Episode 274

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As marketers we understand the power and influence of a brand. We know that every buying decision we make is based on emotion. This helps explain why some brands garner a cult-like fan base. They understand the power of their emotional triggers. As agencies, we should be brilliant at discerning and leveraging a brand’s specific emotional triggers. But sometimes it’s difficult to help a client see the value in what can appear a bit ethereal. But what if there was a tool to help you validate what you know about your clients’ (or your) brand?

Today’s guest has turned the science of emotion into a tangible tool. Brian Gregory comes from a long publishing and advertising background. He has studied the core emotional triggers that lead to a specific brand’s buying decisions and is using this insight to help agencies and their clients build a better business and ROI.

In this episode of Build a Better Agency, Brian and I discuss the principles of emotion-based buying, including examples of how it has been used successfully by well-known brands. We also talk about the formula that all good marketing follows, what the big brands fear small businesses will figure out, and why it’s important to have an emotional emphasis in all your marketing communication.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev, or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

emotional triggers

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • The science of emotion buying marketing
  • An introduction to Admanity, an online tool that defines which of the primal emotions can be best utilized by your clients and your agency
  • How to use the knowledge of emotion buying triggers to increase sales
  • How advertising follows a formula
  • The importance of understanding how emotions are related when it comes to marketing communication
  • How businesses and agencies get advertising wrong
  • What the big brands fear small businesses will figure out
  • Why this is the perfect time for small-to-midsize agencies and brands to embrace the power of emotion buying
  • How an agency can use emotion buying concepts to sell a client on a new campaign
“We don’t make a decision in our mind until we get emotional just a split second before that.” @theadmanity Click To Tweet “When you understand what emotions your brand could or should trigger it gives you the formula for engaging prospects in a way that gets them closer to a buying decision.” @theadmanity Click To Tweet “The brand that attracts is 10 times more powerful than the brand that can only sell.” @theadmanity Click To Tweet “You can’t just say it, you have to make it felt.” @theadmanity Click To Tweet “A typical message is like a Post-It note. You stick it up but two days later it falls off. Emotionally charged messaging is like putting a thumbtack in it. It sticks there forever.” @theadmanity Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Brian Gregory:

Additional Resources:

Speaker 1 (00:01):

It doesn’t matter what kind of an agency you run, traditional digital media, buying web dev PR, whatever your focus, you still need to run a profitable business to build a better agency podcast presented by white label IQ. We’ll show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. Let us help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable. And if you want down the road sellable bringing his 25 plus years of experience as both an agency, owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host Rue, McClellan. Hey, everybody,

Speaker 2 (00:38):

Colin here from agency management Institute. Welcome to another episode of build a better agency. I am excited to have you here and we’re going to talk about actually one of my favorite topics. Uh, I can remember way back in, um, advertising school and we don’t need to talk about how long ago that was, but I can remember way back in advertising school. One of the lessons that stuck with me is this idea that everything we do in terms of making a buying decision is based on emotion and that whether it’s a tube of toothpaste or it’s a fancy vacation, or it’s a certain brand of jeans, or it’s going with a certain consultant over another, that despite the fact that our brain uses the features and the benefits and the facts to justify the purchase, the purchase is actually triggered by and inspired by a set of emotional responses to not only what we decided to buy, but also what we decided not to buy in that subset.

Speaker 2 (01:51):

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. But before we get into that, I want to remind you that, uh, we have the 2021 workshop schedule out and available on the website. And so, um, you can find a workshop calendar on the agency management Institute site. And one of the first workshops that’s coming up is coming up in April. I think it’s the sixth and seventh. It’s going to be in Chicago and it’s called running your agency for growth and profit. And we’re going to spend two days talking about best practices around operations, around money, around people around sales, uh, around BizDev. We’re going to talk about all of those things and some best practices that you can employ in 2021 to grow your agency, both in terms of size of that matters to you. But also in terms of profitability, I, I know that we have to keep growing and I am all for that, but sometimes growth isn’t more butts in seats.

Speaker 2 (02:55):

Sometimes growth is in the bottom line or in, or in leveling up the clients that we serve or the employees we have on the team. There are a lot of ways for you to grow. And, um, I don’t want you to focus on just boy. We need to add more head count because that’s not always actually profitable. And so we’re going to talk about all of that in this workshop. So I’m hoping that you will think about joining us in Chicago. Uh, again, April, I’m pretty sure sixth and seventh, but you can learn more about it on the website and we will also put a link to it in the show notes. So let’s go back to our conversation about, uh, emotional buying. And so one of the, the one, one of the reasons why I find this topic fascinating is I, I tend, and I know a lot of you tend to be pretty brand loyal.

Speaker 2 (03:46):

And when I dig down underneath that brand loyalty, it’s always an emotional buying decision, uh, that triggered that first purchase that then got reinforced over and over and over again. Uh, so as many of you know, um, I have a bit of a thing, uh, for Disney and Disney world in particular, but all, all things Disney and, um, you know, people often say to me, how can you, how can you keep going back to the same place and going on the same ride over, you know, and you’re, you’re not a kid anymore drew, so really do you really go on the merry-go-round every time? And my answer is absolutely. And I, the reason why I love it is because for me, it is all wrapped up in family and memories and, and the sort of the values of Disney around storytelling and dreaming, and that anything is possible.

Speaker 2 (04:49):

I, I drink that Kool-Aid all day long. Is it expensive? Yes. Could I go other places? Of course, but for me it is a very emotionally Laden purchase that just gets reinforced every time. And so, you know, literally I’ve been at Walt Disney world at least once a year since it opened in 1971. So think about all of the buying triggers and how that’s all been sort of built up for me. Uh, and so, you know, when I step on that hallowed ground for me, and for, I know some of you it’s, you know, hell on earth that to be around that many people and standing in line to go on a ride or whatever, but for me, it is, uh, it is heaven. And when I step on that hallowed ground, I can just feel my heart swell and my blood pressure drop and I am home.

Speaker 2 (05:42):

And that’s a great example of how we buy with our emotions. But I think for a lot of us, it is challenging to get clients to understand how they, um, how they can focus on that, because they’re so hungry to tell everybody every bell and whistle about their product or service. You know, we often talk about, you know, how clients want us to shove five pounds of information into a one pound bag, but a lot of not only is it too much, but it’s the wrong stuff. And so I think one of our jobs is to help clients understand the power of emotion in marketing communications on any and all channels. And how do you do that in a really genuine way? How do, how is it not manufactured? How is it not fake or forced, but how does it really come from the heart of the brand?

Speaker 2 (06:37):

How do you figure that out? So my guest today is a guy named Brian Gregory and Brian, uh, comes from a long publishing and sort of, uh, on the, on the advertising side of the world, uh, with magazines and newspapers. Uh, but he’s created a product based on this idea of identifying the core emotional triggers that lead to a specific brands buying decisions. And so, uh, we’re going to talk about sort of what a primal emotion is and how we figure out from a, for our client, what that is. And I think a lot of times, honestly, those of you that do this kind of work, this kind of brand building work, uh, for your clients, you do this need of, I think, you know, what some of those emotions are, but we’re going to talk about the complexity of the emotions that are layered underneath the primal emotions and how you, how you use these tools, uh, to help your client grow their business and develop an even greater ROI, which of course strengthens the buying relationship with you.

Speaker 2 (07:50):

And while we’re talking, I don’t want you to forget that you should understand your agency’s brand as well because your clients and your prospects are also buying not based on an intellectual exercise, but on an emotional buying trigger. And so all of us understanding our own agency’s brand and how that brand translates emotionally to prospects and customers, so that we too can tailor our social media, our content, our, uh, taking a position of authority and helping people understand what we know and how we know it and how that will help them. I think we should be factoring all of this in for ourselves as well. So out of one ear, I want you to listen on behalf of your clients, but on the other ear, I want you to listen on behalf of your own shop. All right. So let’s jump into the conversation with Brian, because I think this is going to be fascinating, Brian, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us. Thank you, drew. I’m excited to be here. So give everybody a little idea of what you were doing professionally that led to the creation of the tool that you now, uh, you know, share with, uh, brands with agencies. So give us an idea of your background. Uh, before we start talking about what you’ve learned over the years, that all led to your current endeavor.

Speaker 3 (09:20):

Prior to at Manatee, I was in the publishing business. I had magazines, newspapers, this type of thing, and some of them were very successful for about 20 years. I was the guy selling the ads and managing the publication, the distribution, and all that happy stuff. And so I got the opportunity to sit down with over those 20 years, probably about 5,000 business owners, managers, and marketers, and talking to them about their ad. And of course, trying to sell the ad and in return seeing the artwork that they would give us to put it in the magazine. Some of that, as you can imagine was, was pretty bad and it never got better over the 20 years because everyone you’re dealing with at that level is an amateur, um, at trying to wing it and create an ad on the fly for the magazine whose deadline is tomorrow.

Speaker 3 (10:13):

And there were screaming for the artwork and some graphics person. So I’m probably having a heart attack. And, and so over that time, I realized that what happens is they’ll, they’ll run the ad. Anything they, anything they want, they’ll just stick it in there. And then when about 13 weeks goes by, you get the phone call, Hey, it’s not working your magazine’s no good, but it’s never the ad right now. It’s always, it was always, you know, our cars were the last thing they saw on. So of course they blame it on us. And I realized that I’ve got to start doing something to help these people create a better ad to put into the power magazine, or we’re just going to have this leaky bucket for ever. And I don’t think there’s not enough clients to, to burn through them and hope that there’ll be another one tomorrow to replace them. It’s just an endless chore. And so I really started to hunker down and as a media guy and say, okay, why are some ads working? Why are some ads just missing consistently? And I started to really get deep with the ad and say, okay, these are the emotions that seem to be consistently recurring in the successful ads. The happy clients have this. Why don’t I just give this to everybody? And so that’s kind of how it started for me, uh, almost as a way to keep the business going. Sure.

Speaker 2 (11:38):

Yep. And so what was the aha for you? What w what was the, okay, this is the missing knowledge or link that I can create advantage it, a tool to help people sort of connect the dots.

Speaker 3 (11:56):

Good question. Uh, there was so many epiphanys along the way, this is a seven year journey to create this. And, uh, along the way, there was a lot of things, but I originally had written a book and like a lot of books that it was filled with my best stuff. And, and, and a lot of people read it and they said, man, this is a great book. And I th I said, thank you, you know, proud author. I’m always love to hear the compliments, but then they would say, you know, but I, I, I get it. I understand what you’re talking about, but how does it apply to me? How do I make it, you know, go across the lines of speak from general information to all about me, which is what everybody really wants is the specifics, give me the answers, man. And I realized that the book, no book could really be specific enough to the individual business. And I said, you know what? We’ve got to create something online that anybody could use from anywhere, any business, any niche doesn’t matter what it is. And it has to be fast and it has to be easy to use, but it would give them the answers to their specific brand. That was, that was, uh, a great idea. And I thought, Oh, we’ll take a year. And we’ll figure this out. And seven years later we finally had, but it was a chore. And so, so that’s how it started

Speaker 2 (13:13):

Help the listeners understand what it is that what is the knowledge, what is the aha about the emotions? Cause that’s really what this is all about is right. So help us understand the framework, the intellectual framework of this emotion based theory that you have about what does and doesn’t work for brands.

Speaker 3 (13:36):

Great. You know, the more you read about emotion, you, you start to delve a little bit into the brain and the subconscious mind versus the conscious mind, they’re almost unavoidable topics. And you have, let’s just say everyone has their conscious mind, which about 5% of your, your, your, your thoughts and things and your subconscious, which is 95% of your mental activity. And the subconscious is the brain with the wallet. It’s the one that buys everything because it’s emotionally, that’s where all the emotions are and the dreams, the hopes, the fears, the phobias, everything is emotional. And the subconscious, once you realize that’s where the money is. So to speak, you start to realize is that I need to, to find out what emotions are selling these products. There’s a thousand emotions. We’re all capable of experiencing. But what we found was only 15 are the ones that sell things. And so this emotional theory came down to isolating the emotions that work consistently, and then figuring out how to trigger them subconsciously through advertising, through real simple positioning of the emotions. So anybody can do it, but they took a long time to figure out what to do the actual formulas for using those emotions. And it all comes down to emotionality. We don’t make a decision in our mind until we get emotional, just a split second before that.

Speaker 2 (14:57):

Great. Well, I, you know, in advertise in the advertising world for agencies, we’ve known for years, for decades, I can remember learning this in college was that every emotional decision is a, every buying decision is an emotional decision, but we use the features and benefits to rationally justify what our emotions want us to do. And so that’s true whether it’s toothpaste or a car or a cruise, or, you know, whatever, whatever it may be. So what you’re saying is you’ve narrowed down to the 15 emotions that trigger a buying decision. And then if I understand it, right, and then we’ll talk a little bit about, cause I, I put AMI through your tool. So we’ll talk about that in a minute. But what you’re talking about is there are 15 emotions that trigger the urge to buy. And when you understand what emotions your brand could or should trigger, then that gives you the formula for engaging with prospects and getting them closer to a buying decision. Right.

Speaker 3 (16:03):

Well said, uh, it is all, it all comes down to emotion. It all comes down to these 15 emotions that are just there. They’re always there. And the, the, uh, th the pairing of them, so to speak kind of like molecules, you know, uh, you can have H2O and that’s water at a refreshing drink. You add one oxygen to it, and you’ve got H two O two that’s hydrogen peroxide. You wouldn’t want to drink it, refreshing, drink refreshing. So it makes a lot of difference where which emotions are in the particular formula for this particular brand. And trying to figure that out is the kind of thing where you could spend hours debating it around a table of your best people in your agency, and all these great ideas will come out, but wouldn’t it be nice to just look it up and say, Oh, there it is. Boom done right now. We can save all this time and money and get right to the fun part that creative,

Speaker 2 (16:52):

Right? How did you determine what those 15 emotions were? What makes an emotion, a buying trigger or not a buying trigger?

Speaker 3 (17:01):

You know, technically there are so many emotions you could feel, for example, a love or hate a common emotions. We call them the primal emotions that the 15 they’re primal they’re, they’re sort of, they’ve been with you your whole life. You use them every day. Um, and like love and hate would probably be in there except you can’t really love a product, uh, physically, and you can’t be in a buying mood while you’re hating something that doesn’t really work. So they’re not part of the 15. So what we looked at was truly the types of emotions that are, are, are motivating to acquire and, and why, why certain emotions would not motivate you to, to want more, buy more, get more, um, and they just would put you in the wrong mood to buy so to speak. And that took a long, long time, because as you can imagine, and you can make an argument for almost anything emotionally, how did you figure that out?

Speaker 3 (17:57):

We looked at ads and you can learn a lot from the studying the masters from, let’s just say what it is. Some of the older ads and the ads that have been proven effective again and again, and you just break them down and he say, okay, that worked amazingly well, what did they, okay, what emotions are in that? Let’s, let’s just pick them out and you start to pick out the same ones over and over. And all of a sudden you’re realizing, wow, there’s a, there is definitely a recurring pattern here in all these great ads from, you know, the last 50 years, uh, especially before internet, before social media, all they had was a magazine, right. Or a billboard. I mean, they really had to hit the nail on the head. Right. And you look at these ads and you realize, wow, you know, you don’t have to go to thousands of ads before the pattern starts to emerge. And then it’s just a matter of giving them the right labels, which we, we give, we have 15 different names for the, each emotion in the, in the protocol. So it’s just, it’s just, it’s just the way we present it to you. Uh, that makes great common sense, but it makes great emotional sense when you see them in the ads. It’s, uh, it’s sorta like, yeah, it’s obvious.

Speaker 2 (19:08):

So, so give us an example or a couple examples of the emotions that you call the primal emotion.

Speaker 3 (19:14):

Sure. Authority, which is trust approval, which is popularity temptation, which is a craving prestige, which is based on ego admiration based on envy community, based on belonging, altruism, based on empathy, attraction, based on transformation and improvement. These are the types of emotions that make you want to buy, because you like feeling these emotions or they grab you. They, they tug when they, they, they don’t just knock on the door, man. They come, they pound on it in your heart. Right.

Speaker 2 (19:52):

Well, and I think there are emotions that underlie it that create the need. So, you know, um, so just for the listeners, so at Manatee is an online tool that you answer, uh, and correct me if I’m not describing this correctly, you answer a series of questions and based about your brand. And then based on that, it, it serves up for you a very detailed report of, of where your, which emotion is the trigger for your brand, for people to buy, and then lots of tools and ideas about how you can implement that emotion in your marketing communications.

Speaker 3 (20:32):

Right. Very well. So, yes.

Speaker 2 (20:34):

So, um, when I put AMI through it, um, I, it was interesting because I really had no preconceived notions, I whatever, and where the primal emotion

Speaker 4 (20:49):

For AMI, when I filled it out was belonging the sense of community. And when I think about it, and I think about the testimonials we get in all of that, people are grateful for the information. They are grateful that we teach what we teach, but what, what absolutely what separates us from other people who do what we do is we do create this sense of you’re part of the AMI family. Or we are part of a community. We come together from live workshops and conferences and things like that. We have peer groups that are very tight knit. And so I was sort of fascinated that the tool nailed it, I think, and then the suggestions of how to use that insight were I thought really helpful. So let’s talk about once an agency, because an agency can use this for themselves, right. They can figure out what their, their, uh, primal emotion, what primal emotion triggers purchase for them. And they also obviously could use it for their clients to figure out how do we sort of identify buying triggers for our clients and how do we weave those into our marketing communications on behalf of that client? So once you know the emotion, how do you use that information to actually improve and increase sales?

Speaker 3 (22:10):

Well, once there’s an algorithm at the base of all this, and that’s one of the, one of the things that took forever to create. So the test is very simple. You do it in five minutes and it’ll tell you what your archetype is, your emotional archetype. And that’s interesting, cause we’ll read you as you read your report, you can say, wow, this is really describing me quite well. Right. And it’s interesting, but then what you really want to know, the next question is, okay, what do I do with it? What, how do I make more money? Right. And that’s what the algorithm has figured out is what are the formulas for you for this particular brand? What are you going to want to pair up? Which emotions are going to go really well together to make that sandwich, that’s going to be perfect to attract people to your brand.

Speaker 3 (22:54):

Because we say the brand that attracts is 10 times more powerful than the brand that can only sell. So an agency would use this probably in two ways. One, they would give the test to their prospective client, for example, or maybe a current one as a proof that we can, we understand you, right? Because when you read that little report, the first one that comes out, uh, is pretty convincing. And that client might say, well, Hey, you guys really get me. I’m really unlike in this. No one ever, no one else did this for me. Um, and then based on that, they give you the business. Now in your, um, in your software, you have all of the strategies, the tactics, the formulas, the words, the upsells, the wind backs, the, you know, the colors, even you have everything. And you would decide how much of that to share with the client, because all the curriculums on your side of the fence. Well, and you could, you

Speaker 2 (23:46):

Wouldn’t have to have the client take the test. You could use the questions as part of your discovery. You could take the test for the client, and then you are the wizard who came up with the answer, right?

Speaker 3 (23:56):

Yeah. The, the, the nice thing about agency based clients is that they understand the brand that they’re, that they’re taking the test for. So they may not own the company, but th the questions are all true, false as you know, and very simple. So anybody could take this test in an agency level and take a very competent test, uh, and then present it to the client. And it would be almost the same as if they had taken the test themselves,

Speaker 2 (24:20):

But even in a discovery meeting, I could ask the prospect those questions, Hey, do you think this is true? Hey, do you think this is right? I, I could, in essence, give them the test verbally and then go back and plug it into the software and get the answers is what I’m saying.

Speaker 3 (24:36):

Yeah. Yeah. You can, especially if there’s a few questions, you’d, hadn’t really got a clear vision on, maybe just ask those four and the rest you do later, and then you can email the client, the, the document that we print out, or you could reformat it in your own words and give it to them as your own brief. Um, so yeah, you can do anything. It’s very flexible. In fact, we make the software custom to what the needs are of the agency and touches to make sure.

Speaker 2 (24:59):

Yeah. So there were some principles that you learned about emotion-based buying, um, as you were developing the tool. So let’s walk through those. The first one was that emotions cause action. And we’ve, we’ve sort of talked about that, that every buying decision is triggered by an emotion or set of emotions. And then the other thing, the second principle though, was emotions are related. Tell us a little bit about that

Speaker 3 (25:25):

For when you’re trying to sell something. For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell authority. Maybe you’re a doctor or some other, some business where a lot of trust is required. You can’t just come out and say, Hey, trust me, I know what I’m doing. Right.

Speaker 2 (25:40):

And I would think this is true for a lot of agencies. Like a lot of agencies come from a position of authority. So this is super relevant for them, right?

Speaker 3 (25:48):

Yeah. And a lot of agencies, you know, what they do is wizardry to the clients, right? And they, the client has no idea how you do this crazy stuff, right. They just want to have the trust that you do it. And you have to convey that you can’t just say, Hey, trust us. We’re great. Because every agency says that, right. You’re no better than anybody else. Right. Uh, you have to make, it felt, you have to convey this sense of, uh, authority or attraction whenever you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re conveying in a feeling. And so what we found was simply proclaiming the emotion was never going to be enough. It took a pairing of emotions, emotions are related, which means they trigger each other. So this emotion pairs nicely with this one, and that the combination of these two is what creates the feeling of trust. And now it’s felt now that’s 10 times more powerful because it’s, it’s now it’s into the chest, so to speak, right. It’s right, right. We’re not just saying words anymore. This is more than slogans. Now. They believe in the trust. And to do that, emotions had to be related. There had to be more than one. Uh, they lead to each other and certain ones work great together and others don’t at all. And that, and, and, you know, that’s the formulas that we’re talking about that we give you. So,

Speaker 4 (27:04):

So again, you’ve got, you’ve got the super emotion in this case of your example of the authority. And then what you’re saying is there are these other emotions that prove or lead to me feeling the primal emotion, right. Is that what you’re saying?

Speaker 3 (27:21):

Yes. Uh, the emotions combined together to create a new, the feeling that you need. You can’t just say it, you have to create it. So let me give you an example. Everyone’s seen, uh, Geico commercials, right? They’re, they’re, they’re wonderful, right? Um, you know, Geico in our system. And if you run the report, you would find the Geicos and approval brand. It’s based on popularity because all insurance is very, very similar. So they, they need to become the popular favorite to win. And so an approval brand and like them, they use affinity, which is fun, happiness in their case. Laughter humor, okay. The affinity archetype, and they combine it with ambition, which is the archetype, uh, based on greed or getting more. So 15 minutes will save you 15% on your car insurance. So it’s a funny commercial tied to a greedy, uh, results. You want to save some money, call us we’re the brand everyone approves of. And we just made you happy and smile. So this is a very simple example of how these pairings happen and obviously for them, and this is a formula that works amazingly well. So well, in fact that the other insurance guys are all copying it now.

Speaker 4 (28:40):

Right. That’s exactly right. Okay. So I want to take a break and then I want to talk about actually, the, you just used the word formula. We want to talk about the third principle that you identified, which is that advertising does follow a formula, but let’s take a quick break and then we’ll come back and dig into that one. When it comes to conducting a client satisfaction survey, your agency has three choices. The first one is adopted. Don’t ask, don’t tell policy and just roll the dice. Your second option is to do the study in house. And the third option is to use a third party to conduct your client satisfaction survey. If you decide that you’re ready to invest in protecting your client relationships and improving your win and keep ratios, we believe there are some benefits of using AMI as your third party research partner.

Speaker 4 (29:26):

Number one, we know emphatically that your clients will tell us things that they just won’t tell you. The reality is they’re going to speak more freely. If they’re not talking to you directly, they don’t want to hurt your feelings. And they don’t want to get into a big conversation about it. So a third party is a safe place for them to share their real feedback. The second is that at AMI, we don’t have a bias about any particular client. We don’t know if you like them. Don’t like them. If they’re a pain, if they’re your favorite. And so, because we understand the agency business, but we don’t come into those conversations with any preconceived notions, we can absolutely give you unbiased and unfiltered information based on what your clients tell us. And you know what we know agency clients, we can hear what they’re saying, and we know which threads to pull on.

Speaker 4 (30:16):

As we’re talking to them to get more information for you and more insight, your clients will be comfortable talking to us because we speak their language. If you’re interested in having AMI, do your customer satisfaction survey, head over to agency management, institute.com and look under the, how we help section of the website to learn more. All right, let’s get back to the show. All right. We’re back with Brian Gregory. And we’re talking about emotion based marketing and how you identify what emotions are related to your brand. And we, before the break, we were going through some of the principles that Brian and his team, uh, identified as they were putting together, um, their tool and the, and the third one on the list, Brian, is that advertising does follow a formula. So talk to us a little bit about that, because I think there are a lot of agency people who would buck at the idea because, you know, we pride ourselves on our creativity and our originality. So talk about what you mean when you say that it follows a formula.

Speaker 3 (31:20):

Sure. And for all you creatives out there, I’m not going to make you mad. So here’s what I will say. First, there’s a formula at the basis of all good advertising, but the end result, the final product will be tremendously creative. And that will be by your hand. And that will always be unique and different. But if we kind of peel the layer of the onion back far enough, we’ll get to a basic formula. And I have an example, if you, if you, let me give you a minute here, I’ll show you how these things repeat cause formulas, uh, imply that you could use them again and again, right? They’re not just one time things, right? And, and advertising is replete with examples of things that worked once and, and, uh, and worked again. Uh, how, how amazing is that? Now, let me give you an example of a good formula.

Speaker 3 (32:09):

It’s 19 mid sixties, and, uh, you have a, uh, fragrance to sell and the fragrance is called high karate. Some of you old timers might remember the high karate days, right? You splash on a $2 bottle of lime juice on your body, right? And you walk out your front door and all of a sudden women are so uncontrollably attracted to you because we know they all love citrus, right? And they, they, he has to karate chop these, these women to keep them away. Cause it’s just the they’re uncontrollably to them. And what they, this, this formula was used quite successfully. They sold a hundred million bottles of lime juice, fragrance to the world. And, uh, and it was, it worked now. They use the approval and admiration archetypes to do it. And the, and this is a formula. If you have the attraction brand, um, you know, the brand, the fragrance is always going to be attraction. So they had the approval of the women, so to speak, who loved this stuff and the admiration for the guy who was getting all the attention, the guy you wish you were right right now, there’s the formula we fell for it. We got a hundred million bottles. Could this possibly work again, drew? Well, let’s go to 2002 and let’s talk to Unilever who marketed ax bodies. Right.

Speaker 2 (33:24):

I would say, as soon as you were describing it, I was like, Oh my gosh, that’s acts, right. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (33:28):

Right. And the only difference is ax said, Hey, let’s attract multiple women for this geeky guy. And he’ll be so uncontrollably attracted. The women will, uh, they’ll throw themselves at his feet. And they sold, um, they got to 73% of the market share, I think for the body spray market, billions of dollars worth of ax going, going into shopping carts across the world with this ridiculous premise that women were uncontrollably attracted to a $4 bottle of body, a fragrance, but drew could this possibly work again.

Speaker 2 (33:58):

But it was different because with, for ax, it was, you know, 14 year old boys. Right. So it wasn’t even adults. It was, they were, they were tapping into the insecurity of adolescent boys. Really?

Speaker 3 (34:12):

Yeah. They were, they were basically saying, these are the guys who maybe have trouble getting dates. Right. You know, and let’s just make that come, come together for them. So yeah, it was always geared towards the guy who was a little insecure, possibly. Right. And acts just magnified it. And then, you know, they stole so much market share away from old spice that old spice got mad. Right. And then 10 years later, old spice came back and said, Hey, wait a minute. We don’t have to sell this just to man. The women are buying a lot of these fragrances and according to our research. So they came back and said that they did the exact same formula only. It was the man your man could smell like with Isaiah Mustapha and, and, and all of a sudden women wanted to the awesome guy to that, which is another ridiculous premise. Right? Your man’s never going to probably look like that. It’s not going to pop out of your shower and bring you diamonds and pearls, but in advertising, it’s the emotions that always when the subconscious wants that, no matter how ridiculous it is, the same formula was used all three times approval and admiration, and it’s sold billions of dollars worth of product. And I’m sure before we expire from the earth, it’ll be used again. What do you think?

Speaker 2 (35:25):

Absolutely. No doubt. Yeah. That’s a great example of, of the pattern and also a great example, as you said, not to tee off the creative folks, very different creative executions on all three examples. So there’s still a lot of creativity left in the formula, but it doesn’t mean the formula is a void,

Speaker 3 (35:45):

Right? The formulas are only there to get you started. If you start at the right spot, you’ll end up in the, in the really great positioning for the product. Um, and in a lot of time is wasted figuring out where the start spot is in your, in the agency games, because you you’ve got to start, it’s garbage in, garbage out. Right. You got to start right. And end up. Right. And so the creative will always be, as we are creatives, it’ll always be better than the last guys. Right. We’re going to make sure that, uh, but the formula, well, that’s just sort of your secret sauce, isn’t it?

Speaker 2 (36:17):

Yeah. Yeah. Really good point. You know, as I’m listening to you, I’m thinking kind of going back to the way you started off the conversation, which was your, your history of watching a small businesses do this badly. And then thinking that the channel doesn’t work as opposed to the ad. So where do you think businesses, where do they get this wrong? How, how, how do small businesses or businesses of any size, how do they advertise air quotes wrong? And how could they use this insight about these primal emotions? Not only to do it right, but maybe to take on the market, share leader, uh, in a way that would allow them to steal some of that market share

Speaker 3 (37:01):

Small businesses tend to do two things wrong. First thing they, because they’re small. And you know, I almost hate the term small business, you know, cause it just sounds like you’re not going to make it. Uh, but they believe they are small. And therefore they cannot use the same principles of the larger successful brands. They’ve got to somehow do some crazy gorilla thing or some different thing. And I was still small businesses. Here’s the one thing the big brand is so afraid of boy. If, if there’s one thing, the big brands are afraid of it would be waking up one day and finding out that all the little brands are doing the exact same formula we are, Oh my God. They figured it out. Right? Um, they’re no longer creating bad ads. They’re actually copying us. Oh gosh. And that would actually work because small businesses should trigger the exact same emotions.

Speaker 3 (37:47):

If you’re selling cars, there’s no reason you can’t sell just like Chevy. There is no reason if you’re selling food, you can’t use the same principles red lobster uses. Right. Um, there’s just no reason you can’t copy. The winners. Emotions are free and words are free. Go, go do it. The second thing that they do. Um, and they don’t even know they’re doing it and we’ve all done this when you sit down and you got a blank sheet of paper, right. You’re going to say, okay, I’m going to create this ad. Right. I have to get this ad done for the magazine or whoever. And I always say that the worst ad, the least productive ad you’ll find is the one created of conscious mind because we’re sitting there in our conscious mind thinking, okay, features, benefits, facts, and figures. And, Oh, I won an award last week.

Speaker 3 (38:33):

I put that in there and my picture of dog. Right. And the logo needs to be huge, right. Because I’m huge. And so this is how we create these ads and we give it to the magazine. And of course they do exactly what we tell them to do and they make it happen. And, but it’s conscious now that ad has to work on somebody. Who’s going to, uh, have subconscious mind to get them to want to buy. But it’s filled with conscious triggers. It’s nothing that is boring. It’s a book report. Right. And they did their best and God bless them. They, they didn’t know how to do it. They didn’t have a good agency to help them. Right. Didn’t have that intuitive friend that the agency is. And so small businesses tend to just turn it into a brag Arama of who I am.

Speaker 3 (39:16):

And the customer’s like, well, what about me? I don’t care about you. I don’t see myself in this at all. Yeah. I’m suspiciously absent from this conversation. What’s gone wrong. Turn the page next ad please. And you know, that’s how it works because we all are conscious when we have to think like this. And that’s one of the, kind of the reasons we came up with these formulas is just so you don’t have to waste any time on that. Boom. There it is now get creative, you know, just get right into the subconscious let’s go.

Speaker 2 (39:45):

Yeah. And I think, I think of a small and you know, I think small businesses sort of a misnomer, I think, you know, there are a handful of ginormous businesses like Coca-Cola and Ford, but you know, pretty much everybody else is a small to mid-sized business. Even if they’re a multi-million dollar business, they’re still chasing after somebody bigger. Right. Um, and I, and I, I think if they could wrap their head around this concept of this emotionally charged and based communications, and it doesn’t have to be an addict, could be a newsletter article. It could be, it could be any sort of marketing communications, but if they could convey that genuine emotion, I think, especially in this climate right now, I think people are kind of hungry to work with underdogs and challenger brands and local companies and things like that. I think we have a, I think we’re hearkening back to that, uh, as we get through the pandemic and all of that. So I think it feels like the right time for small to midsize brands to really embrace this concept of how do I connect heart to heart with a prospect and help them see themselves in our product or service.

Speaker 3 (40:59):

Yeah. These COVID, as we record this, we’re in a COVID economy and it’s caused a lot of brands who were, you know, a year ago, we’re doing all right, right. All of a sudden they’re the underdog, what happened? I’ve lost 40 per 50% of my customer base. And the government’s against me here. And all of a sudden, every dollar counts and they may not even have a dollar. Right. You know, the ads are maybe coming soon. Uh, but you can start with your emails. You could start with your social media, you could start with your website, Hey, your salespeople, if you have salespeople, when they like to understand your brand a little better emotionally, because things in the emotional sense stick better. Um, I give a, an example where a typical message would be like a post-it note, you stick it on your computer screen. Right. It goes there it’s there it is. Two days later it’s fallen off. Right, right. Emotionally charged messaging is like putting a Thumbtack in it. It sticks there forever in your mind. And it’s memorable. Now you’re going to recall that later because emotions are like the thumbtacks, uh, in our mind it makes it more permanent. And so yeah, every dollar counts right now for small business and big ones. So if you’re, if you’re not emotional, I think you’re, you’re sorry. You, you, you need to, you need to fix that fast.

Speaker 2 (42:14):

Yeah. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about as we’ve been talking is one of the challenges I think for agencies is what you described about how the business person, when they’re writing their own ad, which is I need to have bullet points and features and benefits. And, uh, as you said, the logo has got to be ginormous and I need to list every award we’ve ever won. I think that’s something that agencies battle against with their clients trying to help the clients create marketing that is more emotionally based, that is more compelling. And isn’t just a, as you called it a book report. So I think our understanding is agency folks of being able to sort of describe these primal emotions and to talk through why this matters and how it triggers buying decisions helps us guide our clients to allowing us to create better marketing for them. Because sometimes I think that’s a battle.

Speaker 3 (43:14):

Yeah. And I think we’ve all been there, drew where you’ve got a headstrong client who just sort of wants you to do it their way, but maybe a little better. And you look at their way and you’re saying, and this isn’t even right, you know, at the core. Um, but I do, I risk losing the client by beating them up on their concept and coming up and doing what should be done or do I make the client happy and, you know, sort of, you know, pay the bills. And every agency comes into this, uh, this moral dilemma and I’ve found a way around it a little bit. If you know, you’re right. Uh, you, and you can be so much more convincing, uh, if you, if you have the right emotions and you can show those to the client, the clients tend to look at it and go, you know what, that’s pretty good. You know, because there are people too, right? They’re the same brains we have. We’re all I always say, we’re, we’re all unique and wonderful, like snowflakes, but we’re all made out of the same snow. So it does tend to work and, and you need to be confident. Confidence sells everything. So be confident if your client’s wrong. And my advice is to be a good agency. You should tell them. And, um, in a nice way, show them something better. That’s the real solution, not to just argue with them, but convince them. Right. Right.

Speaker 2 (