A good friend of mine, let us refer to him as Tyler (because that is his name), is quite often finding ways to challenge my thinking – on anything from China (the stuff you eat off of) to industry practices. Tyler, whom I met in grad school, is an Interactive Designer living in Chicago with his beautiful fiance, Brittany. After reading my blog (thank you very much), he forwarded on an article that I thought took an interesting perspective on the issue of emotional marketing. In true Melanie/Tyler form, I intend to argue the points this article makes. I must preface a few things:
- I don’t wholly agree or disagree with everything this article says. Some very valid points are made.
- Regardless of the challenge, Tyler and I have never ended a dispute/argument/discussion in agreement (except, that is, an agreement to disagree).
- In reference to preface two, this is not because we never agree, it is because we wouldn’t DARE let the other know that they were right.
The idea behind this article is that marketers have taken a very manipulative approach to marketing in their attempts to appeal to the consumers’ emotions. I agree, that sometimes marketers can take it a bit too far, lets say, when marketing to children or people in unfortunate situations. With that said, I am a firm believer that you must exercise your brain and take control of what affects you. The people that these commercials or advertisements “manipulate” are those who are easily manipulated – a very poor quality. Since the beginning of time, it is survival of the fittest, and while I agree that there is such a thing as corporate responsibility, you surely can’t expect that a company wouldn’t do anything to better their bottom line. PERIOD. Companies going green?!? Please, its a PR move. Co-sponsorships of charities?!? The executives who make these decisions – they know EXACTLY what they’re doing. It is YOUR job as a consumer to weed out the nonsense and not let subliminal messaging alter your behavior. And if not, they win. Survival of the fittest, and good for them. This is not to say one shouldn’t get emotionally attached to a brand, go ahead, I, for one, am ridiculously attached to Wegmans, but realize you have a choice.
I digress by saying, I agree with this statement, and not just because I find Apple to be a brilliant marketing machine, but because the statement can stand alone with validity:
Apple is a classic example of a company that designs for the long term loyalty of their customers. The ipod might be a loss leader, but if it gets a customer used to the Apple platform and gets them using itunes, they are that much closer to purchasing a Macbook or iphone. Many companies would do well to focus more on their customers’ attachments to the brands, as it would help them design better products and services.
I want to move on to say that, I haven’t thought something was so perfect since, well, I met my husband. A brilliant idea finally conceptualized and organized into a community – that is lovemarks.com
Lovemarks are brands that inspire loyalty beyond reason. People love them because of what they are, not because of what they do. Their appeal is emotional. Companies may own brands. But Lovemarks are owned by the people who love them.
Tyler – thank you for the great article! You have undoubtedly just had an impact on the formation of my next research question.