Selling Fear: How Companies Use Emotion-Based Marketing to Capture Market Share

Humans are a bundle of emotions. Every individual buying decision can be pinpointed to an emotion. You want something, because it fills an emotional need. Humans buy based on dormant drivers, such as fear, lust, desire, need, hunger, sadness, love, and adventure. Emotion based selling works.

Apple sells the experience. Their Why – is thinking differently. Volvo sells safety.

Both are rooted in experience based selling and engagement with the heart. The Volvo message at the core, is rooted in fear. No, that’s not why people buy one. Not on the surface anyways. But parents who own Volvos have a deep intrinsic attachment to Volvo, because they’re buying a safe ride for their family. Starbucks sells the happy emotion of comfort and a social meeting place experience, not the coffee, and Jeep sells adventure to suburban moms who drive it to the mall. But hit the mountain bike trail, and you won’t see a jeep. I love the jeep, and I love the trail. Leaving my neighborhood in suburbia, you’ll see the jeep. At the trail you will see muddy cars, toyotas, SUVs of all sizes, but rarely a Jeep. The Jeep image is about adventure and their followers are cultish, like Apple. Just stepping into the Jeep gives them that feeling of adventure.

What emotional attachment have you created to your consumer? Apple connects with the heart and mind. The individual. Want proof? Apple followers don’t care if the company they work for is PC exclusive. They have ipads and Macs and iphones anyways. Why does an executive at any company walk into Apple and buy from a kid with blue hair and a nose ring? It’s because there’s a bit of the blue haired kid in each of us. Apple slogan: think differently. All Apple users including me believe that we think differently. We think out of the box or no box. Apple has done a great job creating that tribe.

If you want to be like Apple you have to be like Apple. Think differently. Stop telling people what to buy and why (features and benefits) and start connecting with their heart. If you want a little bite of the Apple, connect your consumer to a larger, deeper, more altruistic meaning. What can you really, authentically do for them? This is where a professional writer comes in. Speakers and consultants who hire me to craft their brand or write PR articles and blogs for them, aren’t just speakers. They’re changing peoples lives. That’s authentic, and true. Their worse, create transformation and inner healing. One Corporation I’m working with, sells a vacation destination. But I say they offer you far more, than just the features and benefits of a beautiful sky, and a place to fly to with your family. They offer you Freedom. Freedom is different than a product, a service or a destination. Freedom is something every soul craves.

New York Times Best Selling Author