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


Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children december 2, 2016

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Aaron Dignan

Electronics & Gadgets, Future of Work, Work & Business

Food december 2, 2016

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture december 2, 2016

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport december 2, 2016

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed november 22, 2016

Digital Strategist: Why “Big Sensing” Is Key To Retail’s Future

Bud Caddell, Founder of NOBL, shares why the most capable and useful asset in any retail environment is the workforce

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated december 2, 2016

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion december 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work december 2, 2016

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing december 2, 2016

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Arts & Culture december 2, 2016

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive december 2, 2016

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.