Brief #90: The power of gratitude and emotional branding

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Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’d like to thank you for being a member of Future of Marketing. You’re the best part of this community – and we’re sincerely grateful for your continued support. We wish you and your family a happy holiday. 

Today, we’re discussing…

  • Why you should sell feelings
  • What we’re learning
  • #BrandCrush: Concorde Career College 💘

Sell Feelings

Gratitude is a powerful tactic that can attract and retain customers. A study analyzed 800 descriptive trait words and reported that “grateful” was among the top 4% in terms of likeability. 

You see, when you convey genuine emotions (like gratitude) to your customers and team – you humanize your brand and make it easier for people to connect and engage with you.

“Great emotional branding doesn’t directly sell products – it sells feelings,” shared NMP Magazine. 

“The goal is to generate a feeling for potential customers [and teams]… and then make sure you’re representing it across all your marketing channels – including both online and offline ads, in your social media and in your website content.”

Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke – Share a feeling” and “Hug me’” campaigns are perfect examples of how brands successfully tap into their customers’ emotions. In summary, Coca-Cola asked fans to share photos to the #ShareACoke hashtag for the chance to be featured on Coca-Cola billboards – and it created an emotion-driven experience people wanted to be part of… So much that Coca-Cola “sold more than 250 million named bottles and cans in a nation of just under 23 million people in one summer.”

Now, the #ShareACoke hashtag has over 640,000 posts on Instagram alone – which is a repository of user-generated content that the brand can request rights to and repurpose across ads, their website, social media profiles, and more.

A screenshot of user-generated content being shared to #ShareACoke on Instagram

Next time you’re planning a campaign, ask yourself – how can I make people feel something?

What We’re Learning

#BrandCrush: Concorde Career Colleges 💘

Each week in #BrandCrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers' voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

Speaking of gratitude, Concorde Career Colleges is currently running a campaign, where they’re asking students to submit words, pictures, or videos depicting what they’re grateful for. They’re using a specific web page to collect this user-generated content, request rights to it, and display it across their “Gratitude Wall” (or web embedded gallery).

A web embedded gallery featuring user-generated content by Concorde students expressing their gratitude

Among Concorde’s Gratitude Wall, you’ll find heartfelt messages, including: “the work I did today got me closer to my dreams” and “I’m grateful for the staff that never lost faith in my potential.” 

This not only highlights their current students’ appreciation and encourages more people to submit content – but it brings in that emotional appeal that helps recruit new students and build loyalty with their current ones. 🎯

Thanks for reading this far – and Happy Thanksgiving! 

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