Why Connecting Emotionally is the Key to Successful Branding


You’ve written your mission statement. You’ve looked at competitors’ websites and marketing materials. You know the value of your offering in shifting marketplaces. But there’s one more crucial aspect of designing your brand that can make or break your efforts: connecting with your customers’ feelings, and thinking long and hard about how they might emotionally connect with your brand’s story.   

What story should you tell? How can you talk to your customers in a way that they will listen and really hear you? Maya Angelou said it best: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Simon Sinek takes a similar view in his now-infamous TED Talk: it’s not about the particular bells and whistles of your offering—it’s about how those bells and whistles might infect your customers with inspiration, with a sense of freedom, with excitement. The reason Apple prospered while TiVo failed has more to do with belief than with trying to foresee every product or service your customers might want. It’s more important to connect emotionally, and at Sublime Designs Media, we believe in incorporating an understanding of customers’ emotions when telling the story of your brand.

Your mission statement is important, of course. It’s vital. But you must also look at your positioning statement, where the internal connects with the external. To create beautiful, effective branding, we get to know you, and we get to know your customers. And we get to know your customers emotionally, too. Because when they connect emotionally, they’ll keep buying.

There are ways to get to know your customers that have nothing to do with emotion, and those are important, too. Getting to know your customers could be as simple as finding out how to reach them. For example, if you discover that people in your target demographic read The New York Times, we’d recommend placing an ad there. If a lot of them happen to drive along a particular freeway to commute to work, we’d design a billboard along their route. 

Getting to know your customers could be as simple as finding out who they are demographically, and that’s a step many organizations and companies skip. Who naturally gravitates towards you, and who’s your target audience? We can assess these customer ‘personas’ for opportunities.

Traditional feedback models get us a little closer to understanding your customers emotionally. In-depth, in-person feedback from a handful of loyal customers can be invaluable as you work to improve your offerings. Knowing how you’re perceived can be priceless as you decide what story you want your branding to tell moving forward. In-person focus groups, online testimonials, paid surveys, social media monitoring and engagement, and even formal customer advisory boards are all a healthy part of gaining a full Kodachrome portrait of your customers.  

But we can get even closer still. We can read between the lines of the feedback, and we can perform one-on-one interviews to start to get a picture of how your customers feel when they engage with your brand. Are you fulfilling a deep spiritual need, or providing an exciting outlet? Are you giving them hope, or soothing their worries? And once we start to understand your customers this way, emotionally, we can then make bold decisions about how we want your brand and story to make them feel in the future. 

And then, we can start to find out more about your customers emotionally. What frightens them? What do they love? What keeps them awake at night? To what do they aspire?

From there, our team of graphic designers and copywriters take this qualitative, emotional information and turn it into something practical: effective font selections, gorgeous color harmonies and vivid writing that tells a story of not just your brand—but also your customer. Your customers—not just their wallets—become an integral part of the story.  

Need help? Hire an expert. Get in touch with Sublime Designs Media today.