Emotional Branding – Its Application in Banking Sector

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1472 , Published on 04 October 2014

‘It’s just the feeling that I have’ the lyric of Maroon 5 song with a same name holds true to the changing market place. With so many options to choose from it takes no time to switch from one product/ services to another. The dynamics of reason can vary from quality of the product to the attractiveness of its logo or even its tagline. To meet these dynamics marketers needed to discover ‘fire’ that would kindle the customer’s loyalty, as such it was best to target the most basic element of human behavior: the desire to surpass materialistic gratification and experience the fulfilment of emotional profundity.

Emotional branding is about the ‘why’, the feeling beneath the products that changes the experience and need of customers on daily basis develops the sense of intimacy. Remember the MasterCard ‘priceless’ ad? The ad reads Animal Shelter: $80. Bowl and Collar: $30. Your firs Dog: Priceless. They were not selling MasterCard rather the love of the dog. The ad became the trademark because it reasoned not just the product but the quality, an experience that all of us can relate to the desire of invaluable, ‘priceless’.

Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net

As compared to the traditional branding that focuses only on the rational benefits such as educational, social, informational, economical and just a relational connect with its customer. Emotional branding on the other hand believes in developing the intimate connectivity for a long term benefit with its customers. The emotional sense of the feel of the product/service is the cornerstone as well as the differentiator between the prices that customer is ready to pay and its ultimate choice.

Emotional branding has been the most sought after branding strategy in banking sector because of the direct involvement of money. When people buy product at a certain price they see the value of the product which to some extend lightens the burden of parting money from their pocket; in banking one sees the direct inflow/outflow of the cash, the risk and opportunity cost associated with it that makes customer more skeptical in taking decisions. To maintain the bonding, ubiquity and experience it is important to make the customer feel the money.

The marketer focuses on both how the customer evaluates the brand, his experience with the brand and the outcome of those emotional memories. How people experience the brand and cherish the memory decides whether they would continue with the brand and remain loyal or they are ready to switch. As such banks have to hammer on the emotional quotient of customers whenever it is servicing loans, cards, experiences; this would generate not just the buying of services but also the loyalty an relationship.

Since banking is more customer –focused then being product-focused those who see branding from emotional perspective and are ready to detach themselves from traditional branding and use emotional communication methods over traditional communication methods will win the wallets and hearts of their customers.

However, to lure the customer into buying product/services banks sometimes exaggerate the emotional quotient and even nullify the functionality of the product. The question that arises is: To what extend should the potion of emotional branding be used to lure the customer but not fool them?

This article has been authored by Kumar Keshav Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur


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