5 Key Factors of Branding Psychology

7 min read

Why do some brands thrive while others fail? Why are some businesses able to cut through the noise, earning thousands of new viewers overnight… while others dwindle into obscurity?

As the last humans in marketing, we understand how troubling these questions can be. It can be difficult to wrap our brains around the many reasons our work may be inclined to rise and fall in the eyes of our customers, and this can grow especially difficult for those who aren’t particularly tech savvy.

So the real question is:

“How do we get people to recognize us?”

Which steps do we take to nurture the relationships we’ve already established?

Table of Contents

Branding Consistency: Explained

You don’t have to be an expert to realize how fierce the competition is out there. While creating customer allegiance may sound simple enough, the pieces won’t start to fall into place until we learn to connect with our audience on a deeply psychological level.

Branding is the process of shaping the public perception of your company. It tells your customers precisely what to expect from you, your staff, your products and services. It is a constant process. Often requiring daily updates and customer engagement in order to keep your mission statement on the forefront of their minds. This can only be achieved when we design all of our content to accurately reflect that mission statement.

If you want to build your audience and reach new customers, consistency will be your greatest asset. Every post needs to be clear as day, straight to the point, and aesthetically alluring in a ways that will convey confidence in your brand in a matter of seconds.

Still not sure where to begin?

Your friends here at Two Trees PPC have some suggestions.

1. Familiarity

The more we see something, the more we like it! In psychology, we refer to this phenomenon as the “mere-exposure effect.” When you follow someone on Instagram, for instance, you’ll begin to develop a preference for their posts “merely” because you’re familiar with them. No one wants to invest in someone they cannot trust, and this begins with creating a sense of familiarity in your posts. Every post and every ad must resonate on a fundamental level.

  • Think of something you enjoy.
  • Who comes to mind when you think of that subject?

Whoever it was you happened to think of, you only thought of them because you’re familiar with them. Why? Do you remember them from TV? From social media? What do they specialize in? How do you feel when you see them?

These are all questions worth analyzing. Because the sooner we understand what we like and why, the sooner we will be able to learn from those those we admire.

2. Shared Values

This part is pretty straightforward. We notice when something is different, so you don’t want to look exactly like everyone else. Where’s the fun in that?

When we talk about having “shared values,” we don’t mean for you to cater to the whims of every new customer that signs up for your mailing list. As you continue to evolve and refine your brand, you will inevitably reach a point when you start to lose followers as often as you find them. Rest assured that this is perfectly normal.

You attract the types of customers who share your values. Not in every case, of course, but as you look through you’re content, you will begin to notice a pattern of consistency whether you like it or not. Be specific. Make your brand promises clear as day! Because once you take steps to be forthcoming with your audience, you will allow yourself an opportunity to connect with them on far more meaningful level.

Remember that no matter what you do, you cannot – and will not – please everyone. Be mindful of the values that mean most to you. Make sure that your brand effectively mirrors those principles. The more consistently you do this, the sooner you will attract like-minded souls who are more likely to love what you have to offer.

3. Symbolism and Emotion

While there are many who argue that symbolism has no place in business, the fact of the matter is: It’s everywhere! From the logos we have designed to the colors we choose for our event posters, symbolism can be found all around us. It has the power to guide our purchases in much the same way that emotion does, which is just horribly fascinating in general.

People respond well to symbolism. The same goes for our brands as well.

Take color, for instance: The spectrum of known color influences our behavior on a primal level, tapping into our childhood pysches in ways we can’t even imagine. Every shade on the spectrum channels positive and negative emotions. The same goes for words, numbers, animals, shapes, and more. Most people make decisions on a subconscious level. And yes, this includes those more “logical” personality types. You have the power to connect with your customers, and the key to all that is really quite simple:

“Be mindful and intentional with the imagery you use in all of your posts.”

  • Tell stories.
  • Keep things easy to read.
  • Lead with personality!

We know how scary it to put yourself out there. To be vulnerable as you present what you have to offer with the world. Don’t be afraid to share imagery rich with meaning and metaphor if that calls to you. Be mindful of cultural associations with colors and symbols that you like, and be ready to alter them if, and when, the time comes.

It’s all about communicating your intentions clearly. No matter who you are or where you came from, no one will pay attention to your work until they feel connected enough to stop and listen.

4. Memory Triggers

Nostalgia can be one hell of a motivator! When the new Star Wars movie came out, the internet exploded with positive reactions. This continued to happen even after watching the new trilogy, which many argue to be lackluster at best. Years later, we still remember how much we the fight scenes, the one-liners, the camaraderie between friends as they worked tirelessly to defend future generations from evil… only to stumble upon a shop that’s offering a sale on sci-fi memorabilia.

And you clicked on the link.

You browsed through the shop.

You even tempted the idea of “adding to cart.” Why?

Because Memory Triggers are one of the most powerful tools in the galaxy. Much like the use of symbolism we covered earlier, Memory Triggers cause you to people, places, and things with established brands long after the business has passed your field of vision.

Think about it for a sec:

“What are your Memory Triggers?”

Think of things you love. Things you’re obsessed with.

In order to create an effective Memory Trigger, you must first find a topic of association that seems to have nothing to do with your business. Much like the merch shop that sells comfy t-shirts and mugs, yet chose to focus on sci-fi themes.

Say you own a cafe. You certainly specialize in the production of coffee and tea… but what else? Do you offer cookies? Croissants? Mooncakes? What else do you have to offer?

Let’s say you wanted to advertise a new latte! Just in time for all that chilly weather too. You could create a campaign that focuses on highlighting the imagery of that drink. All that warm, cinnamon-flavors goodness swirling in circles that convey subconscious thoughts of “gathering,” “warmth,” and “community.”

Well, even if your customers don’t click on your ad the first time, if it is done well, they will remember it.

  • The next time they walk down that grocery aisle filled with box after box of insta-coffee… they will think of that latte.
  • The next time they see cinnamon sticks on someone else’s holiday poster… they will think of that latte.
  • Every morning that they wake up feeling sad, or just in need of a pick-me-up… they will feel comforted at the thought of drinking your latte.

And that, my friend, is when they will finally come around.

5. Community

Humans are social creatures. When we share testimonials, it can convey confidence in our brand faster than almost anything else we might possible do on our own. This is caused by our very human and natural desire for community.

This is the reason it’s so important to actively engage with your followers. When we focus too much on “sales” we become desperate and unable to appreciate the gifts of the present. And while it is certainly important to increase sales as a business, it is more important to focus on your ability to nurture the connection between you, your brand, and your ever-growing audience.

This is why so many small businesses focus on building a sense of community. Some do this by offering memberships with exclusive discounts and announcements. Others choose to unite in common cause. When your followers share your work and leave positive comments for the public to see, it feels good, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t you want to return the favor?

Consistent community engagement really is one of the most important ways to reach and rebuild your audience. You can do this by nurturing your existing relationships, which will inevitably lead you to connect with others aligned in common purpose. Share those testimonials. Ask questions. Engage with as many people as you can! If you do this consistently, you will create feelings of belonging that will draw new people to check out your brand for years to come.

Taking Action

Understanding Branding Psychology is key. Not just as a rule, but because it allows us an opportunity to connect with our audience in ways we never thought possible. By maintaining consistency on all media platforms, you’re telling the world that you’re a brand is one they can rely on. You’ll create a sense of familiarity and community that resonates to the core, which will inevitably encourage others to find you as well.

The real secret to all of this lies in their ability to trust you. Be honest. Delete messy content and set clear expectations. It can be difficult to maintain on your own, but we assure you that it can be done.

All you have to do is stay focused.

Cecilia is a vital part of the creative machine here at Two Trees PPC. With over a decade of experience in content production and a true passion for psychology, she is no stranger to the working world and enjoys every opportunity to introduce small business owners and independent contractors to the realistic necessities of modern day marketing.

When not researching or writing for Two Trees PPC, Cecilia runs her own business as a multidisciplinary artist and content producer. She is also pursuing an A.A. in Sociology, and gives back to her community whenever she has the resources to do so.