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Using Emotion To Differentiate

Last week, I talked about the attention you gain by being different. Strong brands often use emotion to differentiate themselves. Have you seen the snarky tweets that hamburger chain Wendy’s has been sending? Here are a few other examples: 1, 2, and 3. And they reply to just about everyone.

Yeah, that Wendy’s. Sadly, founder Dave Thomas left us years ago, and with him went Wendy’s “warm and personal” image. The brand is reinventing itself with an edge.

Wendy’s is playing it very smart on Twitter. Research has shown that people are much more likely to make a purchase based on emotions vs. logic. It’s all about creating an emotional connection with the buyer. Which is why it is so important to stop explaining to people the mechanics of what you are offering, and instead show them how it will benefit them.

As an example: your message isn’t that you have tickets available for the show. You are offering a chance for people to laugh and relax, escape from the everyday, and spend time with family and/or friends.

It’s unusual for a fast-food chain to dish up so much snark. This contrarian approach is getting attention, allowing Wendy’s to rise above the noise. People are challenging Wendy’s on Twitter, and Wendy’s is roasting them. As they do, they create some of the best elements of a dramatic story: conflict, the chance to win or lose, and an appreciative audience. We all want to be connected to winners. And that desire to be near the winner is one of the powerful influences at play in the art of emotional branding.

You’re going to see lesser brands come out of the woodwork to try to get connected to some of the limelight by challenging Wendy’s. But as the unexpected becomes expected, this promotion for this brand will lose steam.

This week’s mission:

Let’s consider what emotional connections your brand has available for use. Challenge one of your staff members to come up with 5 marketing messages that:

1. Tell buyers how they will be better off after purchasing your product, service, or experience. 2. Use emotion to convey the message.

Example: “Rid yourself of the stress of your day, and go home to your family in a wonderful mood. Join us from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday nights for yoga at the museum.”

This is a great opportunity to hear the thoughts of someone on staff who doesn’t normally get to participate in this level of organizational branding. Who might that be on your end? The challenge will be appreciated.




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I'm Ron Evans. I dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. If you found today's topic intriguing and want to apply it to your situation, I'll brainstorm with you. The few who follow through and take me up on my offer will benefit greatly. Strike while the iron is hot! 


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