We humans are very proud of our ability to think rationally. This cognitive power not only lets us understand and use facts, but also helps us build elaborate creations and fantasies.
We use our rational brains to conduct business. Cognition helps us sort stuff out, compare options, and rank priorities. Our rational, conscious brain is so “up front” in our day-to-day work lives that we begin to believe it is our only way of thinking and acting at work.
Yet, as neuroscience is finding, it is now clear that this cognitive ability is not a stand-alone factor in how we perceive, sense, or act upon input. Indeed, we now see that emotions influence, if not drive, our thinking at every turn.
Emotions in play at work
We don’t readily admit it, but emotions – floating well below our consciousness – are in play all through the workplace. These emotions come to surface as feelings when people interact with one another, with people from the outside world, and with company news, policies, processes, and, of course, the gossip they hear or read about.
These emotions are also very much at play in the marketplace as personal lives, news events, social media updates, and brand messages collide throughout the day. These emotions colour how people feel whenever they interact with the outside world; including your brand. And, your brand strategy needs to be focused around an emotive presence.
Is your ‘brand vibe’ in tune with people?
Given what we now know about how people make decisions, brands need to ask themselves a few questions:
To what degree are you proactively influencing the emotional “vibe” surrounding your brand, in both your workplace and the marketplace?
Could your brand behave in new ways that consciously address the unconscious manner in which people make decisions and take actions?
What would happen if your “brand vibe” starts to resonate more profoundly with people?
Read also: The power of first impressions and branding
People respond to meaningful vibes
I’m sure you’ll agree that you experience a nice ‘vibe’ – a significant, positive feeling – whenever you interact with, or think about, particular people (e.g. someone who inspires you or someone you love), places (e.g. a romantic getaway or memorable place), and things (e.g. your latest device or your car ).
This is because you have recognized something within that person, place, or thing that triggers a connection to what you value, what you need, and/or what gives you pleasure. You may not be able to exactly say what causes your feelings, but you know you have them.
Now, think about your brand, and what feelings it is triggering; in other words, what is your ‘brand vibe’? Most important, is that ‘vibe’ connected to something significant and meaningful to people? In other words, is your ‘brand vibe’ one that rises above the fray, connects deeply into lives, and puts your brand into a class of its own?
‘Brand vibes’ hard at work
A distinct ‘brand vibe’ not only lift the spirits of employees, it also creates an appealing way to stand apart in the crowded marketplace.
A clearly emotive ‘brand vibe’ becomes a welcome feeling for everyone vital to your brand’s success, especially as they see how it helps them, the society, and/or the planet, in one way or another.
A strong ‘brand vibe’ elevates your essential selling messages to a higher, more meaningful level; your stories take on a more compelling and inspiring aura, that makes more people get involved and engaged (and then, more likely to act).
How do you create a compelling ‘brand vibe’?
A powerful ‘brand vibe’ is driven by a purpose – one that goes well beyond profit; it creates desirable and motivating feelings by capturing an ambition that taps directly into the needs, desires, interests and aspirations of the people you seek to influence.
When such a purpose is underscored by emotionally meaningful behaviour of your brand, and its people, your “brand vibe” becomes stronger, more distinct and more powerful.
So, to have a meaningful ‘brand vibe’, brands need to go well beyond rethinking communications and key brand interactions (such as product launches, events, etc). Indeed, the entire organisation behind the brand needs to evolve, and vibe should be sustained, in order to keep the vibe fresh and relevant.