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Why Your Brand Needs Emotional Intelligence | VI Marketing Blogs

I think it's apparent that in marketing today we can no longer taut the "big sale" or the "new feature" and truly believe that our message is going to resonate with our audience. Heck, our audience no longer wants to be seen as an "audience" or a "consumer" or a "prospect." They want to be seen as a human.

Audiences of today, especially younger demographics, want brands to be more socially aware, authentic and transparent. They care more about who you are than what you are selling. As the digital world moves us into automation and algorithms, the human aspect is now a competitive advantage and a selling point for marketers. We need to understand that purchasing decisions aren't always rational. There are almost always underlying motivations, emotions or sentiments involved in the buying cycles. In an analysis of the IPA dataBANK, which contains 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns, campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content. Additionally, the purely emotional campaigns performed slightly better than those that mixed emotional and rational content. Emotionally connected customers spent, on average, twice as much annually as highly satisfied customers. It's safe to say empathy is key to marketing campaigns in 2019 and beyond. 

Emotion in marketing isn't a new concept. Brands are building content around brand experiences, storytelling and social purpose—but we have all seen this go wrong. There is a real difference in talking about emotion and having true emotional intelligence. Brands often pay the price when they don’t walk the walk. I think one fault we have in behavior change marketing is that we often want to help solve a problem or challenge that our audience faces but really we need to respond to the challenge, itself. Brene Brown says, “The truth is, rarely can a response make something better—what makes something better is connection.”  She follows that by stating that real connection requires vulnerability.  “Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.” We need to aim to connect with both the rational and emotional parts of our audiences to truly move the needle towards objectives. 

So what does emotional intelligence or "EQ" look like for a brand? Brands that are harnessing EQ are honest about their motives, deeply empathic with their audience and find the overlap between organizational objectives and the motivations of an audience. This is the balance between the emotional and rational parts of your brain. Emotionally intelligent brands, like emotionally intelligent humans, succeed in finding empathetic connections between the who and the why. Emotionally intelligent brands are going to pave the way of this new era. They can identify the underlying needs and motivations of individuals who are not just driven to make a purchase but who can be motivated and empowered enough to make a life change. If marketers can use empathy to understand a persona's life experiences then we can connect our brand with those needs in a truly relevant way.

VIth Sense: A Better Brand Strategy Could Make BK the Burger King | VI Marketing and Branding

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But, it’s a horrible brand strategy. You can’t own a position that another brand already owns in the consumer’s mind. And certainly not if that brand is a stalwart like McDonald’s. Yet, Burger King is doing just that: They are trying to beat McDonald’s at their own game. The most recent is the BK version of the Big Mac (Big King XL), but there’s a long history of Burger King chasing Micky-D’s.

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