Emotional “Hooks” And How To Use Them To Market Your Business

Emotional "Hooks" And How To Use Them To Market Your Business

Think about the people around you. Are they rational beings who make decisions based purely on cost-benefit analyses? Or do they do things for emotional reasons? 

Unless you’re a member of a physics convent, it is likely the latter. People respond to their emotions and then concoct emotional justifications after the fact. Hardly anyone is a dispassionate agent of pure reason. Sorry, all you philosophers out there!

For that reason, businesses need to focus on evoking emotions. Their marketing should contain “hooks” that draw people in and make them more likely to convert. But what do these look like? And how can you implement them in your enterprise? 


Fear is a negative emotion, but probably the most primal of all. Humans have lived with fear since time immemorial. And for that reason, it is embedded deep within our psyches. Politicians know that if they can make us feel scared, they can wield enormous power over our lives. 

Fear, however, is also something that you can use in marketing. Think about how injury lawyers advertise on TV. Often, they’ll show images of car crashes or people falling downstairs to create a sense of panic in their viewers. They know that if they do this, they’ll generate “shock value” that will make their commercials more memorable.

Thus, if you can find a good and justifiable way to use fear, you’re often onto a winner. 


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Not all brands focus on the negative. Some concentrate on the emotion of happiness – the thing that most people want more than anything else in the world. 

Evoking happiness usually involves engaging in what the industry likes to call “joy marketing.” You’re essentially trying to associate your brand with positivity, giving people a feel-good vibe. 

That’s one of the reasons you see so many brands creating positive content. Coca-Cola’s Christmas advertisement is perhaps the best example in marketing history. It signals the end of the working year and the start of the holidays. 


It might seem strange to say it, but intimacy is an emotional hook that really works. It’s one of the reasons why agencies like RSM Marketing push the concept of social media marketing so hard. The more that you can connect with your audience, the more likely they are to buy from you. 

The reason for this is simple: according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, everyone needs a sense of belonging. So companies that make people feel part of a tight-knit tribe tend to perform better over the long term. They’re tapping into the innate human desire to feel part of a group. 


Yes – greed works too. 

Remember, a lot of people live to acquire material possessions. Nothing is more important for them than buying designer goods and capitalizing on them. 

If your brand is naturally appealing to this segment, you might want to try giving the appeal to greed ago. We live in a consumerist world. As an entrepreneur, you might as well take advantage of it. Buy one, get one free, is a great example of “greed marketing” in action.

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