How Emotional Appeal Promotes Value
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.