The Psychology of Branding: Understanding Consumer Behaviour and Emotion to Create Memorable Brand Experiences

By Miles Oliver

The strength of your brand is key to your success in the world of commerce. Without a strong brand, customers will overlook your product during their search. This is echoed by Edelman data, which shows that 81% of buyers say they must trust a brand before they consider buying from it.

A strong brand can protect your business, too. Building a recognisable brand helps you capture a larger portion of the market share during a downturn, and may help you bounce back after a setback.

However, building a brand that people love and respect requires a deep understanding of psychology and consumer behaviour. As such, taking the time to research your audience and their traits is crucial. Conducting psychological research can empower your marketing team and help you create emotional appeals that stand out in the saturated world of advertising.

Emotive Branding

A strong emotive appeal is among the quickest ways to connect with consumers. By resonating with buyers on an emotional level, you show that you understand their motivations and interests. A well-made, emotion-led campaign can quickly enhance your brand visibility, too. This is why big brands like KFC routinely turn to emotive branding to strengthen their position as market leaders and reinforce their connection with consumers.

Emotive branding can be effective for growing brands, too. That’s because emotive branding gets people talking and enhances word-of-mouth advertising. Word-of-mouth advertising — which occurs when consumers recommend your brand to their peers — is extremely powerful as it immediately bolsters trust and can spread like wildfire under the right parameters. Referrals are also free, meaning your emotive marketing materials can bring in more customers for free long after your campaign has wrapped.

If you’re new to emotive branding, consider conducting some consumer research to find out which values your customers are most interested in seeing from your brand. This is crucial as if you work in an industry like construction, your consumers probably want to see campaigns that focus on reliability and ease of use. Whereas, if you work in a field like interior design, consumers probably want to see content that inspires calmness, joy, and pride.

Using campaigns to connect with the right emotions bolsters sales volume and helps you manage reputational risks. By posting emotive content, you are taking control over your brand story and telling consumers what you stand for. This can be transformative if your current reputation is skewed and branding represents a weakness in your business plan. By taking control of your brand image, you can transform public opinion and improve your reputation amongst stakeholders.

Consumer Experiences

Effective branding is about more than colour palettes and slogans. If you want to build a brand that people trust and care about, you must provide a consumer experience that goes above and beyond expectations. Experience is central to the psychology of branding, as folks associate memories with your brand and are far more likely to consider your business a “loved brand” if they’ve had positive experiences with your product or service.

Experience is particularly important if you work in an industry like retail. You can strengthen your brand and connect with consumers on an emotional level by investing in smart retail technology. Smart retail bolsters your brand image by giving you hard data to measure consumer behaviour with. This can enhance your enterprise intelligence and help you better understand the potential pain points your in-store consumers experience.

If you don’t have a physical presence, consider investing in customer support and aftercare. Online shoppers want to feel supported and will return to your brand regularly if you are well-equipped to support their needs after they’ve bought a product from you. This can help you stand out from the crowd and ensure you’re able to craft a memorable brand experience with every customer who buys from your business.

Social Branding

Social media is a powerful tool in any marketer’s arsenal. It’s also the perfect venue to trial emotive appeals and start building a more human connection with your consumers. The right emotive appeals can help you differentiate your brand image from other businesses and draw consumers towards your online presence.

The power of emotive branding on social media has been proven by research, too. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that emotive branding can help small brands “grow healthily in the process of building strong brands.” This is crucial, as small brands typically have a harder time controlling their brand image within the highly competitive world of digital marketing.

Branding on social media doesn’t have to be time-intensive, either. Instead, draw on existing consumer data and use established principles like colour psychology to connect with customers. Regularly posting branded materials that utilize trends and psychological insights can quickly grow your social media presence, strengthen your brand in the digital age, and help you connect with consumers on an emotional level.


Using psychology to brand your business is a great way to connect with consumers and create lasting relationships with the folks who buy from your company. Even subtle changes, like switching up your colour palette based on colour psychology, can have a huge impact on sales and customer retention. Just be sure to invest in the customer experience, too, as this will reinforce your brand image and encourage word-of-mouth advertising.

If you are interested in how you can build a deeper and more meaningful brand connection with your audience, we’d love to chat. Contact us here.

This is a guest post by Miles Oliver

Image; Unsplash, Hal Gatewood

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