Although this seems like an emotional branding dilemma, it shouldn’t be. Study after study proves that over 90 percent of our decisions and choices are determined by emotion. Dr. Antonio Damasio, a professor of neuroscience, concluded that even single cell organisms are motivated to survive and reproduce completely by emotion. In fact, many living creatures with no brains make decisions based solely on emotion.
Emotional Branding Approach
So, where does this leave us? It certainly helps us in determining our approach to communicating, selling, and campaigning with regards to emotional branding. Donald Trump has been the perfect case study when discussing emotions vs. facts, especially during his times as both a dynamic speaker and public speaker.
Of all the candidates on both sides, Mr. Trump has presented the least amount of information to support his claims of “Making America Great Again.” While the other candidates are touting their experience, scorecards, accomplishments, and telling voters to go to their websites to read their policies and solutions, Donald Trump tells stories, makes baseless claims, and slings insults during his times as a public speaker, or as some may argue, dynamic speaker. Yet, he has become the Juggernaut.
Power to the Public Speaker
Voters are flocking to his rallies and rushing to the polls to vote for him. All in the name of emotion, as he plays on their fears and anger, which some may consider a twisted form of emotional branding. In fact, even when Mr. Trump is proven wrong, caught in a lie, or credible anti-Trump information is presented to his supporters, they say they’re still voting for him. He has created such an emotional connection with his followers that as Trump himself has proclaimed, “I could shoot someone on Fifth Ave. and still not lose a vote.”
Defining a Dynamic Speaker
In a Fast Company article written by Vivian Giang, she cites Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School. Dr. Gino conducts research on emotion, focusing specifically on how simple, seemingly irrelevant factors can have a significant impact on the choices we make every day.
“What we find across various different studies is that our emotions can cloud our judgment in two main ways,” she says. “One is that they make it difficult for us to judge whether advice is good or bad. And then two, depending on the emotion we might be feeling, we might completely shut down and not listen to advice at all.”
I give you exhibit “Trump.” He is so convincing with his claims and rhetoric that in the face of real information, people refuse to listen, which results from the belief that he is, in fact, a dynamic speaker to some degree.
Once again, where does this leave us? Understanding that emotions play a major role in the decision-making process is not a license to play on the fears, anger, and emotions of others with tools such as emotional branding. Although the other candidates are offering real solutions to real problems, perhaps they are simply not connecting enough on an emotional level.
Connecting emotionally is critical, but following with honesty, integrity, quality products, exceptional service, and REAL value is just as critical. Understanding the importance of emotionally connecting can be a guide to better communicating with those we need to persuade, sell to, recruit, manage, and enter into relationships with. Now that Donald Trump has captivated the country with his emotional branding, personally, I’m still waiting for the information and the solutions.