Ethos, Pathos, and Logos: What’s the Difference?

In order to market effectively, one must appeal to the right customer in the right way. If you don’t attract the attention of your potential customer, you’ll never attract the customer. In order to get them interested in the business, you must capture their attention.

Appealing to different customers can be done through different approaches. Ethos, pathos, and logos are three different ways of appealing to a customer. They are three different ways to make your brand stand out as the business the customer should support and purchase from.

Ethos are ethical appeals. They are what make the company seem ethical, credible and a smart company to shop with. Ethical appeals give the company credit and merit and make the company seem like the most credible and honest company to shop with. Ethos can be formed by use of vocabulary, facts, and being completely transparent about the brand and product.

Example: Tom Shoes: The company founder went to Argentina in 2006 and saw that the children there were wearing no shoes, so that started their One for One campaign in which they give a pair of shoes for every pair bought. This ethical approach encourages customers to shop from Toms because they will be helping a child in need.

Pathos are emotional appeals. This form of emotional appeals captures the potential customers attention by pulling on their emotions. It makes the customer feel a certain way in order to get them to engage with the brand. Pathos appeals make the customer feel good about shopping with the company, they gain business by evoking an emotion.

Example: Kay Jewelers: The company has their slogan “Every kiss begins with Kay”. This company evokes the emotion of love and matrimony by reminding their customers that jewelry is a great way to make someone feel loved and get a kiss in return.

Logos are logical appeals. This form of appeal attracts customers through logical information. They appeal to customers who care about the factual information behind the brand. These appeals can be brought about by facts and theoretical language. Logos draw in the customers who care about the “what” behind the brand.

Example: Patagonia: This company uses the best knowledge they can source to design clothes that are great for the customer and great for the environment. They test their clothes thoroughly and ensure that all of their materials are ethically sourced, are from specific locations, and are best fit for the customer.


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