I spend a lot of time keeping up with marketing strategies and today I ran across an article by Tomer Tagrin on direct-to-consumer businesses and he compared selling on Amazon to having your own store where you can provide a specialized brand experience. The sentence that made me stop and think was:
“Buying face wash from Amazon may be cheap and easy, but you won’t get the same emotional return that you will getting the latest cleanser from Glossier. The connection and relationship with the brand isn’t there, meaning emotional loyalty is nonexistent.”
My first thought was “Really, Tomer?” Yes, I have an MBA in marketing but things have to make sense for me to agree with them. The idea that people should form emotional connections with products sounds kinda weird. Like Zheng Jiajia who married a robot he created. We should promote emotional connections to people, pets, experiences maybe….but products, brands, companies?
“Emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions” – Antonio Damasio
Then I thought about my own shopping experiences and I recognize that I do feel differently about some products, brands, and stores than others. In some cases I can identify why as with Target vs Walmart, where I feel Target’s design aesthetic is just way more stylish. Other times I can’t put my finger on why I feel a certain way as is the case when I compare K-Mart to Walmart. I feel better about K-Mart than Walmart although their design aesthetic is very similar. Bigger than the feeling, is the impact these emotions have on my buying decisions. I will choose to buy from a Target store or from Target.com whenever possible.
For those of us in the product business, we need to figure out how we can support the development of these emotional connections with our brands and put some effort into it. One key way to do this is to Put A Face to Your Brand. It’s a known fact that people buy from people they know and like. This is the core of why celebrities can sell almost anything. When you buy Fenty Beauty you know exactly who you’re buying from – Rhianna.
Use social media and your blog to begin letting people know who you are, what you care about, why you created this product, brand, or company. Every now and then post a selfie even if it’s an artsy or illustrated version because you have a huge pimple at the time. A customer just knowing one small thing about the person behind the product can tip the scale in your favor.
Last month I went to Sephora to exchange an eye shadow that was crumbled when I opened it. While there I thought about my never-ending search for the perfect concealer and decided to look for one. I immediately went to the Fenty Beauty display over all of the other gazillion beauty brands in the store. Why? Am I Rhianna fan – nope, but I do know who she is. Had Fenty Beauty not had the right shade for my skin I would have looked at other brands and took the time to learn about them. As it turns out I found the perfect cocoa shade and happily gave her my money.
I was going to write more from my experiences working with independent, handmade brands but I ran across this great article by Nadeem Murad on Invesp that gives some great strategies.
What are some strategies you’ve used to emotionally connect with your customers?