The Emotion of FEAR
“When you say branding, the next word out of your mouth had better be emotion,” I typically instruct my new clients. Branding is all about emotions. And as rational as we like to appear, human beings are controlled 100 percent by our feelings, which scares many people.
Dale Carnegie (the winning friends and influencing people guy) once said “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion.” Oh yeah — big time.
Fear is a very complicated emotion and while you wouldn’t want to base your brand around it (possibly the avoidance of it), there is no denying that fear changes human behavior—and has for centuries.
Our most recent Covid-19 pandemic was essentially an exercise in fear-driven messaging. The news media (and social media) hammer fear home 24/7 for nearly two years and not the kind of “hey there was a fire somewhere near that neighborhood you sometimes drive through” — but more like “your ass is in danger right now and you should be afraid of everyone and everything.” You could feel it in the air.
Fear is a choice. Leading cognitive psychologists concede that human beings choose to be influenced by fear and we choose to be afraid based on environmental stimuli. This is actually good news. So if you can choose to be afraid, then consequently you can choose NOT to be afraid also, right? And many have made this brave choice to reject what the news media and social media and supposed figures of authority are telling them in order to make their own decisions and choices. —It’s pretty darn American if you ask me.
Fear can cause groups of people to behave in odd ways. For example, the current vaccine mandate debate going on in companies and households across the country. Companies are being FORCED by the federal government to FORCE their employees to take an experimental and not-very-well-tested mRNA gene therapy masquerading as a vaccine. Many believe these vaccines aren’t safe (sorry FDA) and choose to instead just take their chances with a virus and its variants that have a documented 98 percent survival rate for most people. THIS is what the media should be saying. But they don’t. Because their BUSINESS is about attention. And FEAR…qualifies as attention.
To show you how quickly things change, even just a few years ago, Americans used to resist federal government overreach and despite dire warnings about President Trump becoming the next Mussolini, the ACTUAL authoritarian regime is coming from a small group of lifelong politicians, bureaucrats and (in my opinion) nasty rats who infest the DC swamps.
But it’s fear. Fear has ALWAYS had power to cloud people’s thinking and judgment and allow nefarious villains throughout history to work their evil magic. I’ve found some people who seem to be immune to the fear and yeah, usually they are republicans. I think this is because republicans stopped trusting the “news” many years ago sensing a problem within The Matrix.
The same games PR firms have been playing for decades are at play right now to sculpt a narrative that fits the Left’s pretty evil purpose. I think some of these people are trying to “re-set” the world in a way that benefits them and they believe there is a throne for them once it’s all over. I doubt that will be the case.
But fear only works when we (the people) allow it to work. We can reject it and shut it off at any time. We can say “we’re not forcing people to take these vaccines” because it’s against our much-needed United States Constitution, our values—and it’s just wrong.
Now some would say, “Scott, it’s a big risk taking a polarizing political position in your business. It’s MUCH safer to just nod in agreement and quietly go along because someone MIGHT disagree with you.” “—You will make MORE money that way—and be SAFE!”
Yeah, that is probably true. But when in my career (or life) have I EVER done the safe thing? I try to do the RIGHT thing and I fall back on the SAFETY of being able to live with MYSELF. It’s what I do for my clients, and it’s how I’ve always done it. You see, I choose NOT to be afraid despite a world filled with threats and uncertainties. —And I gotta tell you, it’s a GREAT choice.
Because if we do nothing here in this moment right now, this tyranny, this evil, will spread—and there might not be anything left to save.