Why do successful companies spend so much money and time focusing on enhancing their brands? The strength of their image can mean the difference in greater or lesser revenue. Think Apple, a company whose products are no better than their competitors, however, is able to charge a premium because of their brand cache.
A company may offer the best or marginal quality products, but if they make the best psychological associations and fire up the right emotional responses the company will rule its industry. Think Apple, Tesla, DollarShaveClub, and countless other top companies. In fact the top consumer companies in the world are not just focused on marketing, they’re communicating with the market in a deeper way. Why?
Buying decisions typically generate the positive responses to the company’s perceived image. This image may have been founded on superior products and outstanding customer service – or – from incredibly convincing marketing, psychology and advertising strategies.
Logos Matched with Images
Often, consumers mentally match the cute images with a company’s logo to make emotional buying decisions. Accordingly, many consumers fail to connect a company’s brand with their claims of superiority, but the positive feeling about the company’s products remains.
The consumer may tirelessly research the company’s products accumulating facts and analyzing product reviews, but if consumers get positive internal feelings from the company’s emotionally-appealing marketing strategy, this feeling often tips the scales in favor of a buy decision.
This feeling is very powerful, even when consumers cannot instantly recall the brand or logo. Researchers like to call this the “I like it, but I don’t know why” syndrome. This is an accurate description of the situation. Apple is a master at this, somehow.
The Emergence of the Internet Had a Significant Effect
While the shopping volume over the internet was slow in gaining momentum in the early days (the 2000s) because of consumer security concerns, purchase volume has rapidly increased in recent years. This increase has coincided with the improved security levels that have been developed, along with the dominance of the internet in homes across the world.
Every day serious and casual internet surfers are bombarded with subtle or blatant brand advertising via banners, animation, or persistent graphics. These brands typically paired with positive images of smiling people, cuddly puppies, and huggable, happy children. These images invoke the feelings that serve the positive emotional responses that motivate consumers to buy a product or service. Some even buy products that are of lower quality than the competitor’s offerings.
Imagery Is Very Powerful
Imagery is a powerful tool. While the “pen” may be more powerful than the “sword,” imagery is often more powerful than simple text. This power, when married to companies, brands, and logos, overwhelm the facts and logic of most otherwise reasonable people.
Even the most analytical and logical people are susceptible to, and essentially must resort to this emotional response. After gathering all in the information between two very similar products, making a decision and taking action to go with one or the other depends on emotion. Marketers take note of this conditioned response. It works.
This does not mean researching rational data and product information is useless. It plays a role in the buy decision. When combined with brand images, logos, quality text, and enticing pictures, the rational, factual product information, this combination often causes the “knee jerk” emotional reaction to buy.
Even those who are aware of this syndrome seem to sometimes be powerless to prevent it. Yet, those who become aware of the realities of the emotional nature of irrational buy decisions are taking an important step to making better, more informed buying choices.