The Emotional Appeal of Your Business

16 06 2010

When we try to change the behavior of other people, the authors of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard point out that our first instinct is to teach them something—give them lots of facts and figures. But the most effective change comes when we appeal to other’s emotions rather than their intellect.

Take for example Silpada Jewelry’s recent magazine advertisement, appealing to women who want to start a business and depicting that woman with her family. Large photos and the following text:

“I never run out of vacation days.” When you control your time, there is no need to ration vacation days. “I spend more time with my family, earn a great income, and grow in ways I never thought possible. I truly love my life.”

Those are powerful words that appeal to our emotions. Who doesn’t want to spend more time with their family? Who doesn’t want to control their own time?  Who doesn’t want to earn a great income? Who doesn’t want to love their life?

In Boom Start: Super Laws of Successful Entrepreneurs, they state that a product (or service) is made up of three components: core, tangible, and augmented. The core of your product is its emotional essence. For example, the core of McDonalds’s restaurants is Family, Fun, and Friends. Sure they are selling great hamburgers, fries, and a drink—the tangible product—but more importantly they are appealing to us at an emotional level. And then just in case we become bored with the “same old,” they augment with upbeat advertising, Ronald McDonald and his friends, and the world famous Golden Arches.

As you think about your business, first focus on the heart of your business, the core that stirs emotions. Start there as you prepare marketing material for your business. In order to convince people to buy your product and/or service, pay more attention to the emotional appeal and less to filling the space with facts and information.

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Coaching Small Business Startups


Your Personal Treasure Map

8 06 2010

Several years ago after reading Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, I sat down one afternoon with a stack of magazines, scissors, glue, and paper to create my own personal treasure map. Minutes into my project, my youngest daughter wanted to know what I was doing, and shortly the two of us were sitting on the living room floor each working on our treasure maps.

A personal treasure map is a collage of your ideal life (ideal = an ultimate object or aim or endeavor, a goal) that creates a visual tool to focus your creative energy in the direction you wish to go. 

Visualize your ideal life.  Close your eyes.  Some questions to ponder may include:  How do I want to live my life and who lives with me?  What does my dream house look like?  Where is this house located?  What is the yard like?  Do I have animals?  What kind of vehicle(s) do I drive?  Where is my office located – in my home or at a separate location?  Do I travel and if so where? 

Search through magazines and find pictures of your ideal life.  Cut them out and arrange them in a collage on poster board, in a booklet format, or a framed picture collection – let your imagination guide you.  If you cannot find pictures, you can draw your ideal life. Find a photograph of yourself that you really like.  (You must be looking radiant and happy.)  Cut out your picture and place it in the center of your collage.

Ideally, your picture collection should be representative of each of the 4 human dimensions: Spiritual, Mental, Physical, and Social/Emotional.

At a recent women’s networking meeting, someone mentioned that she laminated her vision board (personal treasure map) and mounted it in her shower so that each morning she could focus on her life’s direction. Someone else remarked that if you can’t find a picture that represents one of your goals, have a photograph taken of you sitting in your ideal car, in front of your ideal home – you get the idea. You can also cut out words or phrases that resonate with you.

Since first creating my personal treasure map, several pictures have come to life. I have spoken at conferences, I do have a back deck to relax on, I have a well setup home office, and I set aside time regularly to relax, read books, and listen to music.

This week pull out your collection of magazines and spend what will be the most rewarding hour, creating your personal treasure map.

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Coaching Small Business Startups