Customers crave emotional connection more than satisfaction these days. Brands that succeed in offering positive emotional connections are likely to win their loyalty and make them their regular customers. Brands that fail will probably lose the competition.
A recent study by Forrester suggests that emotion is one of the critical drivers of positive customer experiences. So, if you want to survive in the cut-throat competition, you need to build those emotional connections.
This article will help you understand how successful brands have been doing the same.
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Understanding Emotional Experiences of Customers
Emotions are nothing but feelings generated from the brain. These are often a result of the combination of bodily perception and cognitive appraisal. While we may believe there ae a lot of human emotions, psychologists have categorized them into four basic types, i.e., happy, sad, angry and afraid.
When it comes to affinity, it isn’t an emotion. Instead, it is an emotional connection between a brand and a consumer. It also forms the basis of customer loyalty and gives a clear picture of why customers like to purchase from a particular brand.
According to Dmitry Sokhach, digital entrepreneur and founder of Shared Domains, the trigger of positive emotions lies with the customers themselves.
He says “If a person is looking to make a hedonistic, self-centered purchase, it makes it easier to solicit an emotional response within them. If the purchase is utilitarian, then they probably won’t be as susceptible to emotional branding. They are looking for features, instead.”
Sometimes, affinity is also based on negative emotions. For instance, let’s consider a brand that is trying to collect donations for Ukraine’s displaced families. It’s obvious for a person to feel happy by helping. However, the brand isn’t trying to create the emotion of happiness here. In this case, the brand is trying to evoke emotional responses to its work of social justice.
How Brands Create Positive Emotional Responses?
A report from Harvard Business Review suggested that customers emotionally connect to those brands that align with their beliefs and motivations. Usually, it happens that customers don’t know they have these desires deep inside until they discover the products and services of a brand.
Art Shaikh, CEO and founder of CircleIt, says “It’s(building emotional connection) more than solving a problem in customers’ lives. When we look at our members, we try to connect with them based on how they view themselves and how they might personally use the technology we have built.”
In simpler terms, his brand simply amplifies what their customers are already doing with technology and helps them connect to their loved ones in a meaningful manner.
Building emotional connections with customers is possible by meeting their emotional and cognitive needs. Apart from that, you must also provide a sense of provocation, belonging and understanding.
Claudia Gorelick, associate partner of experience strategy at VSA Partners, says “We are aware of companies that do this phenomenally well: McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola. They are not selling products; they are selling the emotions those products provide. Nike sells confidence and ambition; McDonald’s is selling community and family.”
Building emotional connections with customers is now more important than ever. Brands must accept it and think beyond offering satisfaction to build stronger relationships with them. Creating positive emotional connections will not only help brands to build customer relationships but also win their loyalty. Sometimes, they may also win their forgiveness during times when they make mistakes.