Why certain brands stand the test of time and others fail before they get started?
Or why some content gets shared online more than others?
Evidence shows that it takes a specific psychological cocktail to motivate people to take action.
I’m referring to psychological appeals.
Understanding How to Influence Consumer Behavior
Every business sells to people. That said, it’s important to understand what makes people tick so you can communicate with them better and more effectively.
Smart marketers don’t aim to impress, they aim to resonate.
Psychological appeals are triggers that highlight specific aspects of an object that a person finds interesting or attractive.
In “The Experience Effect,” Jim Joseph lists a great overview of how both rational and emotional benefits are attached to everyday products. Rational benefits appeal to what people actually need. Emotional benefits appeal to what people want, why they buy or use a particular product.
Kid’s Cereal – (N) Nutrition – (W) Fun Breakfast
Fruits & Veggies – (N) Vitamins & Minerals – (W) Look & Feel Better
Cookies – (N) Satisfy Hunger – (W) Provide Comfort
Deodorant – (N) Control Odor – (W) Feel like a Man or Woman
Hair Color – (N) Cover Gray – (W) Stay Young and Sexy
Toothpaste – (N) Prevent Cavities – (W) Prevent Embarrassment
Cars – (N) Get to Work – (W) Get Noticed
Pens – (N) Sign Documents – (W) Security from Identity Theft
Pillows – (N) Support Posture – (W) Reflect Personal Style
Computers – (N) Send Correspondence – (W) Connect w/ Friends
Rational appeals are all about making a logical argument based on facts. The idea is to communicate the quality and usefulness of the product or service.
Rational benefits are usually most effective when customers need to satisfy a need or just get something done. Think of the utility of your product or service. Think about the “what” aspect of the message.
How To Best Use Rational Appeals?
Look, because rational appeals are about the fact and logic, you’ll need data to back up your claims. Research studies by a third-party or an accredited academic university that can provide statistics.
If you want to create brand ambassadors and a legion of loyal customers, rational appeals won’t do the job. People need to be emotionally connected for them to stay loyal to one brand, even when competitors have better products and services.
An emotional benefit is used to help motivate people to take a desired action.
All the while, the speaker has little Ana on his/her lap. The little girl appears to come from poverty and there are images of other children who look malnourished.
These advertisements are using emotional appeals to hook people in and make them feel sympathy for these children.
In his New York Times best-selling book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger conducted research and found that articles in the “Most E-Mailed List” section of the New York Times were articles that played on specific emotions.
Emotional benefits are about digging deep, peeling back the layers and appealing to the customer’s subconscious. Think in terms of design, tonality, color, etc.
How Can You Use This In Your Marketing?
Using emotional appeals and benefits effectively comes down to understanding the customers’ “why”.
When using psychological appeals in your marketing, you want to make people think first and then make them feel.