What do we think?

EQ Logo

Brands who hit us in the feelings


I’m fascinated by brands that manage to gather a tribe of loyal customers.

Not just people who buy from them, but people who become ambassadors for the brand – championing their products and spreading their message far and wide.

It’s a lot easier for some brands to do this than it is for others. For example, I’d much rather try and get somebody excited about beer than life insurance, but the same principles apply to all brands, regardless of product.

Generally speaking, people will make buying decisions on an emotional level and later justify the purchase using logic and reason. Knowing this helps us spot the brands who are working their magic to manipulate a primal response within us.

They might use happiness, sadness, fear, guilt, togetherness, hope or instant gratification (amongst others) to connect their message with our values.

When they do it well, it can feel like the brand was made for us, as if we belong together.

Here are a few brands that I think are doing an awesome job of hitting us in the feelings.

1. DEAD HAPPY (Humour)
I know I already said it’s hard to get excited about Life Insurance, but these guys are absolutely ‘killing it’.

Instead of using fear-based marketing like ‘How will your loved ones manage when you’re gone?’, they use humour to try and connect their product with a savvy audience who are becoming increasingly cynical to traditional methods of persuasion.

Their ads directly mock brands like Sunlife by mimicking a conversation between friends about Life Insurance.

They’re dark, they’re sarcastic, and clearly taking the p*ss – precisely what their audience is looking for.

It’s dead clever.

2. Nike (Inspiration, motivation)
I’m probably more of an Adidas guy, but Nike are leagues apart from their German rivals from a marketing point of view.

Adidas tend to be very inwards-looking, celebrating product benefits and ‘style’, whereas Nike are looking to inspire their audience.

‘Just do it’, which started it all off, is one of the most powerful (and simple) calls to action ever created. It works as well today as it did over 30 years ago.

But since then, they’ve managed to build on this concept and truly make the customer a hero in the story. I almost want to dust off my trainers and go for a run.

But not quite.

3. Aldi (Pride, Inspiration, Humour)
When I was at school, if you carried your PE kit in an Aldi bag, you’d be ripped to pieces. Fast-forward to today and big brands like Tesco are scrambling to try and keep up. Aldi is cool now.

From being everyone’s ‘dirty little secret’, they’re now the choice of the smart and savvy shopper.

Aldi achieved this perception shift through honest, relatable and no-nonsense marketing. They’re no longer ‘copy-cats’. They’ve given us permission to take pride in paying less for our shopping.

Aldi knows what the modern shopper is looking for, and their marketing reflects this. They don’t take themselves seriously and often use humour to catch our attention.

It’s all about providing great value and stopping us from associating cheap with poor quality – and if you look at their Instagram, you’ll see they’re doing a brilliant job!

It’s never been more important to empathise with your customers.

Understanding their changing needs and motivations is the key to creating a strong relationship with them.

If you can develop a unique brand voice and refine your messaging so it’s a perfect fit for your audience, you’re onto a winner!

A brand workshop could help you get under the skin of your customer.

Get in touch today to find out more
👉 Start your project

We connect emotion with design, discover what counts and focus on what matters.
how we work