Emotions and Business – Part of Brand Clarity
Small business owners often miss the subtlest but important piece of brand clarity, which is knowing what emotions you evoke with your brand. Intentionally or not, what you do in your business creates a set of emotional responses in prospects and clients. Let’s think about this part of brand clarity as the emotional footprint of your business.
The emotional footprint of your business has a big effect.
- It affects your prospects
- It affects your current clients
- It affects your reputation and what people say about you
- It can change from positive to negative or vice versa
- It inevitably changes over time.
Think about McDonald’s emotional footprint today compared to when it first began in 1955. At that time, it branded itself as the place to go for a fast hamburger and as a welcoming and cheerful place for children. It had a clown as its spokesperson, and the bigger McDonald’s offered a large playground. The emotions were happiness and family togetherness. If you asked a dozen people about McDonald’s today, would you get the same emotional reaction?
How about Southwest Airlines? Its brand is clearly centered around friendliness and a spirited way to interact with its customers. People who fly Southwest typically are willing to give up a particular seat assignment in return for perceived less expensive fares. They react with laughter when Southwest flight attendants sing their way through Federal boarding requirements or dance through the plane. Southwest evokes an emotional response of laid-back, hip vibe.
An article in Adweek defines emotional branding like this: Emotional branding refers to the practice of building brands that appeal directly to a consumer's ego, emotional state, needs and aspirations. The purpose of emotional branding is to create a bond between the consumer and the product by provoking the consumer's emotion. The point I want to make is that your brand has an emotional footprint whether you’ve planned it that way or not.
Why Your Emotional Footprint is Important
Knowing your brand means that you pay attention to the emotional footprint of your business.
- What is the feeling that your business evokes in prospects and clients?
- How are you perceived?
- How is your brand remembered?
- After you’ve had a sales conversation with a prospect, what would she say about your brand?
- What would a past client say about how your brand made her feel?
There is a certain emotional feel to your business, and to the offers you make. Sometimes, entrepreneurs are aware of this but often, I find, we are not. Your brand’s emotional footprint is part of your unique value. If you set out to refresh your brand or change what you offer, pay attention to how the emotional footprint of your brand also changes.
Here’s an example. Not long ago, I decided to quit offering my e-mail coaching program. While it’s been successful in the past, in today’s environment I don’t feel like it works well. The emotional feel of e-mail coaching is dry and remote – it’s for clients who are very task oriented and want a quick answer to a question. It’s not emotionally engaging (it’s not meant to be.)
That worked well for some clients, especially across times zones. But the feel of my business now is much more personal and hands on. The needs of my clients have changed. I now often work with entrepreneurs who are making deep changes in themselves or their business, and that requires a deeper and more emotional connection. The emotional footprint is different. My clients now want the feeling that I’ve got their back. They want to feel that they are seen and heard. It’s a different emotional feeling from the more distant feel of email coaching.
Once you start paying attention to your emotional footprint, you’ll realize what a big part of your brand clarity it is. You’ll realize how you can highlight the emotions you want to convey with your content, graphics, and personal presence. You’ll see how brand clarity around your emotional footprint helps your business in achieving the goals you’ve set for it.
Knowing your emotional footprint benefits you in these ways:
- Allows you to better connect with your current clients
- Helps you reach out to new clients who are a match for your products or services
- Sets you apart from businesses that offer similar services or products to yours
- Helps you stay current with changes in your industry or in your client base
- Helps you reflect changes that happen within your business
- Helps keep your business focused and energized.
This graphic sums up the benefits of knowing your brand's emotional footprint.
Benefits of Brand Clarity – Emotional Footprint
We’ll be talking about brand clarity and how your brand’s emotional footprint helps you to maximize your message in my next Maximize Your Message small group workshop. You can get more information about the workshop and save your seat here (it’s small, so space is limited): http://maximizeyourmessage.com/. You can also download my quick Brand Clarity Self-Assessment at this link: https://confidentmarketer.com/brand-clarity/.
I’d love to hear what you feel the emotional footprint of your brand is, so feel free to comment below. How has your emotional footprint helped or hurt your business?