Emotional Branding and Social Media: Positive and Negative Emotional Appeals

Emotional Branding and Social Media: Positive and Negative Emotional Appeals

Nicholas Mathew (Cleveland State University, USA) and Ashutosh Dixit (Cleveland State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2921-7.ch017
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Emotional branding is increasingly being used by marketers to win customers for their products or services. And, social media has become a growing and popular forum where marketers use emotional branding. This paper/chapter explores the concept of emotional branding and the role of emotional branding in marketing contexts such as in social media. Positive and negative emotions are explored with practical examples of advertisements that use emotional appeals. The paper provides a literature review on emotions and emotional branding and offers theoretical perspectives on the emotional branding concept. The paper also provides a brief discussion on the theoretical and practical implications of emotional branding in the realm of marketing.
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In the current competitive marketplace, it is important for businesses to capture the attention of potential customers. But, how can businesses successfully gain the attention of customers and make them buy goods and services? Creativity and the generation of new ideas are essential in helping businesses to successfully compete and acquire new customers. As the business landscape evolves, marketers are generating new ideas and helping businesses find creative ways to successfully compete by highlighting the emotional aspect of products or services. The highlighting of this emotional aspect falls under a concept known as emotional branding, which has been conceptualized as the successful attachment of a specific emotion to a brand (Rossiter & Bellman, 2012).

Emotional branding is about a brand’s engagement with consumers on the level of senses and emotions; how a brand comes to life for people and forges a deeper, lasting connection (Gobe, 2009). Marketers can use emotional connections to develop a sense of loyalty and passion among consumers towards a brand (Gobe, 2009). This loyalty and passion can help brands to compete successfully in the marketplace. Researchers have argued that emotional branding usually appeals to consumers not through rational arguments related to the positives and negatives of using a product or service (Gobe, 2009). However, it appeals to consumers through the use of storytelling, narratives, and other tactics that demonstrate an empathetic understanding of customers’ inspirations, aspirations, and life circumstances (Thompson, Rindfleisch, & Arsel, 2006).

Research has suggested the importance of branding that takes into account people’s emotions or feelings (Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982). From the mid- 2000s on, influential brand consultants, researchers, and writers such as Kevin Roberts and Marc Gobé began educating marketers on the fact that brand awareness and loyalty are not enough and managers now need to seek emotional commitment and create brand love among customers (Koiznets, 2014). Therefore, this chapter seeks to further develop and understand the role and usage of emotional branding in the marketing context. The objectives of this chapter are:

  • 1.

    To gain an understanding of emotional branding in the realm of social media marketing.

  • 2.

    To explore the usage of positive and negative emotions by marketers through practical examples.

  • 3.

    To provide theoretical and practical implications on the usage and role of emotional branding.

This chapter is organized into three sections. The first section of the paper provides a literature review on emotional branding, emotions, and emotional branding and social media. The next section offers practical and theoretical implications, followed by a section that provides concluding thoughts on emotional branding appeals.


Literature Review

This section provides a literature review and discussion on emotions, emotional branding, and emotional branding and social media. It also explores the positive and negative emotions that marketers often use to appeal to consumers. In addition, the section provides practical examples of advertisements that use these positive and negative emotions.

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