Every day we are surrounded by emotions: the good, the bad and all in-between. In this emotional bubble, we seek to satisfy and feel the most basic human emotion of happiness.
According to Abraham Maslow, the road to happiness and fulfillment comes before a series of essential steps known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. One of the steps includes the emotions of belonging and identification, two emotions that can be incorporated into your business.
Here are 3 ways in which you can sell using emotions.
As mentioned above, people want to feel a sense of belonging. What better way to satisfy that than by being inclusive in your small business?
In the past, inclusivity has been largely ignored in media and marketing, making it a valuable addition. Incorporating representation allows people to feel seen, included and emotionally identify with the business. Once they establish that emotional bond, they are more likely to purchase and support your small business because of the emotions elicited.
Any representation is essential and can make a world of difference to make a person feel included and establish a sense of belonging. There are many ways to elicit emotion in your business and sales. Whether it is your range of clients or diverse staff, these simple methods trigger the emotional response customers seek.
You can weave inclusivity within the various modes of marketing used in a typical business.
Here are some examples of how you can be inclusive:
- Including people of color in your social media posts
- Opening your model range to people with disabilities
- Create a safe space for all communities ( like the LGBTQIA, BLM, & AAPI communities and more)
- Incorporating different skin textures like wrinkles, acne, vitiligo, etc. and people of varying body shapes and sizes as models or brand representatives
- Don’t be afraid to use your activist voice to help stand up for various communities.
Being inclusive allows a larger range of people to feel seen and welcome and gives them a sense of belonging. They can also identify with the product and are more likely to support, purchase and be loyal to your small business. In other words, you are not only selling your product or service to them, but the emotion they feel when they make that purchase.
#2—Share Your Backstory
Sharing a personal story can make a small business owner feel very vulnerable, so not many owners choose to do so. Although, sharing who you are or what your business stands for can help people identify with you (as the business owner) or identify with the company itself.
It is important to share just the right amount of information, a sweet spot where you can get personal but not private. With this information, your story can spark an emotional connection between your small business and your customers.
Being relatable also allows the customers to see and connect themselves with the products or services you are selling. Establishing such a strong emotional bond between the business and customers expands their emotional reasoning as to why they should purchase from your small business over another.
That emotional bond also creates customer loyalty; where customers are more likely to continue to purchase regardless of price fluctuations.
Some examples of a backstory may include the spark that ignited your company or the person who inspired a specific product. These stories create an emotional tone for your small business that is relatable to customers (again making them want to purchase from your business even more).
Your story can also make the customer feel good emotionally, influencing them to make a purchase. Customers love to know what they are supporting and impacting when they buy something; in other words, they love to experience that emotional response.
#3—Have a Purpose
Have you ever stopped to think or define the purpose of your small business? Is it to empower women? Promote the idea that imperfection is beauty?
Giving your product or company a purpose can help influence customers’ emotional reasoning to make a purchase. Whether it is a relatable motive or something they support, it gives them an emotional reason to support and buy from your small business.
In other words, you are selling emotion. The way the consumer feels when they support your brand or the way they can identify with your brand encourages more sales and customer loyalty. This is known as purposeful purchasing, the alignment of persons’ own beliefs and values to the types of purchases they make.
Purposeful purchasing solidifies a person’s identity and encourages them to feel like they are doing something to support the greater good.
For example, TOMS’s shoe brand gives a pair of shoes to a person in need every time a purchase is made. This buy-one-give-one model makes TOMS so much more valuable and attractive to the consumer’s eye. They can then identify with the values of the brand and that emotion alone is big enough to influence them to purchase and be loyal customers.
Here is a list of a few purposeful brands (including ours!):
- Patagonia—Create high-quality, long-lasting products while reducing environmental harm and donating 1% of sales for environmental support.
- The Body Shop—Promotes the idea that beauty is also found in fair trade, environmental health and cruelty-free products.
- Chipotle—Chooses to revolutionize the fast-food industry by supporting family-owned farms, equal pay and ethically raised cattle.
- Klean Kanteen—Sustainable company that donates 1 dollar per every 100 dollars spent to environmental organizations.
- J Squared Communications—A women empowering, LGBTQ supporting, company that generously gives back to the community. They support and donate to several social causes including, gender equality, poverty and quality education.
These are just a few things that can help encourage selling with emotions; including these tips in your business will help pull the heartstrings of many. This enables customers to support and buy from your business because they feel emotionally drawn to the brand or how the purchase makes them feel personally.
Overall, selling with emotions can be done in many ways, just as long as you show just a little bit of humility and express your compassion for humanity. Now spread the love!
To learn more selling and marketing techniques, check out our blog post on 3 ways to build a strong brand online.