Passion Sells: How Emotional investment Pays Off

4 min readOct 29, 2018

Al the data in the world won’t boost ROI unless the customer’s emotions are engaged.

“As marketeers, we gather all the data we can in order to target our customers — to package a product or service in a way that appeals to them,” says Fred Raillard, FF Founder and CEO. “But unless we put passion into that mix, we will not succeed because, despite all the technology we use in marketing today, the customer’s choices and reactions are based largely on emotion.”

In other words, when you put emotion into your brand, your passion and your campaign go beyond commercial concerns. There is scientific research to support this: Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov showed that it takes just one-tenth of a second for humans to form an impression of a stranger just from looking at his or her face. What’s more, longer exposure doesn’t significantly alter those impressions. In fact, longer exposure is likely to enforce those first impressions.

“That means we have to make an instantaneous connection, “ says Farid Mokart, FF CEO and Founder. “And advertising industry research has shown that a consumer’s emotional response to an ad actually has greater influence on their intent to purchase than the ad’s content does!”

Research Supports Emotion

That research, conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation, shows that “likeability” is the most important determinant of a brand’s sales, and that positive emotions have a far greater influence on consumer loyalty than judgments based upon a brand’s attributes, such as trust.

Not surprisingly, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos agrees. As he told journalists recently, “Brands create more interest and anchoring if they appeal to [the customer’s] imagination, than if they serve rational and pre-packaged content.” That passion should extend to the product name, says Bezos, who believes that didactic names (think “user manual” type names) create close to zero recall because they lack emotion and are therefore unsuccessful in being remembered over the long term. They reach their “performance limit” rather quickly. Worse, such names are at risk of being confused with competitors with similar names.

“We may think successfully communicating a brand personality depends upon things like packaging,” adds Fred, “but it is the emotional connection we create with the consumer that gives a national brand marketplace clout.” Want more proof? Think of how many people will pay more for a brand name rather than a readily-available less expensive generic product.

“It’s clear that brands high in emotional intelligence will sell more products,” opines Farid. “They will have more conversions from customer interest to sales, and a better return on investment.”

The Story Behind the Brand

One of the best ways to create this emotional connection with the consumer is by developing a story for the brand. More scientific research shows that a good story — whether it’s fairytales for the kids or spy novels and romance for the adults — engages the brain and increases consumers’ memory of the brand. The deeper the emotional connection with the story, the deeper the emotional connection to the brand and the longer the brand will be remembered by the customer. That builds repeat business.

“Data and technology when used intelligently create this emotional connection with customers,” says Fred. Today, that emotional connection actually goes inside the product, to contents and the supply chain — the story of how a product was created, where and by whom, and of what.

This consumer trend has already given rise to new products that make it easy to know the whole story. Take Yuka, a Paris-based up startup founded in 2016 aimed at informing consumers about the food they’re buying. Yuka’s mobile smartphone app, launched last year, shows consumers the nutritional value of food products with a simple barcode scan. The app then displays the scanned product’s nutritional values and the ingredient list, on a scale ranging from red to green.The higher the percentage of green ingredients, the healthier the product is. If a product is determined to be unhealthy, the app will recommend similar alternative items that have healthier ingredients.

“This is going to be real luxury for the future: transparency, the ability to know more about what you’re buying,” says Fred. “Skin will become more important than makeup; hair more important than shampoo, but we will still be selling cosmetics and hair products; the marketing must be different. That desire for more knowledge, for freshness, uniqueness and quality is already developing as we see increasing passion in and emotional involvement with brands.”

Farid adds, “Personal choice is the most important decision a brand can never make. All the facts and data in the world will not be successful if customers don’t know how they feel about the options facing them. Intelligent use of data helps marketers create highly personalized campaigns and an emotional connection, but it will never replace the human touch.”




CREATIVE / CULTURE AGENCY. Purpose driven company based in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai.