Branded User Experience - Combining Emotive Branding and Cognitive UX Design

Brand experience design is not just about designing according to your visual brand guidelines, it is about designing a holistic and seamless branded customer experience that reflects your brand's values and meets your customers’ needs and expectations throughout their customer journey. Designing a successful branded user experience (UX) involves aligning your brand strategy and design in order to achieve your business goals. Traditional marketing focuses on functional features and benefits. Whereas, experiential marketing focuses on customer experiences and recognises both the rational and emotional factors influencing the buying decision. 

Emotive branded experience helps to engage, persuade and motivate the user to take the desired action…creating an emotional bond with the brand. A great example of emotive branding is Nike’s latest brand campaign, Dream Crazier. In this campaign the Nike brand is standing up for female empowerment and celebrating great female athletes:

Our buying decision is based on how we feel about the brand and its values, so our emotions influence our decision whether or not to buy a particular product or service. According to the author of Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Don Norman:

Emotions are inseparable from and a necessary part of cognition. Everything we do, everything we think is tinged with emotion, much of it subconscious.
— Don Norman

Designing branded customer / user experience is based on Reflective design which is about self-image, personal satisfaction and memories, focusing on long-term customer experience. So, to persuade users to take the desired action, such as signing up or buying a product, you need to first conduct research to understand your target users’ needs, behaviours and motivations as well as their perceptions and expectations of your brand. Using the key insights gained from your research findings to design your brand experience using both emotive branding and cognitive UX design.

To design a successful and memorable branded user experience means that every interaction and touchpoint with your brand needs not only to be engaging and enjoyable in order to create an emotional bond with your brand, but to be consistent and reflective of your brand values.