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Brands must find the “emotional” benefit to connect with consumers

Aperio FMCG ConsultingBrands must find the “emotional” benefit to connect with consumers

By Michael Wood, Director of Aperio, a business consulting company focused on accelerating growth of FMCG brands in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Many international and local brands make the mistake of their marketing and promotional campaigns not being relevant to consumers.

Dina Myers, Director of Aperio, a business consulting company focused on accelerating growth of FMCG brands in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa says, “Marketers go for too complicated or idealistic ideas that look good in the board room but do not relate to the reality of the market or the capabilities of the organisation to execute.”

 

“By the time the campaign gets in front of the consumer it is so diluted it does not relate to the original idea.”

According to Myers the best ideas are the simplest because they can get executed. “There is only one strategy that counts and that is the one you execute,” she says.

Myers believes that while there are some brands that get it right many brands continue to fail to connect with the consumer in a way that builds a strong connection and trusted relationship.

Brands need to ensure they deliver on functional benefits versus competition, but there is strong evidence that brands that have a superior emotional benefit to competition build a stronger relationship with consumers to a point where those brands have a higher market share, higher growth, more success and in the long term more profitable.

“Brands who demonstrate strong emotional benefits usually can charge a premium over those who rely only on functional benefits.”

According to Myers, the iconic Coca Cola brand understands this well. “Coke’s functional benefits are about being refreshing and thirst quenching, but the brand never talks about those. Coke is all about opening happiness. What does this mean, it means Coke is about celebrating life, those special occasions that create strong, powerful and emotional memories and its about doing it with a coke in your hand. This is pure emotional benefit. Combined with making their marketing locally relevant and locally connected, Coke is truly a brand of the people. It’s ‘Africa Let’s Go Crazy’ campaign or ‘A billion reasons to believe’ demonstrates this perfectly.”

She uses another example of a brand getting it right - Volkswagen. Volkswagen emotionally connects with consumers and doesn’t talk to functional benefits. There are great examples of VW advertising on an emotional level.

VW South Africa:

VW Darth Vader:

VW be happy:

“When you talk about emotional benefits you can’t miss out Nike, this brand has gone so way beyond functional benefits; does anyone ever even ask how well the sneakers perform versus the competition?” says Myers. “Nike is about ‘bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world and if you have a body you are an athlete.’ The brand is about being authentic; it’s about success being earned through passion and tenacity. Nike inspires people to believe in themselves to victory, overcoming the fears and challenges inside them, ‘because you are winner, just do it.’”

Nike rise & shine ad:

Nike doesn’t let anything stop you.

Nike: find your greatness.

Nike possibilities.

Nike: voices.

According to Myers, “Superior emotional benefits are not easy and many brands struggle with this. Here’s a brand that has not connected with consumers like it should. Glaceux Vitamin Water has over emphasised the functional benefits of the product and has not made a strong connection with its consumers. The brand didn’t provide a strong emotional hook for consumers and their advertising didn’t come across as genuine or authentic as a result they did not establish emotional benefits and in Australia for example they are the fastest declining category in beverages market.”

Vitamin water:

Vitamin water:

Vitamin water:

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