Can emotions sell iced tea?

The client’s question

Some brands and products, particularly those in functional categories, can successfully market themselves by claiming tangible benefits and driving rational decisions. Here at SKIM, we have built up an expertise in this area which has transformed into a best practices framework.
However, other scenarios call for the use of emotions, and using marketing claims and brand messages to evoke key emotions in consumers. Recently, we were tasked by our client, Marco, from a leading beverages brand, to help him understand which emotions are most applicable for driving purchase intent of iced teas in the US and how to craft messages which evoke these emotions.

Our approach

The first step of our approach was to understand the market by looking at what emotions are currently relevant in the iced tea market and which are “owned” by certain brands. By doing this, we were able to provide strategic recommendations about which emotions to target in communications materials. The next step in our approach was to evaluate the product claims on a number of metrics, including which emotions are evoked and how strongly they are felt, in addition to their effectiveness at driving purchase intent. This not only provided a ranking of the claims, but a deeper understanding of why certain ones are effective.

The results

The results of the study demonstrated that the iced tea brand could indeed boost purchase intent through the use of emotional marketing. Marco successfully identified those emotions which represented opportunities, as they were not strongly linked to any competitors and were correlated with motivation to purchase. We at SKIM were then able to identify how to craft and optimize the product claims to trigger those emotions, be it on an iced tea bottle or communicated through an advertisement.