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Brand Affinity: Bring the Power of Sentiment to Your Campaigns

Marketers have been trying to understand and cater to people’s feelings for decades. Just turn on the TV during any holiday or big event, like the Super Bowl, and there are hundreds of stories being told that will cater to a feeling.

But in all reality, as a marketer, it’s really difficult to understand how someone feels about your brand and then actually use that in campaigns.

And even if you know today, tomorrow it may change. It’s an evolving relationship that hopefully grows and deepens, but it isn’t totally linear.

Dove ran a video story in 2013 where a former FBI-trained sketch artist was brought in to draw two pictures of people. First, a picture based on how they describe themselves and second based on how another person in the program described them. There were some staggering differences, and more importantly, some big smiles and feelings of joy that swept over the individuals (and me) as I watched the video.

It’s just an example of how stories, and marketing, can make us feel specific emotions towards a brand. These feelings can directly impact our purchasing decisions, and as marketers, we need to understand this behavior and appeal to how consumers feel.

How Feeling Impacts Consumer Behavior in Marketing

What’s the last emotion you felt right before reading this? According to Rober Plutchik, emotions exist on a spectrum, and this spectrum ranges from love and joy, to fear and boredom. As you go through your day-to-day, it’s likely you feel a range of these emotions based on what’s happening at work or at home.

And your audience feels the same way. In fact, the way your brand creates and communicates content can directly impact these feelings.

According to Psychology Today, consumer behavior plays an influential role in purchasing decisions, including:

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (experiences), rather than information (brand attributes, features).
  • Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have a far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments, which are based on a brand’s attributes.

Even just a quick search for any terms that tie together feelings and marketing results in an overwhelming amount of resources. 

Gauging Your Relationship with Your Audience

So why is it still so hard for marketers to understand how consumers feel about a brand?

Let’s be real—because feelings change, and they change often. But beyond just that, if you want to understand how people feel about your brand, then it seems like a massive undertaking.

First, it means gathering all of your cross-channel engagement data. Generally, you’ll want data over a time period of six months or longer to avoid any seasonal impact, but this means information on email, mobile messaging, and more.

Once you have this data, across all your different channels you want to measure, then you need to normalize it and ensure all these data points tie to specific individuals. 

At this point, you may want your data science team to help gauge how engaged individuals are based on the data you collected.

But here’s another challenge—from marketers I’ve spoken with that have built manual programs like this—this data just gives them a snapshot of feelings about the brand. Unless it’s an ongoing program or analysis, it’s insightful to your business, but not practical to actually use in a marketing campaign because what someone felt a day ago, or longer, may not be the case anymore. Even just beyond what they felt, actually operationalizing it into a campaign is a whole other arduous undertaking. 

But now, there’s an easier way.

Understand and Easily Reach Your Audience With Brand Affinity

Understanding how customers feel about your brand, in real time and across channels, can inform smarter strategies and help build an emotional connection with your audience. That’s why we’re excited to announce Brand Affinity™, an intelligent personalization solution powered by Iterable AI.

Using Brand Affinity, marketers gain a unique advantage by being able to intelligently translate customer engagement across channels into deeper, more meaningful connections with their customers—transforming the way you market and connect with your customers in a more authentic manner. 

Marketers are now empowered to tune into their customers’ feelings and harness the versatility of Brand Affinity across the Iterable platform to personalize the customer experience at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

From discovering the perfect audience in segmentation, to tailoring customer journeys in Workflow Studio, to enriching the user experience with templates through dynamic content, brands can leverage Brand Affinity—at a click of a button—to match their customers with personalized experiences for each individual based on their affinity.

And best of all, Brand Affinity’s scores are calculated and updated on an ongoing basis, so there’s no need to manually pull data or get your data science team to evaluate all your engagement. It’s all available within Iterable—without any of the headache—giving you real-time insights to better understand and contextualize content and messaging to your audience over time.

Ready to start building campaigns based on how your audience feels? Iterable customers can now utilize Brand Affinity wherever contact properties are available.

If you would like to learn more about Brand Affinity or any of our Iterable AI solutions, please contact your Customer Success Manager or visit iterable.com/ai for more information.

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