The Power of Emotion in B2B Marketing

Don’t ever underestimate the power of emotion in decision making at any level: personal or business. In the B2B market the power of emotion is critical to the success of the sales pitch and the brand promise. I came across a great article from a past lecturer of mine at Monash University called Leslie de Chernatony. And trust me this guy knows his stuff!

Leslie de Chernatony is Professor of Brand Marketing and Director of the Centre for Research in Brand Marketing at Birmingham University Business School. He has published widely in American and European journals and is a regular presenter at international conferences.

In his paper titled: “The power of emotion: Brand communication in business-to-business markets” it is argued that organisational buyers can be influenced by both rational and emotional brand values and that B2B brands can surmount functional capabilities to create an emotional connection with buyers. Now I know that’s sounds like a mouth full, but for B2B marketers it simply means a brand is defined not by what we say as marketers but what are customers say about it and even feel about it in both a rational and emotional way.

According to de Chernatony, for B2B brands to connect with their customers, emotional brand values need to be communicated effectively both within the organisation as well as externally through the industrial sales force. There is evidence from some markets that B2B marketers are recognising that the creation of an emotional connection with buyers can add a valuable dimension to their products or services.

Doesn’t that make sense considering every time I have asked one of our company’s executive sellers what’s the key to success and the answer is almost always “our relationship”. The secret is if you have a sound relationship with your customer; trust is built and the emotion involved in the purchasing decision is risk free. You balance that with the brand promise being met and the power of emotion becomes the core to your success.