The theory of cognitive branding adds life to your brand.
While several key factors come together to define consumer perception, it boils down to the manner in which your brand promise and image are interpreted by your audience and the performance levels thus created for your product or service.
Emotions vs. Emotional Benefits
While emotions do play a role in the cognitive branding experience and it is important to know how branding makes your customers feel, it is the ‘emotional benefit’ that customers derive through use of your market offering that is most important in brand development. Our work with Injoy giving, a company focused on generous purchases, is a classic example of feel-good emotional benefits that consumers derive from purchases. In order for emotional benefits to create a long-lasting relationship with your target audience, it is vital that you first understand your target market’s core values. Simply put, cognitive branding helps your audience fall in love with your brand by delivering powerful, self-targeted messages. Excellent examples of this are the Always #LikeAGirl campaign (you can watch their award-winning ad here) and Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ sketches.
Great brands tell great stories
45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it. In order to create an emotional bond between your brand and your audience, it is necessary to tap into the social-cultural- emotional needs of consumers, whilst simultaneously building a value story into the framework of your brand. These stories engage your audience on multiple levels and come together with concepts that stand the test of time, giving you a loyal customer base. A classic example of this is TOMS, with their outstanding ‘One for one’ initiative.
Brands as part of the community
For a company, effective branding is the foundation of good communication and brands that choose to communicate certain lifestyle values by means of their products, are found to be hugely successful in their fields. By incorporating elements into your brand that audiences are able to continuously identify with, you facilitate long-term relationships and brand loyalty. A prominent regional company that has successfully crossed into the ‘community brand’ sector is Careem. With a vibrant online presence, the brand is hugely popular in the UAE, especially with the millennial population.
With a majority of consumer decisions made intuitively, people tend to be attracted to things that are different and unique. The luxury category of products and services relies heavily on cognitive branding to attract and influence their audiences. Cognitive disfluency makes audiences put in extra effort to understand, relate to, or even pronounce certain brands like Louis Vitton or Häagen Dazs – making them feel special. Similarly, providing customers with novel experiences that educate or provide a sense of accomplishment, like Nespresso’s coded system of names and colours or Al Tayer’s Amber rewards programme, serve to create a unique, luxury persona for your product.
Image Source: TOMS UK