The power of emotions is so immense that if your customer feels nothing about your brand or product, they will most likely not buy it.

It therefore becomes very important to create messages that speak emotionally about your brand. To do this you should put yourself in the shoes of your customers and understand what makes them tick!

Depending on your industry and your target market, there are various emotional triggers that you could exploit for maximum emotional connection. Susan Gunelius ,CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc identifies the following  ten as some of the main emotional triggers.

  1. Fear: Fear is an emotion that can be used in a wide variety of marketing messages. Insurance companies often appeal to the emotion of fear with messages like “Don’t get caught with no insurance.” or banks; “Pay your loan,avoid the Credit Reference Bureau”
  2. Guilt: Consumers are easily affected by messages that trigger emotions of guilt. Nonprofit organizations use the guilt trigger effectively in copy such as “Don’t let them suffer anymore.”
  3. Trust: Trust is one of the hottest trends in marketing, and every company seems to be trying to jump on the trust bandwagon in their marketing messages. Financial companies are leading the way with messages like “no hidden fees.”
  4. Value: Value is another useful trend in marketing, and many promotions appeal directly to the emotional trigger of getting a good deal. For example, promotional messages that say “buy one and get the second one at half price” or “If you find a better price for the same product, we’ll match it” are effective in arousing feelings related to value.
  5. Belonging: Few people truly want to be alone. Human nature dictates that most people want to feel like they belong to a group, and customers often purchase products in an attempt to feel part of a specific group. Many companies effectively appeal to consumers’ desires to belong, using copy like “Coop Bank- we are you.”
  6. Competition: . Many consumers are affected by a competitive desire to feel equal to or better than their peers. Copy like “Make them drool” is a great example of a message that elicits feelings of competition.
  7. Instant Gratification: We live in a world where people expect instant gratification in all aspects of their lives. Messages that cater to a sense of urgency are well-received by consumers who already desire instant gratification.For example,”Eno- works in seconds” .You can use words like now, today, in one hour or less, within 24 hours, and so on.
  8. Leadership: A lot of consumers want to lead the way in trying new products, and this audience responds strongly to marketing messages that appeal to their feelings related to leadership. Messages that make them feel like they’re first or in control are powerful for this audience. Phrases such as East African Breweries adverts’ “Imara Kama Simba or Lite the way”  appeal to the emotional trigger of leadership.
  9. Trend-setting: Many consumers want to feel cool or trendy, so appealing to those emotions in copy writing is fairly standard. Variations of “all the cool kids are doing it” are commonplace in copy writing and can be used to market a wide variety of products and services to an even wider audience. For example,”Bet-in,the best betting site as recommended by Tony Kwalanda”.
  10. Time: In the 21st century, people are busier than ever. As such, they desire more free time to pursue personal interests, spend time with family and friends, and so on. Marketing messages that appeal to that desire for more free time are extremely effective.An example is Kenya Revenue Authority’s “I-Tax- Ni rahisi.”

There are many emotional triggers that you can use to evoke feelings among your target audience and move them to action through your marketing messages. People see a lot of marketing messages every day, so you have to give them a reason to digest yours by making them feel something when they see or hear it. Feelings are powerful, and copy writing offers a unique opportunity to tap into that power and leverage it for your business’s gain.

By Denis Mbau- Consultant, Content development

Credit: Susan Gunelius , CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc