People make their decisions based on emotions. Emotions make brands human. A strong emotional connection between brands and customers mainly translates into an increase in ROI. It’s time to let emotions run high. They are responsible for directing our thoughts, our actions, our decisions, and even our purchasing behavior. Brand and emotions are two intrinsically linked concepts, which cannot be separated. The fact of generating an emotional relationship is an excellent help to expand differentiation with the competition and achieve greater performance.

Brands that provide experiences according to customer expectations will achieve positive feelings that improve trust in them, being rewarded with loyalty and higher margins.

A crisis highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of brand-people relationships. And this pandemic is not meant to be a small crisis. Its very nature has led to the isolation of the population, leaving people with the feeling of being distant from everything. This directly involves businesses, through their brands, adapting to more digital ways of making connections, which many were not prepared for.

Faced with the new scenario, companies need to identify the behaviors that will define the customer experience in the short term, also detecting new opportunities. The challenge will be to align them with their brand strategies and their own capabilities as organizations.

Empathy will be of great help, it is a great driving tool of the brand strategy and it is configured as the heart of the experience. An empathetic approach will make it easier to see and understand how people feel when they interact with the brand. This will involve leveraging technology to gain information and knowledge about external reality.

Perhaps the main change is the magnitude of how much it is now necessary to empathize with deeper needs and feelings. It’s wise to recalibrate how the brand can play its role: how do you help people thrive when they’re stressed, fearful, and desiring true human connections?

It is important to enhance the experience through digital platforms, but also to ensure its coherence and consistency with what the brand represents. COVID-19 has accelerated the shift from face-to-face interactions to omnichannel digital communications. Shopping online is going to mean a transformation of the shopping experience and no brand can afford poor digital performance.

The relationship with preferred brands can be strengthened as intermediaries or distributors lose relevance. Today, consumer goods (D2C) companies are already choosing direct-to-consumer digital channels over traditional retail channels. For example, D2C sales now account for 10% of Unilever’s revenue, with e-commerce sales growing 47% in 2018 to €2.5 billion. P&G has acquired D2C women’s razor subscription company Billie for $35 million for exactly this reason.

We all know that emotionally engaged customers are 2 times more valuable than satisfied customers. Emotional connection is the main indicator of a strong brand, beyond notoriety and relevance. IDC predicts that “60% of leading brands and retailers will improve customer engagements by using emotion sensing and management to influence purchases.” The technology of emotions is real and it’s here.

In these circumstances, we have the opportunity to have a profound impact on customers, who are much more sensitive. Empathizing in form and substance is more important than ever and can make all the difference.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward

Subscribe to our Newsletter