Have you ever wondered why every day you come across so many faces smiling at you from posters, promotional videos or online advertising? The answer is quite simple - because smiles sell. And they are pretty good at it. The thing is that we all have mirror neurons – small transmitters in our brain responsible for adjusting our emotions to the emotional environment we find ourselves in. It means that we feel joy when we see a smiling face. This is an adaptive behavior mechanism which helped us evolve as social creatures.
Contemporary marketers are successfully capitalizing on this feature of our brain. Nevertheless, smiles aren’t as effective as you may think and you need to be aware of some requirements which will help you achieve the peak performance of this tool. Let’s consider some of them.
Genuine and fake smiles
Apparently, there are genuine and fake smiles in the advertising. As you might have already guessed, genuine smiles make brands more appealing to customers and result in better emotional connections.
Our brain isn’t only wired to mirror emotions. It’s also very good at “reading” facial expressions and segregating fake emotions from genuine ones. It means that even if we see a smile, our brain understands whether it’s natural or faked one and thus immediately triggers relevant attitude to what we see. Thus, while a genuine smile can boost the customer’s loyalty and improve brand perception, a fake one, on the contrary, can make consumers feel misled and puzzled.
So, when choosing models for creating “smiling” advertising materials, make sure that they can smile naturally, involving not only muscles of their mouth but those surrounding their eyes, and other facial muscles as well. You can learn how to do it properly from Coca-Cola for example, a brand which utilizes a smile a lot as a marketing tool.
In people we trust
Our brain evolved to trust other people more than any objects, images, texts or whatever. And positive emotions expressed by other people stimulate positive associations with products and brands and thus facilitate the adoption of purchase decisions. That’s why we heavily rely on the opinion of other people, especially close ones, about a product or service when adopting our own purchase decisions. So if you decided to convey certain emotions with the help of people in your advertising it’s very important not to cross that thin line of reasonableness. It means that you should refrain from the extreme demonstration of emotions. Try to make actors look as natural as possible, so consumers can easily relate themselves to what they see in marketing materials.
Emotional state highly affects our information processing capacities and decision-making patterns. When you are frustrated you are more likely to perceive any incoming information in the negative light and consider situations and events rather like challenges than opportunities. At the same time, when you are in a good mood, it’s easier for you to adopt positive decisions and judge your environment as something enabling. That’s why the creation of positive associations with products and brands is crucial since they just make it easier for customers to buy things. Since smiles are the oldest way to transmit happiness, they perfectly work when you want to encourage customers to develop positive attitudes to your brand or products.
Numerous studies confirm that advantages of smiles as a marketing tool reach far beyond those presented above. Of course, it would be too unwisely to rely simply on smiling people while trying to boost sales, but you can definitely leverage this tool to promote the better emotional connection of consumers with your brand and products.