emotional marketing

Ethos, Pathos & Logos: Why Emotional Marketing is King

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Here’s a little secret that is actually well known in the world of branding. The single most effective catalyst to influencing consumers to purchase is most often tied up in one surprisingly simple word: emotion. Humans are emotional creatures. We often feel our way through situations rather than reasoning them out. Savvy branding professionals skillfully capitalize on this knowledge. They employ emotional marketing tactics to sway consumer responses to advertising and influence their buying decisions.

Emotional Marketing Explained

What is emotional marketing? Marketing executive, Glenn Sagon, of the Sagon-Phior agency, defines emotional marketing as “Identifying a person’s emotional and behavioral patterns of response and connecting them to a brand through marketing, creativity, technology and applied science.” In even more fundamental terms, emotional branding means tapping into, and manipulating, those emotions that make people feel happy or sad, angry or disgusted, frightened or surprised.

The Importance of Emotional Marketing

The sway of emotion is a force to be reckoned with. Research has shown the unyielding influence of emotion on our decision-making processes to be indomitable. Consumers are generally moved by emotion rather than by rationality. Emotion is the precursor. Logic follows. Understanding the forces driving your customer’s decision-making processes will add dividends to your return on investment. Emotional marketing touches your customers’ feelings. Feelings of joyfulness, fear, anger, or trust, will invariably spur them to action. These emotions, which drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, can attach people to your brand, for life.

Ethos, Pathos, & Logos Explained

The goal of any ad campaign is to convince consumers to purchase a product or service. How is this best accomplished? Actually, the formula for this technique was patterned eons ago when Aristotle defined the three elements to the art of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. Branding agencies still rely on these scientifically proven methods of persuasion today. Here is an explanation of the three modes of persuasion that will help anchor your audience to your brand.


Think of the word “ethics.” In ethos, the goal is to ensure that the speaker’s words are perceived by the audience as moral and credible.

A brand that accurately portrays itself as credible emotes public trust. This is ethos at work.


Pathos aims for the heart. It convinces the audience by appealing to strong emotions, often evoking sympathy, sorrow, or pity. For example, revealing the mistreatment or neglect of animals in the dead of winter will elicit a sympathetic response. This may move a person to donate to an animal shelter.


Logos is an appeal to reason. It utilizes surveys, statistics or historical data to make or bolster a point. It can be thought of as the body of the argument. It brings logic into focus. It makes the service or product being offered seem to be the most reasonable choice.

Approaches to Emotional Marketing

A campaign that triggers your customers’ emotions is central to crafting an efficient advertising technique. One powerful means to this end involves storytelling. In advertising, stories paint pictures and relate messages in powerfully impressive ways. The stories we see become memories. We remember, respond and cling to them. They remind us that certain things matter and tell us why we should care.

The tale that defines your brand instantly separates you from your competitors. It makes your brand unique and forges an emotional connection to your company. Customers become invested in your business and your brand.

In telling your story, there are important approaches that can capture your target audience. Here are three:


As a marketing tool, love focuses on the consumers’ most intimate and basic needs and emotions. Showing how happy and contented the consumer’s life will be because of your brand compels him to buy. An obscure and faceless business becomes trusted and relatable. And people buy from businesses they know and trust. 


Inspiration causes your clientele to think or act differently. They may feel prideful when an empathetic character successfully performs an implausible deed or sidesteps an insurmountable obstacle. The audience sees the character in the story as a survivor or winner. Your business provided the brand that made it all possible. The consumer is roused to action.


Aspirational marketing addresses the audience’s high hopes and soaring dreams. It entices the viewer with the things they want and assures them that these things are within reach. Your business targets them as future consumers who fit in with a long term business strategy. The story your business builds for them massages their ego, urging them to make their dreams a reality.                          

Perhaps emotion doesn’t readily come to mind when you think of branding, but science has proven that emotion is central to connecting you to your customer base. A strong connection to your brand creates an emotional link. Consumers are attracted to your company but soured on the competition. A successful ad campaign gives birth to lasting brand loyalty. This is what moves your clientele to wear your emblems on their shirts and passionately recommend your brand to friends and relatives.

Emotional marketing is king because, subtly, it entices customers to believe they will feel better or be better if they purchase your product or service. According to Marketoonist, Tom Fishburne, “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”  Contact Boldthink Creative today. Our forward-thinking agency has ideas to make your products and brands bold and emotive so customers click to buy at first sight.