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Your Brand Lives – Or Dies – By Emotion

The strongest brands connect to their audience at an emotional level. Differentiation is more than a matter of a catchy slogan or name. So many people are hyper-focused on creating a “perfect” elevator pitch but when it comes right down to things, your elevator pitch, slogan, and 30-second networking commercial are not what will make your brand stay top of mind or help you close sales. An emotional connection will.

Here’s what my colleague and neuromarketing Brand Strategist, Kevin Perlmutter, said about successful brand messaging: “The thing is, you can’t pretend that your brand messaging is one business talking to another business. You must recognize that there’s a person on the other side of that message who thinks, feels, and reacts first as a person.”  Here is the rest of that blog, and while you’re there, check out his website and follow his Podcast.

Emotional connections are the strongest connections you can make for your business. Marketers have known this for years. It’s why there we call the items at the cash register “impulse purchase” items – and it explains how that candy bar ended up in your bag even though you know you’re on a diet. Buyers have many options to choose from. They buy from the companies they feel most connected to.

But buyers also un-buy based on emotion (if that’s not a word, it should be). That’s what happens when a customer has a bad experience, and it’s evidenced by increasing churn rates. Think about it. How do we decide whether something is a good or bad experience? It’s how the experience made us feel. A good Customer Retention strategy that includes who to handle those instances when the customer has a bad experience can really save the customer. Here’s an example of that in play:

I recently bought two items from a store that is a favorite of mine. Their deliveries are handled by three different companies. I had had a poor experience when previous orders were handled by one of these companies, and they were about to deliver yet another really bad experience. They delayed the shipment past the promised date, then kept me guessing about where the package was. And the finale was they updated me several times a day (through email and texts) about my package’s delivery status. They repeatedly didn’t live up to the updated delivery promises either.

Based on my experience and dissatisfaction with this courier, I reached out to customer service at the store, and explained what had been happening. Of course, they were able to see the entire history for themselves, but their system does not track such exceptions (why not? They should, but that’s a blog for another day).  In speaking with customer service, the rep offered to refund  my money. I reiterated that I was solely interested in providing feedback on the delivery experience, and was sure the package would show up eventually. But they refunded my purchase anyway.

But they did not stop there. They also gave me a (small value) gift card because I was a “valued customer.” And lastly, the rep told me that, should the package arrive, I could keep or donate the items and did not have to return them. Even though that was not the reason for my call, I felt heard, respected, and cared for. Would you stay a customer of a store that did all that for you?

You build your brand to connect on an emotional level. Don’t miss an opportunity to deepen that connection when something bad happens. Your brand really does live and by emotion.

Want more marketing strategy advice? Follow me on LinkedIn. Want an introduction to Kevin? Email me.