Making it happen since 1988

The art of emotion.

By Adam Reynolds on May 10, 2019

The first in our series exploring the subject of emotional marketing focuses on the way design can be used to evoke an audience’s feelings.

Emotions are key to human behaviour as they have the power to influence the way we make decisions, evaluate risks, solve problems, find things interesting and categorise information.

The same applies to design. Consumers perceive objects that are aesthetically pleasing to be more effective. So, when design influences emotions, it creates a relationship with a brand that people don’t just want to see – but use again and again.

Designed to feel.

Design isn’t just a case of making things beautiful. It’s far more about how it makes us feel and how it influences us. Emotion affects us before our rational and cognitive processes start working. Before we start thinking, we already have an image in our mind.

As the discipline matures alongside rapid technological innovation, there’s an increasing requirement for brands to immerse consumers visually and emotionally across both physical and digital landscapes in order to sell both product and purpose. So, what components do brands need to consider when trying to leverage emotional brand appeal in marketing?


A primal emotion in an audience can be triggered if colour is used correctly. Using the right shades can impact people’s emotions on many conscious and unconscious levels, altering their behavioural state.

Take the pure blue of O2, portraying positivity and purity, while the bright red of Coca-Cola and Ferrari conveys passion and excitement.

Like brands, colours are ultimately built around perceptions. So, marketers can take advantage of the effect of colour when thinking about the emotions they want to convey.


Much like humans, brands have certain personality traits. The personification of a brand that evokes certain emotions in consumers is what ultimately builds brand equity.

From Apple sparking users’ creativity and making them feel part of the cool crowd to Honda celebrating people who chase their dreams with reckless abandon. They don’t get in the way of what consumers want, they become what they want.

Brand character is not just applicable to larger brands. This strategy can help smaller businesses and start-ups as well. And with more people aligning themselves with brands that reflect their values, marketers that trigger the hot button ‘make me…’ can conjure up a strong relationship between their brand and the consumer.


In today’s customer-centric world, addressing the consumer not the product can make the audience feel inspired, involved or rewarded.

Look at the way Lego has collaborated with consumers to create a platform where anyone can suggest a new Lego product idea. If an idea attracts enough support and passes a rigorous review process, it goes into production – with the originator receiving 1% of the revenue (to date, all have sold out).

Sparking imagination and embracing the shared economy, brands that co-create with consumers don’t just generate an emotional response but establish a stronger and longer lasting user-brand relationship.

The takeaway: more than a pretty picture.

Creating emotional brand connections to target audiences can translate into conversions and sales as well as online and offline interactions. Strong emotional design appeal that connects the viewer on multiple levels is a big part of this success. Brands that design to look, feel, talk and behave with subtlety and nuance don’t just get attention – they sustain interest and loyalty.


Look out for the next in our series on emotional marketing – The Value of Neuromarketing. Coming w/c 20 May.