Why Emotion in Marketing Matters

Design Positive
5 min readAug 16, 2020


Illustration of a woman with a smartphone connected to her heart while she makes an online purchase.

Emotions play a large role in how we interact with the world around us. From smiling at a stranger to laughing at a joke, emotion and empathy are both a form of expression and what drives people to act.

That drive to act makes emotion one of the most important aspects of your marketing. Without emotion, loyalty and brand advocacy wouldn’t exist. The statistics tell us that emotion plays a large role in a customer’s brand loyalty. Temkin Group completed a study on brand loyalty in 2016 and found that emotion in marketing increases loyalty immensely.

The study outlined that people who had positive emotions from their interactions with a brand were 15.1 times more likely to recommend the company and 8.4 times more likely to trust the company. These emotions also make customers 6.6 times more likely to forgive a company’s mistake and 7.1 times more likely to purchase more from the company.

What Emotions in Marketing Do You Portray?

So now comes the next big question for marketers and business owners. What emotions do you want to portray in your marketing?

According to HubSpot’s guide to emotional marketing, there’s a wide spectrum of emotions you can instill from love to disapproval.

Consider for a moment why you purchase a brand-name product over the generic. The bright-colored packaging, the happy memories from childhood or the fun characters or commercials from TV all play on our emotions to make us choose these brands.

And when looking for feel-good ways to evoke emotion in marketing, a major way brands can build a connection with their customers is to showcase the impact they have in their community, on the environment and for their employees.

Millennials are purchasing products from values-driven organizations. As Millennials begin taking over the workforce with baby boomers retiring, they also become the generation with the most expendable income. Failure to meet their demands for values means missing out on the largest population capable of buying your products.

There are several value-based aspects of your organization you should be highlighting within your marketing to make your customers feel something toward you. Here’s a look at these aspects and how to incorporate them into your marketing.


Sustainability is all about reducing your company’s use of natural resources. If you offer products, consider the impact on the environment of manufacturing those products and the materials they are made out of. If you’re a services company, you might focus more on power usage for your staff, creating a culture of office recycling/reuse and encouraging each employee to get involved in sustainability in their own lives.

How you integrate sustainability into your business will be dependent on what you do and how you do it. But if you’re a company working toward sustainability, highlight that in your marketing. Here are a few ideas.

· Add sustainability language to your packaging

· Showcase your efforts on social media

· Commit to improvement goals in 2, 5, and 10 years

Giving Back to the Community

Your local community plays an important role in your success as an organization. Take that role seriously and give back. This could be through monetary donations or volunteer hours. To give back, you don’t need to do big things or have extensive reach. Look for the need in your neighborhood as it will be easier to get your team on board.

Here’s a look at some ways to give back to the community and highlight it tastefully in your marketing efforts.

· Share details of employee volunteerism, donations and drives at your office

· Offer your employees time on the clock to use toward volunteering

· Get involved in local causes and be public about that involvement

Support for Your Employees

Your employees are your most valuable asset. The more you can do for them and highlight their work, the more connected they will feel to your organization. And when you highlight employees, your customers will feel like they know you. That emotional connection will pay off in your marketing.

Here are ways to support your employees and spread the word to your customers.

· Have employee of the month awards and share the winners publicly

· Highlight your employees’ work in the community

· Make customer interactions personal with employee photos on chat, follow-up emails with a headshot of who they spoke to and the employee’s tenure with the organization

Conscious Capitalism

Organizations that operate under conscious capitalism are ethical and consider their key stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors) their largest asset. Conscious capitalism is a concept that is very similar to corporate social responsibility. The main difference is that conscious capitalism is detached from traditional business models.

Pause and ask yourself what your purpose is beyond profit. If you don’t know, it might be time to take a hard look at your business and ways to adjust it to focus on your stakeholders.

So are you putting people above profits? If so, here’s how to highlight that to drive emotion in your marketing.

· Use the term “we” in leadership communications to show the importance of your stakeholders

· Showcase how your business, products and services make a positive impact on the world

· Lead your communications with your higher purpose

Mission-driven Companies

You do not have to be a nonprofit to be a mission-driven company. One of the best examples is Toms Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair consumers purchase.

The goal of mission-driven companies is not to sell products but to solve a problem. And within these organizations, the product gets better because of the company’s mission.

· Create a good mission statement that encompasses what you hope to achieve

· Commit fully to your mission and not just to it being fluff in your marketing

· Lead with your mission, not your products

We founded Design Positive in 2007 because we saw a huge gap in the availability of sustainability marketing partners. Sustainability, conscious capitalism and mission-driven business are our passion. Our mission is simple: Design for brands that drive positive change. Connect with us to learn more about how to build more emotion into your marketing and check out our new podcast, Triple Bottom Line.



Design Positive

Design Positive is a strategic branding and accessibility agency.