A Glimpse at the Psychology of Marketing

Some content in this blog was originally published 11/15/2018 and 12/11/2018; updated 7/15/2019.


Consumers are only human and think on both rational and emotional levels. The question is, in which situation are they thinking in which manner? Many studies confirm that emotion is what drives the vast majority of purchasing decisions. So, to convert potential customers into loyal supporters of your brand, your marketing strategies need to tap into those emotions that tend to get the best of even the most well-meaning consumer when he is actually making a purchasing decision.


Marketing to Consumers’ Emotions

Consumers often make buying decisions not based on logic but rather subconsciously, based on their feelings and emotions. Due to the origins of these purchasing decisions, the most successful brand marketing connects with the target audience in a very personal way to tap into those feelings floating just beneath the surface of consciousness. This emotional marketing not only helps to increase conversion rates but also to create meaningful relationships that build a loyal customer base.

Authenticity and honesty are key to creating a successful emotional marketing strategy. There needs to exist a full understanding of both the target audience and the brand’s identity. Consumers are more and more seeking emotional relationships with brands. Done well, emotional marketing also helps companies to differentiate themselves from the competition by communicating the organization's interests, values, and passion.

Advertisements have fed into consumers’ impulse-driven purchasing for decades. Emotional messaging, flash sales, and purposefully timed promotions are effective approaches. The key is to integrate appeals to irrational shopping urges with rational, data-driven marketing. Here are some ways that emotional marketing can convert potential customers into loyal brand supporters.


Milestone Connections

Society is fascinated with celebrating personal and generic milestones. From a first tooth to a seventieth birthday to the twenty-fifth anniversary of Jurassic Park people want to acknowledge these monumental events in some way. Milestone occasions are excellent opportunities to build a relationship with your brand’s customers. Share and celebrate your company’s milestones on your website and social media pages. Offer brand milestone centered discounts and sales to share the celebration with your customers.

Be Inspirational

Emotional marketing strategies are yet another reason it is so important to understand what motivates or encourages your target audience. Inspirational marketing bridges the gap between what is familiar and what is possible. People’s behaviors often change when they are inspired by human interest stories. Brand content that shows someone helping others or overcoming an obstacle can inspire your customers to take action of some sort. To make an inspirational approach work, people have to believe in your products or services. Utilize a role model, whether an employee, loyal customer or celebrity of sorts, that tells an authentic story that embodies your brand’s mission and vision. Build emotional connections with your customers that will help them think of your brand with pride and enthusiasm and will encourage them to share with others their enthusiasm about your company.

Appeal to Raw Emotions

Showing how a product or service can make someone’s life easier or better is one of the most effective ways to humanize a brand. Emotional marketing that focuses on consumers’ most personal feelings can provide a name and face to your organization and help your target audience relate to your brand and care about it as well. (Emotions are part of the reason consumers lean towards specific brands over generic.) The most successful campaigns will help your brand tap into the emotional aspects of your customers’ purchasing behaviors.

Tie into Local Communities

People take pride in their communities and hometowns. If you have a brick-and-mortar location and can tap into a “buy local” type of strategy, do. An excellent way to encourage others to be an active part of all things local is to be a sponsor in a community event. Donate your organization’s time, talents, or money to associate yourself with events that have a positive impact on local communities relevant to your target audience.

Be Consistent, Be Authentic

To build a credible and recognizable brand, your storytelling must be consistent across all of the marketing platforms your brand uses. Consumers will more readily create meaningful connections with your company when your marketing uses the same tone and messaging regardless of where someone is interacting with your brand. Create content that resonates with your target audience and tells an authentic and compelling story.


Consumer behaviors change from day to day due to the nature of human emotions. Because impulsive and emotional purchases are, for the most part, irrational, you won’t always be able to predict future behaviors based on past purchases. Authenticity is key to creating successful emotional marketing campaigns that will help you connect with consumers by speaking from the heart of your brand.



Psychological Pricing

Establishing prices for your brand’s products and services can be a challenging task. Simply calculating your cost, adding what you’d like to make on top of that and coming to a final price won’t cut it. You need to take into account the emotions of your buyers. That strategy is called psychological pricing.

Part of the emotional base of purchasing decisions involves the price of a product or service and whether or not the consumer feels they are “getting a good deal.” Psychological pricing gauges your target audience’s emotional responses to an item or service and takes that into account for determining perceived value.

Psychological pricing is a strategic method of pricing products and services to influence consumers’ decision making during the purchasing process. It is the idea that consumers will see a slightly lowered price and perceive it as lower than the price actually is – the “round down” effect. For example, the practice of pricing a product or service at $24.99 instead of $25.00 to encourage customers to think of the price as $24 instead of $25.



  • Offer something for free when a consumer makes a particular purchase or reaches a specified purchasing amount.

  • Utilize a tiered product strategy to make something that might seem expensive less so when compared to another product.

  • Use odd pricing – figures that end with unexpected digits like 7, 8, or 9 - that gives the perception of a complex calculation to come up with the cost or that you are trying to be as fair to the customer as possible by not rounding the price up to an even dollar amount.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for an industry competitive price as many consumers equate price with quality and will assume “cheap” before they think “inexpensive but still high-quality.”

  • Offer incentives that minimally affect your bottom line such as “Buy one, get one ½ off,” or “Purchase today and get a 10% discount.”

  • Offer bundle pricing of products or services that complement one another.

  • Offer installment payments for more costly items or services.

  • Create a sense of urgency to take advantage of people’s FOMO (fear of missing out).

  • Leverage the power of social proof by featuring customer reviews and complimentary comments right next to products and services.

  • Include original prices next to the discounted or sales price of items and services to not only help consumers feel like they are getting a bargain but also to save them from having to research how much of a deal they are getting.



The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing know that each brand has different challenges and goals. Let us help you harness the psychological power of marketing and pricing strategies to connect with consumers and help your brand stand out among the competition. For all things marketing, websites, ecommerce, and more contact us today!