, how about aiming for one a few rungs down but no less powerful – contentment.

Align your brand or your product with that perfect moment – where things come together at the right moment – like hosting the right mix of people with great food and brilliant conversation at a dinner party.

Don’t aim for the extreme emotions if your brand doesn’t deliver an extreme experience.