Brands of Emotion

by Kyra Dawson


The power of Sony. The oh so good indulgence of Starbucks. The find-it-fast search capabilities of Google. These names evoke strong emotions of dominance, warmth, satisfaction and confidence. All are very effective names because once a consumer’s emotions are engaged, the strength of a brand is realized.

Emotional reaction equals strong investment, and it is very hard to neglect or forget an investment of any sort. Brands are highly aware of the cerebral yet instinctual connection an emotional reaction elicits. This chemical evocation is utilized to the maximum benefit when brands plan a promotional campaign for their product. Companies spend millions to ensure that their audience more than gets the message they want to send by incorporating music, sounds, images, vivid color and celebrities to trigger huge sensory responses towards their product, company or innovation. An emotional response towards a name is the human to brand connection that is sought after like the Holy Grail. If customers feel drawn to something, loyalty through preference is sure to follow.

A strong name acts as the prompting mechanism to encourage a skeptical generation and a savvy nation to give a product a try. If a name can evoke the security sensation of that phrase “satisfaction guaranteed”, then you’ve got a winner. If that promise is vaguely implied upon hearing a brand name, then maybe people might be interested in studying the label of your product looking for that feeling to inspire them to test trial. If people lose interest before the last syllable of your brand name can be uttered, your brand is sure to be ignored. A strong name is irresistible and charms people with its charisma. A strong name pleases consumers because it feels good just to say it. The brand name is verbal short hand for the brand promise itself.

At one time Alaska Airlines decided to upgrade their image and started by removing their lovable Eskimo picture from the tail of their planes. They quickly reinstated him when customers complained about how attached they were to him, and how he gave them confidence to fly!

The first and most important quality of anything is a solid name. If you miss on the name, the link between brand and emotion will be weak or nonexistent. This can spell the downfall of any trademark, ensuring the brand’s identity will be second best or grouped with all the rest and easily forgotten. Worse still, it could too easily be dismissed.


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