Here’s a question to ask yourself as we’ve moved out of a particularly challenging year into 2021: How would you evaluate your “brand EQ”?


What, exactly, are we talking about?


Do you have a favorite song—perhaps one that sounds exceptionally pleasing in your headphones? The reason it sounds good is that when that song was being mixed, an audio engineer ran the music through an equalizer, or an “EQ”—a device that boosts certain frequencies and lowers others to make the overall sound more pleasing. Similarly, good “brand EQ” refers to brand messaging that resonates well with your audience on an emotional level. Another term for this is emotional branding—the art of tuning one’s brand messaging to create an emotional bond with the audience.


Why Is Brand EQ Important?


Extensive research shows that we choose to buy based on emotion, then justify based on logic. In other words, it doesn’t matter how well your physical product solves a problem; if you don’t reach the customer emotionally first, they’ll pass you by. That’s why virtually all good marketing and advertising seeks to make an emotional connection (EQ) before trying to show why their product is the most intelligent solution (IQ).


Brand EQ actually takes this principle a bit further. In today’s marketplace, and especially considering the challenges of the pandemic, consumers more than ever before are choosing to align themselves with certain brands—or pass judgment on other brands—based on how those brands make them feel. An eye-opening survey from Deloitte indicates that among today’s buyers, only 3 percent recommend a brand to others based solely on shared values. A whopping 44 percent of them recommend the brand based on an emotional connection they have with the product or service.


Emotional Advertising Isn’t Enough


From this information, we can see almost a “sandwich” effect in which logic is “sandwiched” between emotional responses. The customer first decides to buy based on emotion, justifies it logically, then chooses whether to keep buying that brand based again on the emotional connection. These stages are handled by effective emotional advertising (advertising EQ); the final stage, the one that actually builds brand loyalty, comes from brand EQ—the overall tone you set in your messaging that “hits them in the feels.”


As we embark on the New Year, it’s a good time to evaluate your brand EQ. Do you believe your messaging is effectively creating an emotional bond with your target market? If not, what can be done to improve it? At Wicked Bionic, we specialize in helping brands like yours to connect more effectively with their audience, not just resulting in more sales but in increased long-term loyalty.

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