Marketing Through Feeling & Emotion at Christmas

Posted by: Tommy Tonkins

Over the next three weeks, in the run up to Christmas, we’ll be exploring how marketeers have crafted and shaped Christmas into an unstoppable commercial phenomenon.

We’ll look at the tactics the best Christmas campaigns use, we’ll identify ways Christmas can benefit your brand and business, and we’ll try to understand what it is about Christmas that captures the hearts and minds of millions of people every year.

Because whether we care to admit it or not, we are creatures governed not by logic but by emotion.

Emotion drives us. It fuels desire, it inspires us to act and it shapes our behaviors. Marketeers have always been experts in leveraging emotion for commercial gain and this comes to the fore at Christmas more than any other time of the year.

Maximising sales at Christmas is key because demand in the market place is much higher. However, as consumers, we’ve become much more savvy to traditional marketing techniques which is why emotion is the most common, and most powerful, theme running through Christmas campaigns.

Selling through feelings

It’s the most common theme because it’s the most successful. We buy based on feelings. Whether it’s a product or a service we’re buying, it’s ultimately feelings that influence our purchasing decision. Usually these feelings stem around trust, confidence and respect – this triangle is the key driver to sales and retention.

At Christmas the emotion dial is turned up to the max. We’ve seen grown men weep at John Lewis Christmas adverts and be proud to do so and we’ve seen eyes light up at the first chords of ‘Holiday’s are Coming.’ Christmas is big on emotion.

Emotion and feeling work so well because, even though we want to buy, we still don’t like being sold to.

What we do like is being told a story, what we do like is a touch of drama, and what we do like is being given a sprinkling of Christmas magic when we’re being asked to buy something.

The best content engages us, it entertains us and it gives us something we didn’t have or didn’t know before. This is what the best Christmas campaigns do because they don’t tell us what to buy; they show us how to feel.

How to create a feeling

Here are some ideas on how you can start to create emotion with your customers so you become more to them than a discounted offer or last-minute sale.

Put a face on it – Christmas is the ideal opportunity for you to put a face (or faces!) on your brand. Build the trust, confidence and respect in your customers by showing them who you are and that you are people too. Fun cards, videos or simple message are all highly effective. Just maybe think twice before you ‘Elf Yourself’ and post the results on YouTube…

Tell your story – We say this a lot but only because it is vitally important. Be more than your product. Be more than your service. Be something your customers want to be part of. Take them on a journey with you and make them feel privileged to be a part of it.

Make people care – After all, Christmas is the time of giving. Give people a reason to care about you. When we care about something we are driven to act. This could be purchasing a product, it could be sharing a social media post or it could be making a recommendation to a friend. Inspire people to act by giving them something to care about.

It’s easy to get carried along on the Christmas bandwagon and to make noise just because it’s a potential opportunity. Like everything, make sure that your message is relevant, engaging and adds value to your business.

Achieve this at Christmas and it will generate momentum to carry you through into the year ahead.

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