The Case for Metaphors in Marketing

A Sea of Papers — Image Credit Nomadsoul1

“The first use of any product is inside the consumer’s mind”

— Drew Eric Whitman

If this essay were a coffee shop, you would walk into a warm, inviting smell of freshly roasted beans. I would be waiting in a pair of comfortable recliners, ready to walk you through why metaphors are one of the essential parts of your marketing.

Analyses of language reveal, “we use around one metaphor for every ten seconds of speech or written word”. They deliver a powerful mental image to your readers, making your message more persuasive.

As a marketer, you want to do everything in your power to elicit emotional responses from your customer. Humans live in a sensory world, and using metaphors when describing your products helps the customer internalize and “feel” your product.

Brian Clark says, “Metaphors are so powerful because of one simple fact of human psychology: We react more readily to the emotional than the rational”.

Metaphors are how we remember and how we interpret.

Scientifically, this makes sense. Will Storr says, “When participants in one study read the words ‘he had a rough day’, their neural regions involved in feeling textures became more activated, compared with those who read ‘he had a bad day…It works because it activates extra neural models that give the language additional meaning and sensation.”

Use this to your advantage throughout your copy. Use in your headlines, openings, body copy, microcopy, proof points, and closing.

Image credit the author

Use them to make the intangible, tangible.

Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself. -Twyla Tharp

For more tips on marketing strategy and design follow me on Twitter @MentalWeapons



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Max Bernstein

Max Bernstein

I am a full-time brand marketer with a passion for direct response and internet marketing.