Create an emotional core brand promise for your health food & beauty CPG brand to help you charge a premium, get you loyal and raving tribe of fans, grow and scale up your brand and become a household name without investing any resources in expensive advertising.
EMOTIONAL CORE BRAND PROMISE IS THE FINAL FRONTIER for HEALTH & BEAUTY CPG.
Mastering this frontier will not only help you achieve the above objectives but also make you one of the most profitable brands with a cult following for the long-term.
So, how do you master this final frontier AND transform your brand story?
Follow a 2-step process to create a Coherent Brand Story around an “Emotional Core Brand Promise”.
Step 1: Define “Emotional Core Brand Promise” in “One Word” with Consumer Benefits Pyramid
Every great Brand Story is coherently defined and executed around one core emotional promise. Below are 7 sub-steps of a pyramid process to arrive at your Emotional Core Brand Promise as topmost layer:
1. Unmet Need and Emotional Pain Point: Start with the consumer unmet need and dig deep to uncover the emotional pain point associated with that need.
2. Consumer Persona: Describe your target consumer in as much detail as possible. Persona includes demographic, behavioural attributes and psychographic drivers etc.
3. Emotional Pain Point: What is the emotional price that your consumer has to pay for the unmet need.
4. Product Attributes: What does your product have which takes care of the unmet need.
5. Functional Benefit: What benefit does a consumer get with those product attributes.
6. Emotional Benefits: How does a consumer “feel” when she gets the solution. Align your core functional benefit, consumer’s emotional pain point with a pertinent broad/specific emotional category from 8 categories defined by Robert Plutchik or Hotspex’s emotion zones. Choose 2-3 closely related emotions from an emotional zone.
7. Core Emotional Brand Promise: Pick one emotion out of the few selected by you as the core. Choose the most pertinent and one that aligns with your vision, culture and intent.
Examples of Pyramid Process to define “Emotional Core Brand Promise”
Rx Bar (Brand Story’s emotional transformation is in progress)
Unmet need: A real food, clean energy bar.
Emotional Pain Point: Skepticism, suspicion, lack of faith.
Consumer Persona: A health conscious older millennial, who works out at cross-fit, likes to run and is very physical active, eats healthy, very nutrition conscious, avoids junk food and processed ingredients, likes real and fresh food, snacks before and after working out, develops a taste for what is good, early to adopt trends and willing and bent to go ahead of the curve and against the tide, likes to keep it simple and candid.
Product Benefits: A bar with only 6 whole food ingredients, no chemical sounding ingredients.
Functional Benefits: No BS, Only 6 real food ingredients, transparency, ingredients on front of the wrapper.
Emotional Benefits: How does it make her feel: Let’s take a look at various emotional zones from Robert Plutchik’s wheel: The one that most closely aligns with everything they do right now is TRUST ZONE!- Trust, certainty, worry-Free, assurance.
Emotional Core Brand Promise: Certainty.
Tonica Kombucha ( Brand Story is not yet transformed emotionally)
Unmet Need: A probiotic drink that is not harsh so you can have it more often.
Emotional Pain Point: Bitter pill, unpleasant goodness, not enjoyable.
Consumer Persona: A health conscious individual, who is physically active, eats healthy, nutrition conscious, lives a wholesome life, avoids junk food and processed ingredients, likes real and fresh food, into yoga, meditation and running, lives a ritualised life and demands more than just healthy to fit her rituals, appreciates the finer nuances of life and taste. Polite and self-expressive.
Product Attributes: A smooth Kombucha with amazing/delectable flavours, artisanally and batch-brewed.
Functional Benefits: Easier to consume regularly and a “look forward to” probiotic drink. Easier to ritualise.
Emotional Benefits: Refer Robert Plutchik’s emotional zones. Best of both worlds: Nutrititious and delicious with ever increasing line of amazing flavours. An adventure that always ends up well: JOY ZONE! Flavours are awesome and exciting and yet she knows it won’t be harsh or extreme for her taste buds. Exciting yet not extreme adventure, smooth joy ride.
Emotional Core Brand Promise: Smooth Adventure (both exciting and smooth).
Bite Beauty: (Emotionally transformed Brand Story)
Unmet Need: A Lip balm that has zero chemical concern.
Emotional Pain Point: Insecurity, fear, frustration, lack of confidence, constrained, imprisoned.
Consumer Persona: A health conscious woman, who likes attention and is ahead of the pack, is very fashion conscious and won’t settle for plain healthy option. Needs to make a statement beyond just using healthier products. Expects more from any relationship and gives even more. Eveready to adopt new trends.
Product Attributes: A natural lip balm with ingredients that can be ingested.
Functional Benefit: No health concerns because of lip balm.
Emotional Benefits: Ultra-Safe, ahead of the pack: ECSTASY & AWE ZONE!( Refer Robert Plutchik’s emotional wheel), meaningfully safe fashion, freedom.
Emotional Core Brand Promise: Edgy and Free
Step 2: Bring the Emotional Core Brand Promise to life with Brand Personality
Humanize the brand for the consumer at every owned touch point the brand has with the consumer: Packaging, Labelling, Ingredients, Website, Sales people, Product Taste/Performance, Innovation, Service etc. are examples of consumer touch points.
Let’s look at and further develop the examples cited before:
Emotional Core Brand Promise: Edgy and Free.
Brand Personality: Edgy and full of life, unconstrained. Appeals to fashion conscious consumer who wants to be ahead of the pack, and when she discovers the product is natural and organic is delighted because it makes her feel free and totally safe while being at her edgy best! The combination of Core Promise and Brand Personality is extremely unique.
Packaging: Edgy, gets attention: the shape mimics the shape of a used lipstick and is easier to apply. Bite name written vertically on the stem of lipstick comes across as a confident request to bite.
Product: Very loud and edgy shades.
Content: Tone is extremely straightforward.
Brand Architecture and New Product Development: Edgy and Trendy: Road Trip “Amous Bousche” collection combines “at the brink” food delicacies with edgy shades and Outburst collection is very fashionable and trendy.
Website: All revealed, imagery and design is aspirational for those who want to live an uninhibited, ahead of the curve life while trusting their tools and means.
Tonica Kombucha( Recommendation as Brand Story is not yet transformed emotionally)
Emotional Core Brand Promise: A smooth adventure ( both exciting and smooth). Best of both worlds. Nutritious and Delicious with ever increasing line of amazing flavours. An adventure that offers a smooth joy ride and ends up well.
Brand Personality: Smooth, polite and self-expressive.
Packaging: Go beyond the flavor shown with an image for the fruit. More wholesome packaging label which conveys both deliciousness and smoothness: Show the flavor as a smoothie that looks incredible mouth-watering and healthy. E.g. Show the key flavor ingredient inside the smoothie.
Product: Perfect as it is.
Content: Storytelling that introduces every product/flavor with excitement but does not take you over the edge and instead provides a comfortable joy ride. One way is by showing the kombucha being drunk from a smoothie glass, garnished with key ingredients. The functional content on the site needs to be transformed with the emotional core promise of the brand story.
Brand Architecture: From Master Brand to Strongly Endorsed: Introduce more strongly endorsed brands like Supersonic as you produce in batches anyways. This gives an additional personality to every individual batch.
Website: Look and feel of an exciting yet smooth adventure with no hiccups. For example: Supersonic batch could be shown with the backdrop of a joy ride in the air with health conscious consumers doing yoga and drinking Tonica at supersonic speed yet comfortable ride.
RX Bar( Brand is in emotional transformation phase)
Emotional Core Brand Promise: Certainty.
Brand Personality: Matter of Fact, no BS, candid. Seeing a move towards cheerful.
Packaging: Just as it is with brighter colours-something they have done of late to transform personality to cheerful. Only 6 real food Ingredients on front of the wrapper and no other BS.
Content: They DON’T elaborately educate as there is no need to!
Ingredients: 6 real food ingredients that are not known by chemical names.
Website: Should be built for the consumer persona explained above targeting health conscious older millennials who prefer nutrition and real over fake but appealing stuff.
Powerful imagery( as it is a matter of fact, No BS, brand story and education would go against candidness) communicating doing the right thing with no fuss.
Whether you want more consumers to buy or current consumers to buy more and then become more loyal, who make your brand a daily ritual and on top become advocates, EMOTIONAL CORE BRAND PROMISE is the final frontier for you to master with Brand Story.
Human beings look for meaning, value coherence and are moved by emotions. An emotionally coherent brand promise is the route to immortality in the heart of a consumer.
Follow the simple 2-step process to transform your brand story with an emotional core promise:
- Define your Brand’s Emotional Core Promise in ONE WORD with Consumer Benefits Pyramid.
- Then figure out how to bring the Emotional Core Brand Promise to life ( humanized or palatable for human experience) with Brand Personality at every owned touch point the brand has with the consumer: Packaging, Labelling, Ingredients, Website, Sales people, Product taste/Performance, Product assortment, Launches, loyalty program, Service etc.
This transformation is more about deep diving, figuring out, a shift in perspective and re-organising than about investing huge resources.
If you truly follow the 2-step process rather than letting your biases get in the way, you could build a truly iconic brand with a higher order emotional connection yielding hardcore fans who will offer unwavering loyalty, making you highly profitable and helping you deliver a bigger difference in return creating a virtuous cycle!
For more clarity, shoot a comment here and let’s discuss!
ROHIT BANOTA, FOUNDER of STORYSAVES, has created and grown dozens of health food and beauty CPG companies brands across North America using proprietary Brand Story and Brand Diffussion processes.
He has over 15 years of marketing and business experience growing consumer packaged companies including startups and MNCs like P&G and AB InBev.