Brands & Emotional Connections


A McKinsey article I was reading centered on the modern and updated consumer purchase funnel. The gist of the study is that the stereotyped funnel doesn’t exist like it did before (large consideration set of brands that eventually lead to one brand being purchased and then post-purchase behavior) but rather has transformed to a more circular loop with many touch-points at which marketers can make connections with and hopefully influence the consumer. I further thought about which touch-points are most successful and what determines the influentiality of marketing messages. Thinking about my own brand preferences and with whom my brand loyalty lies, a brand’s emotional connections with consumers are stronger than rational ones.

I would like to focus on one easy emotion by which brands can “touch” the consumer: nostalgia. How many people use Tide because their mom used it when doing their laundry and not because Tide cleans better? Despite its price being 50% more than other “average” liquid detergents, Tide manages a a third of the market share! How about Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies? Blue Bell ice cream? Vintage-themed retailer Fossil has built its entire brand on nostalgia! These brands all try and connect with consumers at various points of the marketing process using nostalgic packaging, visuals, and music, evoking emotions that make a consumer feel good and remember the good ol’ days, hoping that those positive feelings transfer over to the purchase decision. The best recent example of a brand using nostalgia (it’s seriously amazing) is Dove Chocolate’s ad featuring Audrey Hepburn; watch it here.

Can you admit to several brands that you choose to use because of the emotional (particularly nostalgic) connection rather than logic?


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