Skip to content

the advertised brand: emotion and response (continued)

January 6, 2016









We have been discussing the importance of understanding the relationship between value, emotion, and response as it relates to marketing and promotional advertising. Our marketing efforts become the foundation that presents the value of the brand.

For these efforts to have a favorable acceptance, an equally favorable emotional connection must be established. This opens the opportunity to present the factual claims of my service and product offerings through promotional advertising.

Although behavioral science is rich with heavy discussion on the topic, the basic process can be illustrated fairly simply. Please pardon the blatant abuse of alliteration in the following.


My day is in gear. From the moment the alarm presents the first interruption of my day, I am moving. Even at rest, my mind is constantly engaged, processing. There is always more than I can possibly take in, yet the stream of sights, sounds, smells, faces, and voices continue its torrent around me.

Yes, I’m used to this. At some early point in my life, this became normal. I became too involved to notice I was too involved. Just try to get my attention. I dare you! If you happen to succeed, it better be good, because if it’s not, the only impression you’ll be making is a negative one. Just know this, I remember negative impressions long after the details have faded.

All advertising at its most fundamental level is designed to be an interruption. No one appreciates being interrupted. This pair of statements appear to present a classic conundrum, but not necessarily so. Consider this example, your spouse is flustered in trying to focus on four competing concerns. The effort has already caused his or her mind to shut down, and now there is just a flurry of frustrated energy being wasted. What to do?

You move in closer, reach an understanding arm around your loved one, and say, “Let me help, we can make this work.” Through the purposeful effort of opening an emotional connection, your interruption has a much better chance of acceptance, than simply blurting out some factual guidance on how to deal with the frustration.

Promotional advertising that ignores the fact that it is basically an unwelcome interruption is missing a great opportunity. We all need interruptions throughout the day to help us refocus and make timely value judgments. The point is how we interrupt, and the value that interruption presents.


That is, purposely make a favorable impression upon the feelings. This is marketing’s role in taking the organization’s story and purpose (brand) and associating it in ever evolving ways that speak directly to the public’s emotional intelligence. The intended result is a personal connection, allowing the advertised message to be more favorably received.


That is, educate the public of the factual claims, benefits, and superior nature of the product or service. This is the advertiser’s role in building upon the brand’s personal message, offering a rational claim that is designed to elicit a reasonable response.


This is where the deal is sealed. Marketing and advertising work together with a simple goal in sight, influence a decision. Regardless of the size of the transaction, the decision to make a purchase is a personal act. The customer needs both to feel good about the decision, as well as have the intellectual satisfaction that it involved a rational choice based on the information reviewed.

Marketing leverages the organization’s branding to influence the emotion’s role in the customer’s response. Advertising, then builds upon that influence by providing essential factual info to add the tangible substance necessary to lead to a rational response.

Returning for a moment to the advertised message example used in a previous post, we can clearly see this process illustrated.

“You can make a straight cut with any saw. What it comes down to is this: Which brand do you trust? When safety, job performance and reliability are considered, there are very few real choices. You already know which one you choose.”

The emotional connection the customer had with the brand was the deciding factor when comparison-shopping for a saw. When rationally comparing the features and claims of the competition, the customer’s previously influenced bias led to a quick decision. It was worth the extra $5 for the personal satisfaction that the best choice was made.

the advertised brand: emotion and response

January 5, 2016







We previously considered the ability of the advertised brand to create an association between value, emotion, and response. Our primary focus was regarding the need for the advertised message to be squarely and consistently positioned upon the brand’s identity. It is the brand that establishes the value proposition, which is then naturally associated with the claims of the promotional advertising.

We now go on to consider the emotional influence upon brand association and our responses. There is no denying that emotions exert a powerful sway upon our decision making process. These effects include several factors, all of which are active at some level as we go about our day.

Even on our dullest of days, we have a very perceptive sense of what is going on around us. Although this sense usually doesn’t include a conscious recognition of the details, we are being influenced. Consider the positive effect the bright, cheery barista’s greeting has upon you. There is a lift that you can feel. It is more than the latte you are anticipating.

Then there is the influence the crowd around you exerts, which is often much more powerful than that of an individual encounter. For example, let’s return to the coffee shop. You have walked in, and before you have time to notice the long line, the barista looks up and personally welcomes you. You smile back, and then notice the line. You decide to join the crowd.

As you are inching ever so slowly forward, you begin to hear the grouches around you complaining about how long it is taking just to get a lousy cup of coffee. You think to yourself, these people are really rude. Although you don’t yet realize it, you have already lost that smile you had. Pretty soon, the guy at the register will have lost more than his smile. You had been thinking about enjoying a scone at the table, but now it’s only about getting your latte and out the door.

We both feed upon and fuel others at an emotional level. This is true whether considering how our emotional state present at the time skews our immediate responses, or the ongoing bias, which the emotion imprinted, affects future responses.

Considering the power that emotions exert upon our everyday interactions, it should be clear that their influence upon how we react to advertising is of utmost importance. It behooves us to have a clear understanding of the process involved. Obviously, both marketing and advertising are built upon the belief that it requires more than just the facts to influence a positive response.

the advertised brand: its value and cost

January 4, 2016



Ultimately, what prompts a customer to select one brand over another? The organization that loses track of its brand value may be stuck with only a single value proposition, competitive price.

Indeed, for most purchasers, price is the likely first point of consideration. That is, unless there has already been the acceptance of a value proposition even more deeply ingrained than that of price. Even then, price is never completely out of the equation. It always affects the customer’s value perception.

Consider then, the price as related to value. It could be that the price point, as compared to the crowd occupying the space, is actually in the lower range. In that instance, the perception of a lower price often equates to a lower perceived value. Here, only the strength of the brand identity can possibly overcome the negatively perceived value, and appeal to a larger cross-section of customers. This is not only true in retail, but also in the service industry.

Conversely, if the price of the product or service is in the higher range, brand identity can and does make the difference to the informed customer. The association that has been built with the brand’s overall integrity, quality and reliability will always sway the customer towards purchase. It does not guarantee it, but certainly has the capacity to level the claims of the competition.

In a real sense, value belongs to the brand, while cost is simply one factor considered by the customer in making the selection. Where the value perception of the brand is high, the cost of the product or service may be high or low among competitive brands and still be the preferred choice.

When proper weight is given to marketing the brand, the effect upon advertising strategy can be profound. Consider how a simple branded by-line can form the foundation of an entire campaign, crossing all channels and completely leveling the closest competitor’s claims.

“You can make a straight cut with any saw. What it comes down to is this: Which brand do you trust? When safety, job performance and reliability are considered, there are very few real choices. You already know which one you choose.”

the advertised brand

December 28, 2015





The brand is who you are…


      The message is built from the brand, and is strategically crafted to enhance and enlarge the value of the brand in the public’s awareness. The enhanced value of the brand then forms the backdrop to the promotional advertising of the products or services offered.

This is the symbiotic relationship between marketing and advertising; branding and promotional advertising. This is the point at which you either effectively leverage your brand, or you lose sight of it and simply begin hawking your goods.

In the series of posts that follow, we will be considering some key elements of the advertised brand. It’s really not that complicated when you get right down to it. In fact, the more complicated you try to make it, the less meaningful the results are likely to be.

In our efforts of enhancing the brand, we are actually seeking to create an association in the public’s mind. This association ties together value, emotion and response.

The unadvertised brand sits in the shadows believing that its offerings, great logo, and strong promotional advertising are all it needs to position itself in the marketplace. Confident that once the public begins to try our product or service, they will recognize immediately its inherent value and become a fan.

Not likely. There is simply too much noise and hyperactivity in the marketplace.

To gain the type of attention needed to build this value association requires brand confidence. This hearkens back to our earlier conversation: know who you are, be who you are and share the message about who you are and what you have to offer.

The brand must enhance the message in the same way that perfume creates association. Sole dependence on promotional advertising to create a value proposition may indeed produce results, but is that the value association you are seeking?

Don’t just add to the noise; create a lasting impression.

Next up: The Advertised Brand: Its Value and Cost

my brand

December 15, 2015

jb i5 07-24-14 104



Some time ago, while introducing this current series of posts, I made this comment,

…the underlying principles associated with these fields of study should spark interest in pretty much everyone…Why is this, you might ask? Well, the real focus of both Marketing and Advertising is you…The single most important goal of these two major business fields is quite simple; bridge the gap between the supplier of goods or services and you. That makes it personal.”

    Now that we have been following this path awhile, it occurs to me that it is time to pull back a bit. Not to review the ground we’ve covered, but rather to explore just what all of this means to you and me. What can we take away from having considered a few of the key principles that under-gird the practices of marketing and advertising?

These principles are actually based on keen insights drawn directly from human nature (at least, that of post Genesis, chapter 3). They are not the result of some manufactured social psychology imposed upon us in an effort to relieve us of our coins. Of course, that is not to say that they are not often used solely for that purpose…

We naturally recognize such concepts as identity, value, cost, loyalty, and message. We may not have considered them in the same sense as that of the marketer and advertiser. Nevertheless, we easily understand and connect with them.

Take for example, “identity.” When I ask, “Who are you?” very likely you will simply respond with your name. Unless you are widely known and recognized in public settings, it sounds the same as every other James on the block. Nothing other than your general appearance, voice, and demeanor distinguishes you from the crowd.

However, there is in fact an entire universe of difference resident within you. You are not just another James. The value that this difference brings to your name is hidden, unless and until there is some manner of public disclosure.

Over time, we can begin to value our own differences less than those of others to whom we are comparing ourselves. At that point, there is the danger of attempting to misrepresent our actual value with that of someone else, whom we are beginning to esteem more highly.

Some, who have never really paid much attention to us, begin to hear a different story concerning our value. They come by checking out us out, and say things like, “You remind me of my friend, Sam.” They come around every so often, but never truly connect.

Those close to us begin to see us as acting out of character, and can become confused as to who we really are. Some who once valued us begin to consider the cost of remaining close higher than they are willing to invest. The story continues…

2012-06-23 18.25.16

OK, I think you have probably figured out what I’m up to. We see represented in the narrative above:

  • your Core Identity (Brand)
  • your Name that represents your identity (Logo)
  • your True Differences that make up who you are and what you have to offer (Value)
  • your Self-disclosure as you interact openly in public (Message)
  • your Close Associates who value you for differences (Loyalty)
  • That which both you and your friends are willing to Invest in order to maintain that close relationship (Cost)

Now, if any of this intrigues you, find some time to read back through JBProfilethis series of posts and see if you can draw out any further personal observations. If so, we would greatly value what you have to share with us.


the power of the message

December 14, 2015

2014-05-23 17.14.43




In these posts, we have been speaking a lot about the message. In publicly positioning your organization’s core identity in the marketplace, the message is the means by which you unfold your story.

As we have seen, your branding must always form the foundation upon which your advertising is built. Your messaging begins the narrative that discloses who you are and what you have to offer. This narrative alone may help the public to distinguish you from a host of competitors, but that is about as far as it can go.

There must be a compelling “Why” that accompanies this message. The “why” draws upon the energy of your integrity and aspirations of success, supplying the depth, hues, and colors that distinguish both you and your offerings.

One of the most common missteps along this path is allowing the message to become muddled or diluted. There is a trajectory in the growing public awareness of your brand that must not be interrupted by the introduction of conflicting messages. For it to continue to build into a positive perception, the messaging must maintain consistency.

Although the consistency must be focused on the brand, the message’s presentation is continuously being refreshed. It is this refreshing that helps to build the enhancement of the public’s expectations.

Brand messaging that is confused or vague betrays the underlying problem of a missing identity. The message cannot create an identity, but is built from the stuff of the identity.

The message that enhances enlarges, and supports the brand must have a solid foundation upon which to build. That is, you must first come to a basic and honest understanding of the “who, what, and why questions regarding your brand identity.

Know who you are, be who you are, and unleash that energy in your message.

Next up: The Advertised Brand