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How to increase your emotional marketing potential

Date Created: 21/02/2022

Why do people buy your product? If you offer enough benefits to outweigh the cost of the purchase, do you automatically close the deal? That's not always the case, is it? Consumers are not calculating machines. They are soft, warm, breathing people with emotions who attach meaning and personal significance to your products.


How do potential customers evaluate your products (or services)? How do they weigh various factors before making a decision? How are their emotions involved in this process? Consumers - whether they realize it or not- use up to six categories of emotional criteria when deciding whether to buy your product.


  1. Technical criteria

Technical criteria refer to what your product does. Every product performs a function. It may also perform additional functions or have features that make it easier to operate or use. If your type of product has been on the market for a while, everyone assumes it will perform its basic function. Marketing battles are fought on the ground of added features and ease of use.

Does your product perform its core function better, faster, or more smoothly than your competitors' products? Have you enriched your product with additional features? Is your product easier to buy and easier to use?


  1. Economic criteria/task

Economic/sacrifice criteria relate to pricing. Consumers live in a world of approximation/avoidance. The benefits of your product are in a tug-of-war with price and the effort required to purchase it. For most consumers, the psychological costs associated with buying your product reduce their enjoyment of it. Several emotionally significant factors influence the maximum price you can charge for your product.

How closely is your product related to the buyer's needs? How unique is your product? Are you asking for a "fair" price? Is paying the asking price socially acceptable to your customers?


  1. Legalistic criteria

Consumers are also guided by what others demand or want. Some potential buyers must comply with legal requirements, and this loss of control can be frustrating. Consumers also feel obligated to consider the needs and desires of others, such as their spouse or children.

Does your product help your customer meet regulatory requirements? Can your product be made more attractive to your customer's children or spouses?




  1. Integrative criteria

How does your product or service fit with your potential customer's social group or personal identity? Consumers belong to social groups. If they do not fit in, they can be embarrassed. Therefore, they are constantly trying to find a balance between group membership and visibility and self-esteem. Any product or service that boosts their self-esteem is emotionally satisfying.

Does your product help your customer express their identity? Can your product be described as "upscale" or "exclusive"?


  1. Adaptable criteria

Consumers want to minimize the risk of regretting their purchase later. The simplest solution is to avoid responsibility entirely and rely on the advice of others, preferably an expert. Consumers reduce their risk of regretting the purchase later by mimicking the buying habits of others they assume are "in the know," by looking for guarantees, or by basing their decision on your reputation.

Can you offer recommendations from recognized experts? Do you have testimonials from satisfied customers? Do you offer a strong guarantee? Is it possible to offer a free sample or trial?


  1. Intrinsic criteria

Intrinsic criteria refer to the fundamental nature of your product - how much the consumer "likes" your product. Appeal to your customer's senses. What does your product look like, feel like, taste like, smell like, or sound like?

Curiosity is another essential criterion. Consumers are always looking for something new and different. Familiar products are comforting, but they are also boring. The trick is not to go too far. Every consumer has an optimal level of novelty and complexity that maximizes their curiosity and desire to satisfy it. If you go beyond the optimal point, they will revert to the familiar.


Is your product "refreshing" or "enticing"? How about "enchanting" or "elegant"?


If you focus only on the rational, you ignore the enormously powerful emotional forces that ultimately drive your customer's decision. The rational argument should already be won by the high-quality design of your product. Creative innovations, clever pricing, and a convincing presentation will win the emotions of your customers.


*The six categories of emotional criteria were developed by John O'Shaughnessy and Nicholas Jackson O'Shaughnessy, The Marketing Power of Emotion (New York: Oxford College Press, 2003).


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