Suddenly Marketing

Brand Messaging | Content Strategy | Writing

Your Marketing Needs to Make Me FEEL Something

Widsom for marketers as well as artists.

You’re at a social event with a friend when someone you’ve met before walks in. You can’t remember this person’s name, where you met, what you did together, or what you talked about. Despite this total lack of recall about the concrete elements of your meeting, you have a feeling that you’d prefer a root canal to interacting with this person again.

Or, maybe you’re cruising your Facebook newsfeed and the profile picture of an online acquaintance catches your eye. You’ve never met in person, and you’ve only had a few casual social exchanges, but seeing this person’s face makes you smile. You’re not sure why (you’re not even sure how the two of you crossed paths in the first place), but now you’ve stopped scanning so you can read this person’s post.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

–        Maya Angelou

I do not know in what context writer and poet Maya Angelou originally uttered that now ubiquitous quote, but I doubt it was anything to do with marketing. Still, her words ring true and marketers of all kinds should take heed.

In my post “Is your business the marrying kind or a one night stand?” I shared a personal, real life example of how the dramatically different ways two big brands (AT&T and Verizon) made me feel changed my relationships with those brands. Forever.

I have chosen restaurants, yoga instructors, sandwich shops, books, hotels, hosting companies, laptops, phones, apparel, notebooks and all kinds of other products and services based on the brand’s (whether corporate or personal) ability to make me feel good. Conversely, I have withheld my business from brands that make me feel bad.


How do you make your customers feel?

  • Smart? Valued? Respected?
  • Stupid? Taken for granted? Frustrated?
  • Joyful? Proud? Hopeful? Creative? Happy?
  • Afraid? Ashamed? Angry? Bored? Sad?

It’s a really important question.


Off-Topic Friday: Small Town in a Big World


Off-topic Friday: Something in the air


  1. Jeevan Jacob John

    Hey Jamie,

    I don’t typically choose brands; I am okay with trying different ones. But, when it comes to deodorants and fresheners, I do pick Old Spice (I suppose it is because my Grandfather is using the same brand :D).

    Anyways, I am planning to launch my blog soon (well, by the end of this year), and I am still working on answering one question: What do I want my readers to feel?

    I want my readers to feel wonderful/joyful and refreshed when they visit my blog (I am depending upon my theme to help me here :D).

    I plan to experiment around with my blog posts. Hopefully it will all work out as planned.

    Anyways, thank you for reminding me the question, Jamie :)

    • Interesting. Old Spice obviously makes you feel a connection with your grandfather. I’d be willing to bet you choose other brands based on feelings, but maybe don’t even realize it. 😉

      Asking yourself how you want your readers to feel is an excellent question. So glad you’re asking yourself that up front as you’re getting ready to launch. It’s so important to establish that early on – it will give you a great foundation upon which to build.

      As always, thank you for coming by. :)

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