What makes brands memorable? You might think that it’s the product, but it’s really the emotional connection a brand has with its customers. Think about some of the most memorable commercials out there — Coca-Cola’s polar bears, Apple’s “1984”, Kay Jewelers. All of these commercials make you feel something, whether it’s happiness, sadness, or fear. While you may offer a stellar product, your customers aren’t going to remember your brand unless it emotionally connects with them.
You’re probably asking yourself why emotional connection matters so much. To put it simply, it creates and maintains customer loyalty. How exactly does it do that? Let’s take a look.
To best reach customers, studies have shown that brands need to go beyond customer satisfaction and connect with customers on an emotional level. This means tapping into their fundamental motivations. Emotional motivators fulfill deep, often unspoken emotional needs such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure. While there are hundreds of emotional motivators, there are a few that significantly affect customer value:
- Stand out from the crowd
- Enjoy a sense of well being
- Feel a sense of freedom, thrill, or belonging
- Be the person they want to be
When it comes to customer lifetime value, emotionally connected customers are more valuable to a brand than highly satisfied customers. These customers buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you more – everything you hope their experience with you will cause them to do. To do this, brands deploy emotional-connection-based strategies and metrics for an ideal customer experience.
Building customer experience
Customer experience is critical to an emotional connection. In today’s digital world, brands need to push the boundaries and create a stellar customer experience to differentiate their company from the rest. The best example to illustrate this is retailers. With the rise of e-commerce, retailers need to offer an in-store customer experience that allows them to compete with online stores. Customers that engage in an omnichannel experience are much more emotionally connected and hence, the stores are more profitable.
With nearly 100 facets of the customer experience, brands need to provide customers with what they say is important. Whether this is more self-service features or being able to talk to a customer service rep, investing in these touches will drive emotional connection, which in turn will maximize ROI while minimizing risk. Additionally, by implementing an emotional-connection-based strategy across the entire customer experience, it can lead to an increased percentage in emotionally connected customers, reduce customer attrition, and increase customer advocacy. Emotionally connected customers not only generate greater value but in every interaction become more and more convinced that “this company gets me.”
Key to brand building
When it comes to brand building, it’s key for companies to focus on making it into customers’ evoked set, the set of go-to brands for customers when it’s time to purchase. In order to do this, you need to make sure you tap into customers’ ability to retent and retrieve the brand. This can be done through sonic branding or other peripheral cues that help a customer recall the brand. Take this year’s Amazon Christmas commercial. It used the song “Can You Feel It” by The Jacksons. If you listen to it enough times, the next time you hear the song, you will automatically think of the commercial, and therefore, Amazon.
In order to be successful, brands need to create emotional associations for their customers. This can be fear, happiness, sadness, anger, or any other emotion. Brands use these emotions to create a connection with their customers. Emotions become part of a brand’s identity while also help to build brand equity. As a result, this creates loyalty to products and brands. If the brand falls within your evoked set and they have a successful customer experience with them, they are more likely to become brand loyal. This results in a customer for life, which in the long run is easier to maintain than gaining new customers.
Brands who create an emotional connection with their customers tend to gain to see an increase in customers and loyalty than those who focus on customer satisfaction. These brands see long-term financial gains, resulting in both financial and consumer brand equity. So if you want to be memorable, take the time and invest the resources to create new customer experiences in order to emotionally connect with your customers. You won’t regret it.