5 tips to improve your website this week (13) - Heart Internet Blog - Focusing on all aspects of the web

Emotional branding is a term that’s thrown around a lot (almost as much as the term branding itself) and often raises a lot of questions, so this week we’re bringing you 5 tips to help you start implementing emotional branding on your website to get practical results.

This article is part of our “Power Up” series to help you learn new skills and take your website to the next level.

1. Define what the emotions on your website are

The first step in adding emotional branding to your website is find out which specific emotions you’re going to be working with. To discover them, make a list containing all the different actions that your visitors use your site to complete, examples of these could include:

  • Researching your products and/or services
  • Buying from you online
  • Reading your blog
  • Finding out more about you as a company
  • Checking your news feed

Once you’ve compiled this list, you want to define which emotions currently exist for visitors when they are completing these actions and if there are any others that you believe make sense to introduce into the visitor’s experience during these actions.

Examples of these emotions could include:

  • Power
  • Passion
  • Mystique
  • Creativity
  • Prestige
  • Alarm
  • Rebellion
  • Trust

It doesn’t really matter what words you use to describe the emotion that you’re discussing as long as you and those with whom you’re working on planning your emotional branding can agree on the scenarios in which that emotion takes place.

For example, don’t worry too much about whether you should term an emotion Trust or Reliance as long as you can all agree that this is the emotion you want your customers to feel when they are in your order process because it will increase their confidence in the product and make them more likely to convert.

2. Discover the most appropriate methods

Now that you know which emotions you’re working with on your site, it’s time to consider what changes or additions you would like to make to the site to improve the effect of the current emotions you’re working with or to implement additional emotions as well.

To do this, draw yourself two identical tables in Word or Excel, one for the emotions you’re currently working with and another for any that you’d like to implement. Each table should have three columns using the following titles:

  • First column: Emotion
  • Second column: Area of the site
  • Third column: Implementation

The first column should list the emotion you’re targeting, the second should confirm where on your site you feel this emotion is most relevant and in the third column you want to create a list of potential actions either to improve the effectiveness of the current emotions or introduce new ones. For example, if you’re looking to focus more on trust in your order process, you might decide to add a box showing reviews from your customers taken from social media or gained through contacting customers directly.

3. Review your actions

When you feel that you’ve got a decent range of alternatives to choose from for introducing emotional branding to your website, review your lists and make some decisions on which actions you will choose to implement now, which in hindsight aren’t quite right and which should be considered again in the future. It’s best to only implement the most effective actions in your lists so you can achieve the best results without assigning yourself and those you’re working with an unfeasible workload.

You should also consider whether these actions are in line with your current marketing plans and brand values and take an integrated approach to your emotional branding. You’re less likely to get great results if you try to force emotion into your website when:

  • It doesn’t ring true to your customers
  • It doesn’t make sense for your site
  • It compromises the effectiveness of your site

Adding emotional branding to your website should be like adding icing to a cake, not baking a new cake altogether.

4. Create a scheduled plan

It’s a good idea to make a schedule for implementing your new emotional branding activities once you’ve selected them because this will help you to complete the work more efficiently and launch its different sections at times that make sense within your current marketing.

Create a GANTT chart showing when work will start and finish on each of the activities split into its different stages e.g. strategy, copy, design etc., each task within those stages and who will be working on each of these tasks. If you have a GANTT chart or a similar scheduling document for your current marketing, add these emotional branding actions into that document to help keep things integrated.

For more tips on planning your projects, check out our blog post to help you Power Up your project management.

5. Make a start

Once your scheduled plan is all written and signed-off, it’s time to make a start. Be sure to return to your schedule for these projects periodically to make sure that the timescales are still relevant and whether it would make sense to add more people or resources to the project.

We hope this post has helped to demystify emotional branding and get you started on implementing it in ways that work practically for you.

Image credit: gacabo

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