Emotional Branding

Emotional Branding

Engaging Customers Through Emotion

Happy Customers are the route to success for most brands?

Branding is much more than just a brand name, logo or strap-line. Successful branding is far deeper than that. The best and strongest brands are about forming an emotional relationship with their customers. We call this Emotional Branding.

Emotional Branding is highly influential in deciding which brands we buy. Benefits might appeal to the rational mind but are rarely the real reason why we buy. If you are in any doubt read the book Alchemy by Rory Sutherland.

90% of buying decisions are thought to be subconscious

and 50% of a brand experience is based on emotion


Our approach to evaluation Emotional Branding is uniquely based on the psychological model developed by a psychologist and colleague to Albert Einstein named Robert Plutchik. In 1980, Robert Plutchik first proposed his cone-shaped model (3D) or the wheel model (2D) to describe how emotions were related. The model incorporates a number of emotions including Trust - one of the most important factors associated with brand choice.

The Challenge

Not only do brand owners struggle to define their brands but we, the public, also find it difficult to explain accurately why we choose one product over another. There are many reasons for choosing one brand over another, sometimes this can be accounted for by phenomena such as Behavioural Economics, but Emotion is the key force in forging a relationship with customers.

Wheel of Emotion Explained

The eight sectors are designed to indicate that there are eight primary emotions: anger, anticipation, joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness and disgust.

Opposites: Each primary emotion has a polar opposite, so that:

  • Joy is the opposite of sadness.
  • Fear is the opposite of anger.
  • Anticipation is the opposite of surprise.
  • Disgust is the opposite of trust.

Another smart feature of the wheel is that it highlights the combination of two emotions. For example, Optimism is the combination of Joy and Anticipation.

Finally, the wheel shows the intensity of emotion reflected in the depth of colour. For example, Trust goes from Acceptance up to Admiration.

Emotional Branding

Given the fact that emotion accounts for such a large part of our decision making, it’s easy to understand how creating an emotional bond with customers can make a dramatic contribution to profitability.

Emotional branding, sometimes overly simplified by the term 'Brand Love', is the process of developing a relationship between a consumer and a brand this is achieved by creating products, services and communications that appeal to the consumer’s emotional state, needs and aspirations. 

Furthermore, emotional branding is important as it clearly differentiates one company from another. So it goes without saying that relationships with an emotional dimension are far less likely to defect or stave off brands competing on price or convenience. Great examples of brands with high levels of emotion including Apple, Google, Coca-Cola,

So if you would like to find out more about Emotional Branding our Wheel of Emotion then please get in touch.