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Emotional Branding by Citi
By: Cindy Wendland
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Nothing is more appealing than when it has an emotional tie. It grabs your heart and soul. Marc Gobe wrote Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People in 2010. He says, “Emotional Branding is about this amazing relationship and connection people have with some brands. But I wrote my book Emotional Branding because I could see that people loved brands but unfortunately brands did not love people back. I thought it was critical to mend that relationship. I could observe that the trusted relationship that people had with brands was eroding and that brands did not see their responsibility towards society as an important element of their vision.”

On the back of the August 25 issue of TIME featuring Robin Williams, Citi has an ad steeped in emotional branding. The quote on the ad is “There’s no reason we can’t manufacture in the U.S.” That statement caused us to do a double take. It was interesting timing. In a recent conversation with an old friend, we learned he had helped companies take all their equipment to the coast to be put on a ship to manufacture their products overseas. Now he is bringing that same equipment back here. The cost of manufacturing and timing has changed overseas. There is more reason to manufacture back home.

In the ad, Citi highlighted a business customer who chose to manufacture in the U.S. Through Citi’s financial capabilities and expertise, they are assisting the company with expansion plans to allow them to thrive in a U.S. manufacturing situation. This emotional ad runs deep on many levels. It touches on "made in the U.S.A." It touches on labor unions, people losing their jobs, and unemployment. It touches on two companies working to make those problems better. The ad raises feelings of community and togetherness.

The "made in the U.S.A." campaign for Citi is a great way to build emotional branding. It should serve them well and is a great model for others to follow.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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