Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire for Instant Gratification

It all started with instant coffee, the Polaroid instant camera product, the Domino’s 30-minutes or less pizza guarantee, and the instant retail credit card at the register program. I’m talking about consumers’ desires for instant gratification and the creative brands, products, and programs that became integral to meeting those desires.


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building a brand based on emotionToday, instant gratification isn’t just a desire; it’s an expectation in many industries. With the rapid spread of the Internet and mobile devices, younger generations of consumers can’t fathom having to wait five minutes to get a fax, search for 20 minutes to find a pay phone, or wait 30 minutes for a slice of pizza to reheat in the oven.

The world has changed, and every brand needs to find creative ways to tap into consumers’ desires for instant gratification. For example, a brand without a website is practically unheard of today — if a brand wants to survive and thrive, that is. Consumers want a place where they can instantly find information about a brand, products, locations, and so on. Mobile apps, online shopping, and more are standard parts of a brand marketing plan today.

Entire industries have evolved around the growing demand for instant gratification among consumers of all demographics. Product, brand, and company names like Slim-Fast and In-n-Out Burger make it clear that consumers will get instant gratification when they pull out their wallets and make a purchase.

in-n-out burger logoslim-fast ad

Other brands weave the desire for instant gratification into marketing programs, slogans, and creative copy. Sometimes those messages are just creative wording but other times they are actually integrated into products. Weight loss products, quick muscle building products, and products that reduce signs of aging are perfect examples.

muscle-building-ad

loreal revitalift age defying

Incorporating the word “now” or similar words and phrases like “instant,” “get it now,” and “don’t wait” can create a sense of urgency that piques consumers’ desires for instant gratification. It’s a technique that can be used in nearly any category to hype most products.

Using Market Research for Success

The trick for marketers is to make sure messages and perceptions related to instant gratification accurately reflect the brand promise.  That’s where market research becomes so important in identifying not only areas where the brand can hype the instant message to pique related consumer emotions but also which areas are appropriate for the brand to hype.

For example, a luxury brand like Tiffany’s shouldn’t hype a program that offers instant credit approvals. The high-end audience that Tiffany’s attracts is unlikely to need instant credit approvals and is likely to see such an offer as running completely counter to the exclusive brand promise that they expect from Tiffany’s.

Therefore, market research should occur in two stages. The first identifies what elements of the brand and its related products and services that current and potential customers want instantly. The second identifies what elements consumers feel accurately reflect the brand promise. The marketing team’s job is to collect and analyze that data and find opportunities to tap into consumers’ desires for instant gratification with messages of real or perceived importance.

For example, no one knew that instant approval for a retail credit card was something consumers would want and be happy about getting until marketing teams tied discounts into those instant credit offers. In other words, even products and brands that don’t seem to fulfill anything that could be instantly gratifying can be perceived as instantly gratifying with thorough research data and creative marketing messaging and programs.

If you missed other parts of the ongoing Building a Brand Based on Emotions series, follow the links below to read them now:


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Images: Abdulaziz Almansour, In-n-Out Burger, Slim-Fast, L’Oreal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.