Warm sun on my face, a pleasant breeze in the air, crisp lager in hand, delicious food from a local vendor, upbeat live music, socially distanced seating, and the ease of touchless ordering. I’m imagining how my upcoming visit to this specific local taproom will feel and I’ve never actually been there before.
These feelings of contentment, relaxation, confidence about safety precautions, and celebration of my senses are all conjured by a series of photos on this particular brewery’s social media channel. A handful of photos and some well-written sentences inspired me enough to drive 40 minutes away from my home to enjoy a Sunday afternoon pint on their patio with my entire family. That’s the power of harnessing emotion in your marketing and sales techniques.
This particular brewery’s social media marketing techniques were just the tip of the iceberg. When we arrived, there was clear signage everywhere instructing us exactly what to do, which was not only helpful but used descriptive verbiage to communicate how following these rules would lead to a more enjoyable experience, for us and others around us. This instilled feelings of safety, community, and commitment from their team.
The contactless ordering system was not only clearly explained and easy to navigate, but it gave us tempting prompts along the way to add more options to our order that was not on our radar until right at that moment. Vivid beer descriptions painted pictures of the experience I would get by ordering particular styles.
You don’t need a taster if the beer description is full of emotionally driven adjectives and familiar imagery.
To top it all off, when I closed out my tab, the ordering system asked me if I wanted to take this experience home with me. Yes, please, where do I sign up? I will take this festival of sensory enlightenment home with me in the form of beer to go, and of course, I want to sign up for your email list so that I can continue this amazing experience with your brand, and yes, I do want to purchase branded merchandise, because I now associate this particular beer brand with a memory of happiness, ease, safety, and pure joy.
This example should be your goal in your sales and marketing tactics.
Our current market challenges dictate that you can’t just casually talk about your beer anymore to generate sales, you’ve got to completely immerse your target audience in an emotionally-driven experience that will inspire them to take a purchase action – either in-person or virtually.
Stop thinking about all the physical features of your products, your taproom, your merchandise or your loyalty program. Start thinking about the way these things will make your customers feel or the results they will get from their purchase. Go beyond ABV and your operating hours. Focus on the experience I will get from your German-style Pils or beer garden-inspired patio.
Consumers buy results, they don’t buy physical items, and emotions play a big role in triggering their purchase decisions. When you can learn to use emotionally-driven language to describe the benefits of your products and paint a vivid picture of how your consumer will feel after they buy something, you can tap into the psychological and social needs of the human brain. Humans have an instinctual need to feel good, feel safe, feel like they’re part of a group, or feel complete. You can do this with emotionally laden words and with photos or videos that spark positive feelings of inclusion, enjoyment, fulfillment, and safety.
So the next time you go to create a Facebook post or write your taproom menu or update your website, consider how you want your fans and consumers to feel. What should be the big overarching takeaway feeling after interacting with your brand? Then use emotion-triggering language and compelling visuals in your sales and marketing materials to conjure up those feelings, and watch your sales numbers increase.
Julie Rhodes is the owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, the only educational services company for the craft beverage industry that teaches you how to take the guesswork out of your sales, marketing, and distribution plans. Follow along on FB and IG @notyourhobbymarketing.