Monday, August 31, 2015

Brands and Their Emotional Appeal

What is it about Donald Trump that makes him a GOP frontrunner for US president (so far)? Here is what many people say. Trump cannot be controlled. Trump knows it is all a joke. He is our way of giving the middle finger to Washington and career politicians. He says what he thinks. He has no filter. That is refreshing. He succeeded in business. Maybe he could succeed in government too. He is not politically correct. He seems real. He embodies the rage of the white middle class.

Why is Richard Branson and his Virgin brand so popular? He smiles and laughs a lot. He has fun. He dreams big. He breaks the rules. He is not afraid to take risks and fail. He perseveres. He values people and respects his employees. In a way, he epitomizes a different more refreshing approach to business development and management.

Why is Andy Warhol so popular? He was one of the pioneers of Pop Art. He showed us that art can be about common everyday items, items that are a product of our high commercialized consumer society. Art can be accessible. It doesn’t have to be profound. And it can be transient like other aspects of our throwaway society. His work chronicled popular culture from the 60s through the 80s. And they sometimes made statements on popular culture. His art was original, different and modern. And Andy Warhol really knew how manipulate the media.

What do these three examples help us understand about branding? They demonstrate the power of personality. They establish the importance of being different from everyone else. They reveal that it is important to tap into deeply held attitudes, values and beliefs.  They indicate that timing can be a factor in popularity. And they show that emotional appeal is always very important.

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