Want to convince customers that your brand is exclusive? Then it might be time to break out the customer contempt. Some of the world’s most powerful brands do their best to show customers that only a select few will measure up to their exclusive brand standards.
It’s an age-old question of emotional branding: do you do negative branding or positive branding to push your product? Negative marketing and positive marketing are two seemingly opposing approaches that have been used in emotional marketing for decades, but is negative advertising really a useful tool?
How Emotional Branding Cuts Through the Clutter
Emotional branding’s strength is that it allows brands to cut through the clutter that dominates the marketing world. Emotional branding does not look at a product and say, “How can I push the cool features of this product?” Instead, it says “How do the customers of this brand want to feel about themselves?” In this way, emotional branding and emotional marketing can connect with the customer on a much deeper level than other types of branding. This applies for negative branding and positive branding equally, with emotional marketing being a strong tool to push a brand home.
Emotional Marketing and How to Choose the Right Marketing
It’s often not easy to decide what sort of marketing is right for your brand. Emotional branding is useless if it is not paired with the correct customers for the situation. The key here is to find out what your customers really want in their own lives and dreams, not what you have. Emotional marketing is all about transitioning from a focus on features to a focus on attitude. You take the attitude that your customers already have, and show that you are a representative of those same attitudes.
Negative Marketing vs. Positive Marketing
So how do you decide if you should use the carrot or the stick when motivating customers to buy? Negative marketing is a powerful motivator for some customers, and is a tool that should be used if deemed appropriate. Normally, the groups that are most motivated by the power of negative branding are those that are high powered and successful. These are the people that are constantly looking forward and upward, and can take a little smacking around.
Negative Advertising for Aspirational Brands
The best place for negative advertising is without question in an aspirational brand. Aspirational brands differ from normal brands because they are not brands that appeal to everyone. Emotional branding uses aspiration brands to only target a certain group, whether it be high-powered businessmen or tough athletes. These are the brands that push you to be good enough to even buy their brands, not the other way around.
Negative Branding or Positive Branding?
While negative branding is great for aspirational brands, sometimes it’s better to use honey than vinegar in your marketing. The most important aspect of negative branding is that it cannot be used in the wrong sense. If your customers are not the type to take well to being abused a little, they’re certainly not going to respond well to being taunted by your advertising.
So let’s recap
- Emotional branding cuts through the clutter by identifying what lies deep within the hearts and minds of the customer. It then uses these desires to position a brand around an identity that the customer already identifies with.
- Negative marketing is something that is best reserved for those who are high-powered and are ok with taking a bit of abuse from their brands. Don’t just start taunting your customers without a game plan
- Aspirational brands take to negative advertising like a fish to water. The customer has to prove that she is tough enough to buy the product, not the other way around