When thinking about writing this article I first wanted to name it “The Economy of Emotion”. I then decided that the title “How Emotion Sells Products” would be even better. I don’t like to focus on selling anything. While it’s important, my primary focus is on quality of my work. And so, finally I settled with the current title because selling something is offering value in return for money.
For a long period of time I tried to figure out how to make the value I would produce to be more appealing to my customers (in my case, readers of my articles). I didn’t want to sell more of my products in particular, I just wanted more people to see my work. I am a writer and therefore, the value which I offer to people is my ability to share information with others.
I worked hard but didn’t produce the desired results. I knew that there was a way to make my work more appealing to Internet audiences. But what was it?
As I produced more work such as the OpenGL programming tutorials that once saw the light of being mentioned in a published book, and other articles I have written with supporting visual diagrams that would carry the story forward, I began my journey… the purpose of which was to discover how to make more people see my work.
One of the methods I discovered was to do with creating an email subscription newsletter. I created sign up forms and placed them on pages that already attracted website traffic. But simply promoting my work with my new subscription audience wasn’t enough. Even though I was able to increase the visibility of my work, most people wouldn’t even open my emails. I naturally wanted to optimize my results even further.
Then a breakthrough happened
As I was watching a movie in which one of the characters was in a public library, I realized that book covers were nothing more than promotional tools that competed between each other. There were many books on the same subject, but ultimately books with a more appealing cover would be sold more often. I guessed book publishers, more than anyone else, would be aware of it.
Then, something that I thought was even more interesting happened. I began to notice that just about everything in the movie, as well as in the real world, had these labels that constantly worked to promote products. The value of the product wasn’t enough – the creator of the work, whatever it may be, also had to promote it and explain its value to potential buyers.
I decided to learn what it was that united all of these products. Upon a closer examination, I came to a startling realization. A large majority of products used emotional appeal to convince people to buy them.
When you see a Mercedes Benz commercial, while the car itself, the engine, the leather seats or the break system are mentioned… they are not the primary focus of the advertisement. The commercial is selling an emotional experience, trying to put the viewer in the seat of a Mercedes car. Who cares, however great engineering, what engine a car has? People are sold when they imagine themselves behind the wheel of this car. And driving a car is an emotional experience. No matter how difficult it was to design the Mercedes, the commercial doesn’t pride itself on it. It is all about how this car makes you feel. Therefore, the commercial succeeds because of its emotional appeal.
If you start paying attention, I realized, these examples can be seen just about anywhere. Because I live in San Francisco, I often go to Union Square park, where we have a large commercial of apple products such as iPod high up on a building. This commercial has a small picture of what an iPod looks like, but the large majority of space on the board is a silhouette image of a dancing person. You don’t really know who this person is. Of course… by making the silhouette filled with solid color identity-less, the commercial assumes it is you, because it wants to put the viewer of this ad into the shoes of what it’s like to use this product.
Emotion in Music
It goes without saying that music has a tremendous emotional appeal. Musicians and artists write music to express their feelings. Eventually, as they become better at it, they may even be considered by a major record label and their music will be heard on the radio.
But what is radio? Radio is a system which gains profit by retaining continuous subscription from its listeners. Live talk shows and games in the morning, fun music in the afternoon, top 10 and listener requests in the evening.
Radio itself is a business based on emotion. The more people can relate to a song, the more often that song will be played on a particular station that supports that genre of music. The more people are tuned in, the more of them will listen to the commercials several minutes apart.
Start Adding Emotion to Your Own Products
Do you think about emotional appeal of the products you are creating? If not, then my suggestion is to start thinking about it today.
As a writer, when I started to focus on using emotion in my own products, the first thing that occurred to me was using article titles that emotionally appealed to the reader. I began to write articles with more focus on the reader, and began to think more about what I could offer my audience with regard to emotional appeal. Focusing on emotion in my writing also helped me become more creative. It gave me one more thing to think about when writing my own articles, some of which I have rewritten for emotional effect.
In the end, people are not interested in the inner workings of a product. They want to have a great experience using it, they don’t care how it works or how difficult it was to create it.
Think about how you can use emotion in your own products, or on your website, and you will improve the general appeal of your work. The great thing is that this idea can be applied to so many products in hundreds of different niches. Emotion is a universal language of human beings. Use it to communicate the experience of using your product.
If you are a writer, you can also check out my article Writing Guidelines and my Creative Writing website Writing and Creativity