Insights / Creative review

Branding is emotional

Trusting limbic reactions, emotional reactions, and things that are very immediate, is great because it's how a consumer acts and thinks. I think we can put all the science that we want behind brand, deliver as many ideas as we possibly can, and really get into the semiotics of things, and how things look, and why things appear the way that they do.

But in reality, brand as a consumer choice is limbic. You look at something and go 'I've read that, or the way that looks, or the way that that photo is, appeals to me somehow as a human being, and it aligns with my worldview'. So when we're sharing with clients, that's what we're talking about. You need to trust that version of yourself, because that's what your consumers will think like, and if it aligns with their sense of worldview, then let's champion that, and let's run with that.

The most important thing for us is the idea. And it's like, 'I hate the color, I hate the art direction, I hate the typeface'. Fine, easy to change, easy to mould, easy to adapt. But how, at the very core, do you feel about the idea?

I think that's the biggest thing for us, if you follow the testing results you end up with the lowest common denominator. Which is like, you listen to person X and person Y, and the typeface has to be this way because of this product restraint, and all of it ends up feeling a little bit flat and void of any emotion.

What a lot of branding exercises are about is finding something that has got a real point of view and a real perspective to it, because that's what human beings have, and the reason why Nike resonates with so many people is because it has attitude, and it reacts an incredibly human and personable way, and they'll get behind people like Colin Kaepernick and say, this is the right thing to do.

That would test terribly, that wouldn't work for so many businesses and brands, but for them it absolutely does, and that's what so much of branding is for me. In the pursuit of an emotion, the spirit, and something that a human being has, rather than what's the thing that offended the least amount people?

Branding is emotional

Clients: Coca ColaAirBNBSonos