Emotional responses in brand-building strategies

Everyone feels before they think; the non rational emotional reaction comes before the more rational secondary one. However, this trend is often over looked in the marketing community, where measurement systems tend to rely on what consumers think (and consequently say) their response was to a product or campaign, as opposed to their genuine emotional response.

Currently, branding risks failing for two reasons, both of which can be addressed by taking into account what brain science tells us about the importance of creating an emotional connection with consumers.

Business has dutifully followed suit with a rational bias. In branding terms, this means companies remain too product focused, concentrating on functional, utilitarian benefits, which can easily be measured, monitored and understood.

However, thanks largely to the use of MRI brain scans, breakthroughs in neurobiology over the past 25 years have confirmed that people are primarily, even overwhelmingly, emotional decision makers. How real the benefits of a product feel to consumers is actually the key.

An overwhelming amount of neurobiological evidence suggests that emotions are more significant than thought to successful marketing. For example: Emotional reactions are 80% faster than cognitively filtered reactions to brand related stimuli. So, original emotional reactions inevitably color our ‘rational’, non-objective secondary reaction.

Our brain consists of three separate brains, the original sensory brain, an emotional brain, and a rational brain — a very late addition in evolutionary terms from which verbal abilities stem. First mover advantage goes to the emotional brain, which sends 10 times the amount of data to the rational brain that it receives in return. It’s a trade imbalance, with the emotional brain serving as China, and the rational brain about as central to brain economy as Cuba.

Value is determined emotionally because our brain’s decision making process returns to the emotional segment to ‘sign the check’. Only the sensory and the emotional parts of the brain connect to muscle activity. To translate branding efforts into sales, you should bear in mind that the rational brain is more like a lobbyist than a legislator: its role is simply to influence how the emotional brain will ‘vote’ on a potential purchase.

The second barrier is the industry’s obsession with monitoring brand equity almost entirely on the basis of brand awareness. In reality, awareness is passive and unconvincing, and merely provides a starting point. To be aware of a brand is not the same as being loyal to it. Indeed, awareness follows the pattern “I see it, I notice it”, which keeps the brand firmly in the role of ‘external object’, rather than a focus of desire, or product lust.

Ultimately, great brand equity is about having an emotional connection to a brand. Just being aware of the brand is inadequate because real equity is based on a response such as “I feel it and am inherently aware of it because the brand is myself.”

A company has achieved genuine equity when the pronoun shifts from a company-centric ‘it’ to ‘me’ and ‘us’. The brand is reflecting one’s own values and vision of self within one’s desired peer group. The biggest, most common mistake made in branding is to imagine that the ‘what’ (the product) takes precedence over the ‘who’ (the consumer). Nothing could be further from the truth in terms of creating a long term brand strategy.

Does the brand-consumer link feel like a friendship? Is there a sense of membership? Can you readily identify with the brand? The joke that has to be explained is never as funny as the joke you just get. Over complex campaigns that rely on digital technology forget the simple truth; that even the most jaded heart still seeks to believe that it has found a reliable ally. You’ll know you have reached the point where there is an emotional bond when the stories consumers tell about your brand spontaneously involve the use of first person pronouns, and are told with a burst of spontaneous feeling.

Above all else, remember that it is easiest to sell loyalty when the brand resonates with the consumer’s sense of self. When you address who people are, what they associate with, and what they do and value, you create an emotional connection so deep that consumers no longer think about what to buy.

Great brand worth becomes internalised and accepted as a reflection and extension of the consumer’s own beliefs. Fail to make an emotional connection, and you lose out, because value is determined emotionally. Brand attributes are like the claims related to a product. They are merely assertions unless the consumer’s emotional brain finds them valid and worth embracing. By contrast, trust and faith are able to add intensity to the quality of branded offering, making them less subject to erosion a point of particular importance in a time of economic uncertainty.

The bottom line is that consumer beliefs and brand equity go hand-in-hand because both are concerned with the long haul; they are about staying power. A ‘we’ that links a company to its target market of loyal buyers is possible to create, but the conduit through which it happens involves honoring each consumer’s ‘me’ rather than focusing on branding as simply a barrier to competition or a price booster and profit generator. In short, brands must appeal to consumers’ hearts to earn a place in their baskets.

Emotionomics can work for your brand:
1. Have a personality. You can’t have a friendship with somebody without any qualities or character. Tell people your brand is about ‘reliability’ and ‘quality’ and they will yawn, so be distinct.

2. Celebrate the ‘weenie’ — the term Walt Disney applied to the visual detail that stands out most to guests. What is it for your brand?

3. Before you get to your brand’s core competency, define its core belief — the one that underpins its meaningful existence. Is it a belief that the target market cares about?

4. Go to war (peacefully). There’s rarely a ‘we’ without an enemy with an antithetical value system. Identify it to better understand yourself.

5. Brand positioning starts with a feeling. Michelin leverages guilt your standing as a parent rests on your tires. Nike has pride, a drive to progress, combined with the satisfaction of attaining goals. Ensure yours is intrinsic to your brand experience.

6. The brain is like a pinball machine. You build your score with associations that light up in people’s minds. Work out which ones you can build on.

7. Feeling points beat talking points. Make sure your language speaks the brand-consumer relationship.

8. Be customer-centric. The product isn’t the hero, the customer is. Change any communication that puts ‘what’ ahead of ‘who’.

9. Strive for intimacy. It’s hard to hug a giant, but most companies try to seem as big as possible. Touch points must be organic and sensitive to consumer needs.

10. Be gender-sensitive. Many brands use masculine assumptions, devaluing female perspectives, despite the reality that women do most of the shopping.

Emotional responses in brand-building strategies
Everyone feels before they think; the non rational emotional reaction comes before the more rational secondary one. However, this trend is often over looked in the marketing community, where measurement systems tend to rely on what consumers think (and consequently say) their response was to a product or campaign, as opposed to their genuine emotional response.

Currently, branding risks failing for two reasons, both of which can be addressed by taking into account what brain science tells us about the importance of creating an emotional connection with consumers.

Business has dutifully followed suit with a rational bias. In branding terms, this means companies remain too product focused, concentrating on functional, utilitarian benefits, which can easily be measured, monitored and understood.

However, thanks largely to the use of MRI brain scans, breakthroughs in neurobiology over the past 25 years have confirmed that people are primarily, even overwhelmingly, emotional decision makers. How real the benefits of a product feel to consumers is actually the key.

An overwhelming amount of neurobiological evidence suggests that emotions are more significant than thought to successful marketing. For example: Emotional reactions are 80% faster than cognitively filtered reactions to brand related stimuli. So, original emotional reactions inevitably color our ‘rational’, non-objective secondary reaction.

Our brain consists of three separate brains, the original sensory brain, an emotional brain, and a rational brain — a very late addition in evolutionary terms from which verbal abilities stem. First mover advantage goes to the emotional brain, which sends 10 times the amount of data to the rational brain that it receives in return. It’s a trade imbalance, with the emotional brain serving as China, and the rational brain about as central to brain economy as Cuba.

Value is determined emotionally because our brain’s decision making process returns to the emotional segment to ‘sign the check’. Only the sensory and the emotional parts of the brain connect to muscle activity. To translate branding efforts into sales, you should bear in mind that the rational brain is more like a lobbyist than a legislator: its role is simply to influence how the emotional brain will ‘vote’ on a potential purchase.

The second barrier is the industry’s obsession with monitoring brand equity almost entirely on the basis of brand awareness. In reality, awareness is passive and unconvincing, and merely provides a starting point. To be aware of a brand is not the same as being loyal to it. Indeed, awareness follows the pattern “I see it, I notice it”, which keeps the brand firmly in the role of ‘external object’, rather than a focus of desire, or product lust.

Ultimately, great brand equity is about having an emotional connection to a brand. Just being aware of the brand is inadequate because real equity is based on a response such as “I feel it and am inherently aware of it because the brand is myself.”

A company has achieved genuine equity when the pronoun shifts from a company-centric ‘it’ to ‘me’ and ‘us’. The brand is reflecting one’s own values and vision of self within one’s desired peer group. The biggest, most common mistake made in branding is to imagine that the ‘what’ (the product) takes precedence over the ‘who’ (the consumer). Nothing could be further from the truth in terms of creating a long term brand strategy.

Does the brand-consumer link feel like a friendship? Is there a sense of membership? Can you readily identify with the brand? The joke that has to be explained is never as funny as the joke you just get. Over complex campaigns that rely on digital technology forget the simple truth; that even the most jaded heart still seeks to believe that it has found a reliable ally. You’ll know you have reached the point where there is an emotional bond when the stories consumers tell about your brand spontaneously involve the use of first person pronouns, and are told with a burst of spontaneous feeling.

Above all else, remember that it is easiest to sell loyalty when the brand resonates with the consumer’s sense of self. When you address who people are, what they associate with, and what they do and value, you create an emotional connection so deep that consumers no longer think about what to buy.

Great brand worth becomes internalised and accepted as a reflection and extension of the consumer’s own beliefs. Fail to make an emotional connection, and you lose out, because value is determined emotionally. Brand attributes are like the claims related to a product. They are merely assertions unless the consumer’s emotional brain finds them valid and worth embracing. By contrast, trust and faith are able to add intensity to the quality of branded offering, making them less subject to erosion a point of particular importance in a time of economic uncertainty.

The bottom line is that consumer beliefs and brand equity go hand-in-hand because both are concerned with the long haul; they are about staying power. A ‘we’ that links a company to its target market of loyal buyers is possible to create, but the conduit through which it happens involves honoring each consumer’s ‘me’ rather than focusing on branding as simply a barrier to competition or a price booster and profit generator. In short, brands must appeal to consumers’ hearts to earn a place in their baskets.

Emotionomics can work for your brand:
1. Have a personality. You can’t have a friendship with somebody without any qualities or character. Tell people your brand is about ‘reliability’ and ‘quality’ and they will yawn, so be distinct.

2. Celebrate the ‘weenie’ — the term Walt Disney applied to the visual detail that stands out most to guests. What is it for your brand?

3. Before you get to your brand’s core competency, define its core belief — the one that underpins its meaningful existence. Is it a belief that the target market cares about?

4. Go to war (peacefully). There’s rarely a ‘we’ without an enemy with an antithetical value system. Identify it to better understand yourself.

5. Brand positioning starts with a feeling. Michelin leverages guilt your standing as a parent rests on your tires. Nike has pride, a drive to progress, combined with the satisfaction of attaining goals. Ensure yours is intrinsic to your brand experience.

6. The brain is like a pinball machine. You build your score with associations that light up in people’s minds. Work out which ones you can build on.

7. Feeling points beat talking points. Make sure your language speaks the brand-consumer relationship.

8. Be customer-centric. The product isn’t the hero, the customer is. Change any communication that puts ‘what’ ahead of ‘who’.

9. Strive for intimacy. It’s hard to hug a giant, but most companies try to seem as big as possible. Touch points must be organic and sensitive to consumer needs.

10. Be gender-sensitive. Many brands use masculine assumptions, devaluing female perspectives, despite the reality that women do most of the shopping.

Link between Money Market and Monetary Policy in India

The monetary policy represents policies objectives and instruments directed towards regulating money supply and the cost and availability of credit in the economy. In the monetary policy framework broad objectives are prescribed and an operating framework of policy instruments to achieve them is formulated. The monetary policy in India is an adjunct of the economic policy. The objectives of the monetary policy are not different from those of the economic policy. The three major objectives of economic policy in India have been growth price stability and social justice. The emphasis between the first two objectives has changed from year to year, depending upon the conditions prevailing in that year and the pervious year. The objectives of the monetary policy are also price stability and growth. The government of India tries to manipulate its monetary policy through the Reserve Bank, the monetary authority in India. The objectives of the monetary policy are pursued by ensuring credit availability with stability in the external value of the rupee as well as an overall financial stability.

The Reserve Bank seeks to influence monetary conditions through management of liquidity by operating in varied instruments. These instruments can be categorized as direct and indirect market based instruments.

In an administered or controlled regime of money and financial markets, the Reserve bank directly influences the cost, availability and direction of funds through direct instruments. The management of liquidity is essentially through direct instruments such as varying cash reserve requirements, limits, on refinance administered interest rates, and qualitative and quantitative restrictions on credit.

Since 1991, the market environment has been deregulated and liberalized wherein the interest rates are largely determined by market forces. The objective of the monetary policy operations is to make the interest rate regime more flexible and responsive to the economic fundamentals. In such an environment, the Reserve Bank influences monetary conditions through market based, indirect instruments such as open market operations and refinance / discount / repo windows.

The success of market based indirect instruments depends upon the existence of a vibrant liquid and efficient money market that is well integrated with the other segments financial markets such as government securities market an foreign exchange market. The effectiveness of the monetary policy depends on the market and institutional framework available for transmitting monetary policy impulses.

The financial sector in India is still in a state of transition because of ongoing reforms. However, a growing integration among the different segments of the financial markets has been witnessed. Still, the markets do not have adequate depth and liquidity – a major constraint in the conduct of the monetary policy. The Reserve Bank therefore still relies on the cash reserve ratio as an operating instrument. The bank activated the bank rate on 1997 as a reference rate and as a signaling device to reflect the stance of the monetary policy. The interest rates on different types of accommodation from the reserve bank including refinance are linked the banks rate. The announcement impact of bank rate changes has been pronounced in the prime lending rates (PLRs) of commercial banks.

The Reserve bank also set up a framework of interim liquidity (ILAP) which helped in injecting liquidity through collateralized lending facility (CLF) to banks, export credit refinance to banks, and liquidity support to primary dealers. All these facilities were formula based and depended on the bank rate. The ILAF was gradually converted into a full-fledged LAF. The liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) has evolved as an effective mechanism for absorbing and/or injecting liquidity on a day-to-day basis in a more flexible manner.