Do Consumers Really Feel Emotional about Brands?

It’s a matter of satisfying needs vs. fulfilling wants.

This series revisits the basics of branding and marketing by answering questions marketers, entrepreneurs and small business owners face when growing their business. I hope this series provides you with knowledge to think smarter and a nudge to make stuff happen.

Do Consumers Really Feel Emotional about Brands?

Brands that fail to evoke emotions from customers are forced to compete using low price strategies. Brands that do evoke emotions from customers are able to compete by tapping into people’s aspirations.

We all aspire to live a certain lifestyle, but most times we settle for living a life below our aspirations.

Emotionally intelligent brands understand an aspirational gap exists between the lifestyle people aspire to live and the actual lifestyle they do live.

By tapping into people’s wants and offering them a way to actualize their aspirations, brands can transcend the commoditization trap. Successful brands find ways to close the aspirational gap by fulfilling consumer wants, not needs.

Apple competes by closing the aspirational gap. So does Lexus. Nordstrom too. As does Tiffany & Co.. These are all emotional brands. They go beyond fulfilling needs to realizing desires.

Needs are basic. Needs are rational. Needs are boring. Needs have been commoditized. Every unremarkable business seems to be in the needs-fulfilling business.

Wants are emotional. Wants are aspirational. Wants are desirable. Wants are where the profits are.

Only truly remarkable businesses are in the business of satisfying customer wants by helping customers actualize their aspirations. These companies give their customers the feeling that no expense was spared. Whether they are selling gadgets, cars, jewelry, or $5 cups of coffee, brands that fulfill their customers’ wants help their customers to live the life of their dreams.


#01 | How Should a Brand be Defined?
#02 | What’s the Difference between Branding and Marketing?
#03 | Is there a Difference between a Company Name and a Brand Name?
#04 | Does every Brand need a Unique Selling Position?
#05 | Do Consumers Really Feel Emotional about Brands?