Posted by , SHS Managing Partner.

CENTCOM Commander Visits the U.S. Air Force Academy

U.S. Department of Defense

The precise number of emotions that we human beings experience is somewhat debatable, but folks pretty much agree that practically everyone does, indeed, feel them. Even those whom we don’t usually think of as “emotional,” such as army generals. But business-to-business and business-to-government executives are known to get squeamish when the discussion turns to eliciting emotional response.

If you’re one of those people, it’s time you pop a Dramamine and adjust your thinking. Because ignoring a factor that could very well be the one thing that each one of your prospects has in common is, frankly, a bit absurd. Emotions are – at least in part – what power changes in beliefs and behaviors. They align perceptions with reality and reinforce opinions. Harnessed correctly, emotions are a B2B or B2G marketer’s best friend.

If this were not the case, trade publications would be chock-full of advertising featuring nothing more than bulleted copy detailing features and benefits, or perhaps just tear-out purchase orders. Web site content would be similar (except with a lot more bullet points because they’re super-inexpensive online).

Study after study proves that connecting with people on an emotional level is more effective than merely focusing on features and benefits. We contend that consciously deciding what emotion we want our audience to feel is foundational to effective communications.

Settling on an emotional benefit is more art than science, and the choice fundamentally affects the message. What do we want our prospective customers to feel about the brand after they’re exposed to the message? Confident? Surprised? Smart? Patriotic? Imagine how the choice would affect the copy content. The tone of voice. The graphics. The color palette. Literally everything.

We’ve been reminded lately that, despite their nerves-of-steel reputation, military commanders can’t just check their emotions at the office door. Neither can CEOs, senators, procurement specialists or supply chain managers. It’s crucial that we all remember that. At SHS, our Borderless Branding™ process helps us develop message platforms that connect on an emotional level whether the client-to-customer link is B2C, B2B or B2G. Because in the end, we’re responsible for connecting our clients’ brands to people.

Brands-to-People. B2P. You heard it here first. Maybe it’ll go viral.  Either way, it’s nothing to get emotional about.

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