Stealing Share's Analysis and advice

Emotion is the Brand’s Value and currency

July 20, 2023

A Brand's Value is Found in Emotional Connections

Emotion is the Brand’s Value

A brand's value is always emotionalBranding, a concept as old as commerce itself, is often heralded as the holy grail of modern business. Companies invest vast resources in creating visual identities, logos, taglines, and advertising campaigns to create a strong brand.

While it is true that branding can add value to products and services, the disconnect between companies and the true essence of branding is evident in the lack of understanding regarding the importance of an emotional bond between customers and the brand’s value.

Let’s talk about why companies often fall short of grasping the full potential of branding and how the strength of the emotional bond determines a brand’s value.

How can you understand the value of brands? Let’s talk about emotion.

Branding and its Value Proposition

A brand's value is emotional and, therefore, powerfulBranding encompasses more than just a logo or an attractive design. It is the essence of a company’s identity, a set of perceptions and emotions associated with a product, service, or organization.

Effective branding creates a unique image in the minds of consumers, differentiating one company from its competitors.

This differentiation, in turn, can translate into tangible value by allowing companies to command premium prices, enjoy customer loyalty, and, ultimately, increase steal market share.

Marketers can Mistake a Brand’s Value for Product Benefits

However, the mistake companies often make is equating branding solely with visual aesthetics or a catchy tagline.

While these elements are essential for establishing brand recognition, they do not capture the essence of branding, which lies in forging an emotional connection with consumers. That is a brand’s value. That’s the only way to measure brand value.

The Emotional Bond and its Impact on Brand’s Value

Brands that establish a strong emotional bond with their customers tend to enjoy higher brand value and loyalty.

Emotions have a profound impact on consumer behavior, often trumping rational decision-making. When consumers feel emotionally attached to a brand, they become brand advocates, driving word-of-mouth marketing, leading to increased referrals, and attracting new customers.

The Nike Brand’s Value

Nike, for instance, has created a powerful emotional bond with its “Just Do It” slogan and its association with athletes overcoming challenges.

Nike’s emotional connection has translated into enduring brand loyalty, even during company controversies. The emotional bond built by Nike adds the brand’s value to its products, enabling the company to command premium prices, which its competitors struggle to replicate.

The Disconnect: Short-Term Gains vs. Long-Term Brand’s Value

One reason companies don’t fully comprehend the power of branding lies in the short-term focus that often dominates business decision-making.

Quarterly earnings, immediate sales targets, and stock market performance can pressure companies to prioritize short-term gains over long-term brand-building efforts.

In this race for quick returns, companies may resort to tactics such as price discounts and promotions to boost sales temporarily.

The Brand’s Pricing Trap

However, these tactics often erode brand value by diluting the brand’s perceived worth and undermining the emotional bond with customers.

A Brand's value is emotional

Customers begin to associate the brand with cheap deals rather than meaningful experiences, eroding the brand’s ability to command

premium prices in the long run.

Furthermore, another pitfall companies fall into is neglecting the emotional aspect of their brand by focusing 

solely on functional benefits.

While highlighting product features is essential, the emotional connection turns consumers into loyal 

advocates. Understanding and catering to customers’ emotional needs can create a lasting bond that transcends mere product functionality.

The Complexity of Emotional Bonding

Creating and nurturing an emotional bond with customers is challenging and requires a deep understanding of the target audience, their aspirations, values, and desires.

Yet, many companies fail to invest adequate time and resources in understanding their customers on a deeper level. Consequently, they miss the opportunity to tailor their branding efforts to resonate emotionally with their audience, leading to a lack of brand loyalty and that diminishes the brand’s value.

Moreover, building an emotional bond demands consistency, transparency, and authenticity in the brand’s actions.

Companies that do not align their messaging with their values and fail to deliver on promises risk losing the trust of their customers. When a brand breaks trust, the emotional connection weakens, and so does the brand’s value.

The Influence of Technology and Social Media

The rise of technology and social media has drastically altered the branding landscape. While these tools provide new avenues for reaching customers, they have also made it easier for companies to resort to short-lived tactics that offer quick visibility but lack emotional depth.

For instance, social media influencers and paid endorsements may generate immediate buzz, but they often fail to build lasting emotional connections.

Furthermore, social media allows consumers to share their experiences, both positive and negative, with a global audience.

Companies that disregard the emotional needs of their customers or prioritize profits over customer satisfaction are swiftly exposed, damaging their brand reputation and eroding customer trust.

The misunderstanding of branding lies in the failure of companies to comprehend the significance of the emotional bond between customers and the brand.

Brand Recognition and Value's ValueWhile visual aesthetics and marketing campaigns are essential for brand recognition, the actual value of branding lies in the emotional connection it forges with consumers. (Read about our model for predicting emotional connections here.)

Brands that succeed in creating this bond enjoy higher brand loyalty, increased market share, and the ability to command premium prices.

The disconnect between short-term gains and long-term brand value, neglecting the emotional aspect of branding, the complexity of emotional bonding, and the influence of technology and social media all contribute to the failure of companies to fully grasp the power of branding.

To unlock the true potential of branding, companies must shift their focus towards understanding and catering to the emotional beliefs of their customers, fostering trust, and delivering authentic experiences that create lasting emotional connections.

By doing so, companies can harness the full value of branding and elevate their businesses to new heights.