Learn to balance emotional and rational messaging to be relevant across buyer personas and stages.
- Let's talk about emotional versus rational messaging. This is something that could really make the difference between connecting and engaging with your customers. It's make or break. I'll sum it up with this one sentence: people buy emotionally, and justify rationally. I've seen this time and time again over 25 years of marketing iconic brands. The rational reason to believe is important, but what really differentiates your brand from the competition is the emotional benefit, and that's most ownable.
Typically, the emotional messages are more important early on in the customer's decision journey, because you're establishing a relationship. As the customer gets deeper into their decision journey, they may seek specific, detailed, rational information. But great brands master those rational factors to create an emotional connection. That could be, for example, through brand identification or recognition, social responsibility, innovation, or trustworthiness.
Let me share two examples of this. First, from that same study, top scoring brands Samsung and iPhone illustrate the power of an emotional connection. When it comes to smartphones, key emotional factors include how much consumers identify with the brand and how much they perceive it to be innovative. For Samsung, value for money fuels recommendations twice as often as for iPhone, but iPhone scores higher on emotional factors.
For iPhone emotional factors can trump lower costs allowing the brand to charge premium prices. Emotional factors cause iPhone to score higher than Samsung in the US, Spain, and Japan. And second, here's a really great smartphone example, they found that negative emotions like sadness were prevalent in the early problem definitions stage. Inspection of the relevant social media posts revealed that customers didn't wanna give up their old phones because they felt comfortable and attached to it.
A lot of the time they were being forced to purchase new phones because the older models were no longer being supported. Once they started active shopping in the information search stage that negativity turned to interest as customers learned of the amazing range of new phone options with all these new features. But the real surprise came when they looked at post-purchase comments. Many expressed joy, but there were an equal number of negative comments reflecting anger, disgust, annoyance, and sadness.
So they dove into the data and learned that many new smartphone buyers were upset and frustrated since they could not easily figure out how to use their new devices. So how did this emotional insight affect messaging? First, they educated new customers. They offered courses to all new customers and showed them exactly how to do all the things they used to do on their old phones. And they connected those two groups via social media. They connected the joyful customers up with the disgruntled customers and let them exchange information.
The joyful felt proud and pleased to share their knowledge, and the unhappy welcomed input from regular users instead of helpline employees. Use both emotional and rational messaging throughout the decision journey based on customer insight about what type of connection is most important at which decision stage.