It’s not easy to convince a customer nowadays to trust your company over another, but the right emotional connection may lead to a bond with multiple benefits.
Emotionally engaged customers have a higher lifetime value, as they tend to be loyal, satisfied, and ready to proceed to a new purchase.
According to Harvard Business Review, emotionally engaged customers are:
- At least three times more likely to recommend your product or service
- Three times more likely to re-purchase
- Less likely to shop around (44% said they rarely or never shop around)
- Much less price sensitive (33% said they would need a discount of over 20% before they would defect).
The level of engagement defines the customer value and it has been observed that fully connected customers are 52% more valuable, comparing to those who are simply satisfied with a brand.
Moreover, according to a survey by Forrester Research, companies that aim for emotional connection beat their competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth, with customers feeling more engaged and appreciated.
By tapping into emotion, companies manage to fulfil the consumers’ emotional needs, whether it’s the sense of belonging, security, freedom and other “emotional motivators”.
HBR has compiled the most popular motivators that affect consumer behaviour and how brands can use each one of them to create a more meaningful relationship with their prospect customers.
Examples of brands appealing to emotional motivators
Standing out from the crowd
Nike knows how to create appealing content that is appreciated by its audience. There is an emotional connection between the brand and its customers and its consistent creativity is all about exploring the consumers’ limits with its new products.
Even the captions on its Instagram account (which is among the biggest ones on the platform) maintain the uniqueness of the brand, making its consumers feel like standing out from the rest, as it occurs with the use of “running will never be the same”.
A sense of freedom
Quiksilver appeals to the emotions of freedom, excitement, motivation, focusing on an audience that appreciates sports and wants to feel part of a like-minded community. Its visual content is impressive, ensuring that images are still consistent with the emotional appeal that the brand wants to maintain.
A sense of belonging
Apple is the best example on how simplicity and branding can create an engaged community of fans, mostly by relying on the appeal to the emotion, creating an urge for its audience to purchase its latest products.
Apple has managed to associate its products with a feeling of inclusion and social recognition, which is not easy, which uses the emotional motivator in the best possible way to increase its sales.
TOMS became popular for its focus on social awareness and its promotion of good causes, with each purchase contributing to a bigger goal. Storytelling along with a strong social awareness led to a successful strategy that increased the popularity of the brand, making its customers feel more engaged with it, sharing the same values and aspirations for helping the world, one step at a time.
VISA and other relevant companies focus on the emotional appeal of security to promote their presence, as this is their main advantage in their industry. Consumers expect them to provide them the best level of security and trust and it has to be offered in every moment in their lives.
GoPro has become popular for its appeal to the emotion, mostly focusing on excitement, adventure, and freedom. Its content is all about action and its audience is either fuelled with adrenaline, or wants to feel closer to a more adventurous way of living, still by using the right emotions to feel closer to the brand.
Paypal is using storytelling as another form of branding, hoping to show its human side with the right stories, like the one below, which comes directly from Paypal’s team and makes more women feel close to the company and share its values.
Starbucks has mastered the use of appealing content with brand association and it has now reached a level that a simple photo of its Pumpkin Spice Latte is enough to welcome September, with no further explanation.
This post led to more than 23k likes, 2.2k shares, and 3.2k comments, proving that its audience is now engaged enough with the brand to be aware of the post’s concept and how they should be excited about it.
Coca Cola is focusing on its wide community to promote its authenticity and its human side, and its campaign #ShareaCoke led to an impressive success, due to the inclusion of its fans in a fun and engaging way.
This is a quick way for a brand to find more content, but most importantly, it can be the right promotion of its values and its aspirations directly through the community, creating a stronger bond that may facilitate the customer journey when needed.
Mind the emotional connection gap
Harvard Business Review stressed the importance of understanding the difference between a satisfied and a fully connected customer, as it’s not enough to have someone considering your brand as “good” to enhance the purchasing decision.
If you feel that your brand has a positive sentiment, it might not be enough in terms of the emotional appeal that will increase your sales, which means that you might have to test new ways to go beyond the expected, to feel closer to your audience.
Even the most popular brands don’t always find the right formula to appeal to the emotion and increase their fully connected audiences, and although it may be more time consuming, it’s certainly worth your efforts, once the brand gains an established presence, sharing its goals with its audience in the most authentic way.