The Importance Of Emotional Branding

The Importance Of Emotional Branding

Brands may find that the emotional experience they provide for their customers should outweigh all other considerations.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 8 february 2011

Experience designers are tasked with the responsibility to deliver consistent brand experiences to their customers, regardless of the context or environment. From the call center, to the aromas used in a store, the intention behind customer service initiatives must be to deliver a holistic brand experience that resonates with the customer at an emotional level. Moreover, that emotion can be instilled by careful design.

But according to Stevy Baty, principal at Meld Studios, experience designers are failing to consider experiences in the context of emotion. Partly because they are asking the wrong questions, but mostly because they are continuously evaluating experience with respect to singular touch points. For example, by asking customers whether something was “easy to use” or “intuitive”, you reduce experience to a singular context, reflecting one environment and a bevy of individual perceptions and biases. In other words, the answers to those questions will lead you down any number of paths; none of which necessarily lead to an answer that will help you build consistency with your brand.

Instead, he argues, experiential designers should turn their attentions to the aspects of experience that don’t change. In his words:

Our focus, then, falls to the emotional response participants have when undertaking these activities, and perceiving through their senses. It is the emotional response that provides a consistent design intent across environments, touchpoints, interactions.

By intentionally crafting experiences with a specific emotion in mind, experiential designers are more likely to deliver a consistent brand experience that builds rapport with customers. In this light, the goal is first to decide which emotion that you are trying to achieve, and next, to execute that plan with careful consideration, backed by research. The aim could be for any number of emotions; confidence, a feeling of importance or capability, but it must be clear. All other considerations fall to the wayside. Individuals perceptions to specific interactions are useful, but far too whimsical as a reliable source of data. Bety writes:

When we express our intent in these terms, we’re much better equipped to execute across different contexts and environments and achieve the same experience. “Easy to use” might be a useful descriptor for a digital interface, but it is inappropriate, and therefore largely meaningless, when designing, say, a retail presence or the logistics capability for an online purchase. Much better to employ ‘willingness to act’ as the desired experiential characteristic

The consideration of emotional response has to be made at all touch points and vary accordingly. Interactions over the phone differ than those made in person, but the challenge is to deliver continuity in both. Experience designers building brands as holistic experiences, cultivating intentional, emotional responses, may find themselves enjoying more profitable relationships with their customers, built on trust.

Johnny Holland: “Experiences are Emotional”

Image by timailius


Volvo's Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Retail Today

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

Advertising Today

The Hottest Chip In The World Comes Packed In A Coffin-Shaped Box

The individually wrapped snack is made from the spiciest known chili


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Today

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Luxury Today

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

Work Today

Microsoft Wants To Help Workers Better Communicate With Their Coworkers

Project Sonoma is a new app designed to help employees chat and coordinate shifts with their associates

Advertising Today

Real-Time Data Used To Calculate The Brand Power Of Athletes

Brandtix has develope a digital platform with a complex algorithm that combines social media variables with player performance to predict the next A-list pros


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Automotive Yesterday

Toyota Is Using Sewage To Power Its New Electric Car

A new hydrogen-fueled vehicle is driven by what we flush away

Culture Yesterday

Catch A Concert On This Small Floating Island

A man-made archipelago in Italy is hosting music and art performances

Design & Architecture Yesterday

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Woodenwidget says its detailed guides are suitable for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike

Social Media Yesterday

The United Nations Has Launched Its Own Social Media Platform

A new app aims to get younger audiences more involved in sustainable development goals

Design Yesterday

Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

The clever device offers games, education and the uniquely rewarding experience of destroying your high-flying airship


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Free Sneakers Given Out To Motivated Marathon Runners

Strava will give the shoes to athletes who run the second half of their race faster than the first

Culture Yesterday

Someone Invented A Robot Just To Serve Trays Of Beef Jerky

Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, in partnership with Chef's Cut Real Jerky, creates an automated snack delivery system

Millennials Yesterday

Why A Social Networking Site Decided To Rebrand

Meetup, a platform that connects like-minded individuals, has taken steps to stay relevant amongst millennials

No search results found.