Let’s talk about best case scenarios when it comes to your advertising or marketing materials. In the best case they will inspire an emotional connection between the audience and the product or service you are selling. That connection is one that will lead the audience to be motivated to choose your product from the sea of competitors, to do so with more loyalty, and to feel good while they are doing it.
So how do you make that happen? I will explain the technical theory and origin of Identifiaction as a persuasion tool later… but first lets examine a current example. Johnson and Johnson is well known for selling many things including baby products like baby lotion, oil, shampoos… and so on. Their products are ubiquitous and well respected. In a currently running ad they have a baby ‘talking’ to his mother, in a reassuring way. As you watch it pay attention to the intended emotional connection building between the ad and new (or expecting) mothers.
As Kenneth Burke’s theories explained in his epic book: A Rhetoric of Motives this emotional connection is vital to persuasion and can be thought of as identification as follows:
Burke suggests that whenever someone attempts to persuade someone else, identification occurs, because for persuasion to occur, one party must “identify” with another. That is, the one who becomes persuaded sees that one party is like another in some way.
“We need never deny the presence of strife, enmity, factions, as a characteristic motive of rhetorical expression. We need not close our eyes to their almost tyranneous ubiquity in human relations; we can be on the alert always to see how such temptations to strife are implicit in the institutions that condition human relationships; yet we can at the same time always look beyond this order, to the principle of identification in general, a terministic choice justified by the facts that the identifications in the order of love are also characteristic of rhetorical expression.”
It is clear that mothers have much in common with other mothers and that Johnson and Johnson believes that the unspoken dialogue between mother and infant is something that women will relate to, identify with, and the ensuing positive feelings will benefit the brand when purchasing decisions are made.
How are your marketing efforts creating emotional connections with their audience?
One way to start is to simplify your message, and focus on the auxiliary benefits your products create. The emotional connection won’t come from the facts and specifications, at least for most people. Johnson and Johnson never once mentioned how clean your baby would be with their soap. Its not the message they are going for. Simply: baby talks to mom and tells her she is doing great.
Done. Emotional Connection undoubtable.
Want to chat about some ideas like this for your business? Hit me up on twitter @spirocks or lets grab a coffee, I love them almost as much as burgers.