Crabapples and Emotions: Marketing Like You Never Knew

Autumn crabapples in Wisconsin

Folklore says that fruit- and nut-bearing trees in their mast year are predictions of a hard winter. If that’s true and my crabapple trees are to be considered, then, yep, a strong winter is on its way. My trees are loaded. Apparently our tried-and-true Farmers’ Almanac agrees because last week it came out with its Winter Outlook 2015: More Shivery and Shovelry! As if all this isn’t enough, today I was in a hardware store that was running a special on snowblowers.

Snowblowers! Really?!

Actually that store isn’t unreasonable. Considering we all love to talk about our weather (better yet, dramatize), the store owner is simply employing smart marketing tactics to get a head start on selling his product. He’s using fear, the number one of 10 emotional triggers that commonly affect our buying and selling. Retailers, bloggers, radio talk shows—they all use fear to rile us up and motivate us to action.

Fear is okay. But it can usually be filed under “not quite all the facts,” right along with many old-time folklores. In truth, those crabapples of mine are rather pretty and will feed lots of birds this winter. I like to think of them as preparation for the months ahead (maybe even a batch of crabapple wine or cider—how’s that for putting the cold in order :-).

If I’m going to use emotional triggers to sell my services or my clients’ products, I prefer “trust,” “value” and “belonging.” I like “trendsetting,” in terms of innovative, or ahead of the game. I really like “time,” because when you let me help you with your marketing, I give you more time to do the things you’re best at doing: running your business.


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