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Why do we buy certain products? Price plays a role, as do distribution channels (we don't buy what we don't see or know about), but emotions play a strong role in many of the buying decisions we make every day.
Our minds process emotions faster than they make logical connections. In a typical grocery store trip, we make hundreds of buying decisions without even thinking about them, often reacting purely with our emotional minds.
Good brand managers know what emotions drive the target customers of their products, and how to appeal to those emotions. They also pay attention to the shifting tides of public opinion, and how those effect the emotional makeup of their target audience.
Emotional branding covers everything from product design -- creating a digital camera that "feels good" in the customer's hand -- to advertising that seeks to create trust or convey respect for the customer.