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Emotions drive brand preference

In 1997, the ratio between rational and emotional considerations in driving brand preference was about 60%-40% in favour of the rational. Today it’s the other way around. With 80%-20% in favour of emotional over rational appeals, according to Brand Keys who generated over 4.3 million surveys over the past 25 years in the U.S.

So how do you evoke emotional considerations? According to the researchers, just having entertaining ads won’t do the trick. First, people have to be able to link the ad to the brand. Second, all kinds of factors lead to forming emotional attachments, including a broad range of experiences and associations people have with the brand.

However, one way that does evoke emotions in a way it drives brand preference is by making people feel good about themselves for using a product. For example, consumers really do place importance on the alignment of a brand with their outlook on social issues.

The reason why we survived as a species is because we socialize and are able to collaborate in big groups. Still today this intrinsic need for social connection is very important to humans. Therefore people will always seek ways to fit in and to be part of a group. As sustainability and inclusivity are increasingly seen as the social norm in society, this will be reflected in people’s brand preferences as well. What people buy partly reflects how they want to be perceived and it supports them in fitting in. At TrendsActive we research the changing needs of generations and genders, and the change in needs due to societal shifts, in order to get a grasp on how brands can support their customers in fitting in.