Overview: Discover how marketing can help you to connect with your customers emotionally.
Marketing research tells us that emotions are the driving force behind buying decisions. People frequently buy products when they’re emotional and later justify their purchases with logic. 2020 was a wild year for humans, the economy, and businesses. While some companies are still struggling to slowly get back on their feet, others are ramping up marketing to recoup revenues. In a market of fierce competition, it’s essential to have a strong relationship with potential customers, so they aren’t hesitant to open their wallets when you ask them to “Buy Now.”
A strong emotional connection with your prospect is determined by the volume of positive feelings and the extent to which a person identifies with the brand’s critical attributes. When emotional marketing is done effectively, a “bonding stage” occurs, during which customers establish feelings of acceptance and trust toward the brand. The bonding stage can lead to the customer developing a sense of attachment and commitment toward the brand.
Brand intimacy is the deep emotional connection between a business and its customers. This marketing model focuses on emotions to establish how customers make buying decisions and become lifelong fans of a brand.
Brand intimacy is entirely different than brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is defined by loyalty incentives, rewards, and promo codes to offer gratitude for sticking to the brand; brand intimacy is solely how a customer feels about a brand.
A successful emotional marketing campaign is determined by the positive impact it has, or positive feelings it generates, with a customer. There are a number of strategies you can employ to facilitate these feelings. Consider these examples and decide which ones are right for you.
Fulfillment: Meeting a customer’s needs beyond their expectations. This positions your brand as the best in their eyes, and as one that over-delivers.
Identity: Creating marketing content that resonates deeply with customers. They see themselves, their priorities, and their values in the content, and they perceive that the brand represents them and feels for them.
Enhancement: Guiding customers towards positive habits, becoming better, more competent, and capable by using your brand. This reinforces the benefits of your brand and keeps your customers interested.
Ritual: Making your brand feel like home to your customers. Take the example of a blog or a website you regularly visit when you’re looking for an answer to a particular question. This provides a connection that is considerably more intimate than one with a website or channel you visit randomly.
Nostalgia: Evoking your customer’s happy memories about something. It could be family dinners, childhood games, visits with a beloved grandparent — associating your brand with these warm feelings is another sure way to make the connection deeper. People relate with things that resonate with fond memories. If your brand or product has a place in a customer’s childhood, nostalgia will ensure loyalty.
Indulgence: People like to feel like they’re being treated to something special. Certain products and services — foods, spas, high-end versions of common products — may seem like “special occasion” purchases. By encouraging customers that they’re allowed to enjoy these special indulgences — and they deserve to indulge once in a while — you’ll leave them feeling very satisfied about connecting with your company.
Related Reading: Emotional marketing: what it is and how it works
According to the Harvard Business Survey, there are at least 10 emotional motivators for customers. Zooming in on what emotionally motivates your target market helps nurture emotional connections. For instance, many customers want to be perceived and treated as unique and special. Marketing efforts designed to reach those customers focus on creating highly personalized content, which makes the customers feel like the content is speaking directly to them.
The more customers you acquire, the harder it is to keep a one-on-one connection with each of them. Since it’s nearly impossible to spend the time or manually keep track of all the details, investing in a dedicated CRM (customer relationship management) system will keep you connected with your customers.
The best CRM software keeps track of customer data, interactions, and shopping habits. You can also segment your customers into specific categories to send targeted offers and track social media interactions.
Everyone around us has their own daily challenges and struggles, and empathy is a great way to connect with your customers. Ask questions, make them feel that you want to help them, and offer straightforward solutions to their problems. In the worst-case scenario, if the consumer feels that you aren’t interested in solving their problems or are not invested, it will be impossible to build an authentic and sympathetic relationship between the business and the customer.
Humans are social animals, and storytelling is one of the primary tools we use to connect with each other. Our brain is wired in such a way that we respond to stories and fables. Even when we think of ourselves as logical and rational, we all appreciate a good story told with narrative flourishes. Seeing ourselves in someone else’s stories makes us feel personally connected with them.
When businesses tell engaging stories that people identify and relate with, it goes a long way toward building strong emotional connections with potential buyers. If you connect with people through your brand’s stories, explain your mission, share your values, and talk about your business — you’ll indeed have them hooked.
Handwriting triggers a feeling of something special. With the majority of our communication occurring electronically, it’s easy to go for significant periods of time without ever writing anything by hand. But as time-consuming as it is, attaching a handwritten note with a customer’s order (and perhaps an extra little gift, like a candy) shows that someone took the time to remember them.
Try writing a personal note of appreciation and sending it to those who order from you on a regular basis. It may take an extra minute of your time, but it’s a massive step in making personal and human connections.
Connecting emotionally with people isn’t as complicated as people think, although it requires some thought and action. So before starting work on your marketing plan, place yourself in your customers’ shoes, and think about what you like and what you would connect with.
This is precisely what we at Creative 7 do when designing a marketing plan for your business. With years of experience in marketing, our team knows just how to boost your sales by understanding your customers.
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