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    Emotions – Something humane in the marketing mix (4Es)

    As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as objective decision-making machines, our actions often say otherwise. When we ‘shop’ for something, we typically generate rational reasons to justify our actions. But the decision at the exact time of purchase is quite impulsive and largely emotional.

    Emotional advertising content makes more impact on customers than any rational information. This has been strengthened by neuroscience research during the last few years. In short, our emotions ‘decide’, and do the ‘shopping’, for us. In the end, our actions are formed on the associations and feelings we have for a brand, together with our subjective history of it. Hence, it is essential for brands to establish positive, or ‘right’, brand associations and connect emotionally with customers.

    Establishing ‘right’ brand associations helps to shape positive customer perceptions around the brand, and build strong affinity that leads to a much-increased brand preference amongst the customers, generating engagement and increasing customer loyalty.

    Emotional substance in marketing and communication increases the likelihood of being remembered as well. Customers pay more attention to emotionally-stimulating brand activities than brand activities lacking emotional content. Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, coined the expression ‘lovemarks’ in 2002, in his book with the same name, where he stated the need for emotional brand connectivity with customers. Eight years later we find this need stronger than ever.

    Brands that establish emotional bonds with their customers will effectively place themselves apart from their competitors, enabling the growth of customer loyalty. Today it is no longer a question of struggling for recognition alone. Today it is a question of being relevant, and connecting with customers. Because only then customers will forward your brand to their peers, writing testimonials and recommending your brand to others they are connected to. Successful brands are thus the ones that offer their customers emotional content which make the customers associate with the brand in a positive manner.

    Worth noting is that rational strengths shouldn’t be utterly replaced by emotional ones: for smaller brands, or new businesses, rational marketing may well do better than exclusively emotional marketing, but for most of the already established brands, or bigger businesses, emotional marketing will definitely outperform solely rational ones.

    Above you can watch film clips from Levi’s and Dove, two brands successfully working with emotions in their marketing campaigns. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty will be presented as a case study later in this series about the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity.

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    The philosophy of the Four Es – Why brands need to embrace this model in their marketing

    To compete successfully on the market, brands must add the four Es to their marketing strategies - emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity. We have highlighted this model before, but only in connection to music, until now. With an immense interest from our readers to learn more about the four Es marketing model, we have explored it deeper. This is the first post in a series that takes a look at this marketing model outside the context of music.

    21st Century Marketspace

    Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a business class knows about the ‘Four Ps of Marketing’, developed by Professor E. Jerome McCarthy in the 60s, further spread by Philip Kotler. This model suggests that successful marketing campaigns must have the right mix of product, price, placement and promotion to position a product on the market. The four Ps was however developed for the marketplace as it looked in the 60s, and not for today’s cluttered marketspace (yes, the market is a space, and not a place anymore). Don’t get us wrong though. The four Ps is still a very useful model, but it does have a few inherent flaws in a world where it is increasingly harder for companies to differentiate themselves based on specific product features alone (that are easily copied over night).

    Nowadays, when the brand is the most important asset for a company, not the product, brands have to engage individuals in a deeper, more humane and multidimensional way. As a complement to the four Ps, brands must add the four Es of emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity, to compete successfully on the market.

    4Es

    Music is perhaps the communication tool that most powerfully embraces all of the four Es. Music is emotions put into communication, it builds memorable experiences that engage people into two-way conversations, it may easily service brands as a distinguisher from competitors, thus helping brands to position themselves in the consciousness of their customers, owning an exclusive position in their minds. But the four Es does not end at music, this marketing model goes much further…

    In the following series, we’ll go over each E in more depth, showing just how emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity work - helping turn ordinary customers into loyal fans of your brand. We’ll also present case studies illustrating how the four Es can be put into practice.

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