By Laura Fitch

Effectively marketing your brand to customers can never just be about trying to sell them your product. It has to be about building a real emotional connection with them. 

That’s not just a feel-good idea. Extensive data shows that creating that emotional experience for your customer has a lasting impact on loyalty and sales. 

A 2016 study by the Temkin group found that customers who had a positive emotional experience with a brand were more than 7 times more likely to purchase more from the company, more than 8 times more likely to trust them, more than 15 times more likely to recommend them and more than 6 times more likely to forgive the company’s mistakes, compared to those that had a negative experience with a brand. Furthermore, if your product has many competitors at similar price points, that emotional connection will be what separates you from the pack, and makes your customers stick with you.

An emotional experience starts with caring about your customer’s needs.

Building that brand loyalty and emotional experience is all about making your customers feel that they are important to you, and that your brand reflects their values.

To do that, first and foremost, you need to be authentic. You need to actually care about your customer’s needs and how you can help them improve their lives.

On a basic level, of course, your products are fulfilling practical and material needs for your customer (for example, your brand’s sweaters are fulfilling your customer’s need to stay warm in the winter). 

But your products are fulfilling deeper, more inner needs as well. This is what you need to hone-in-on to understand where to build the emotional experience for your customer.

Identify your brand’s emotional motivators

A 2015 study from the Harvard Business Review, The New Science of Customer Emotions, identified 10 top “emotional motivators” that drive consumer behavior. These are the desires that inspire people to do the things they do. 

A few of the top emotional motivators the HBR study identified included to “stand out from the crowd,” “enjoy a sense of wellbeing,” “experience a sense of thrill”, “protect the environment,” and “feel a sense of belonging.” 

It’s your company’s job to help them fulfill those deeper desires. 

For example, if your customer is motivated by a desire to stand out from the crowd, your company can help them to show their unique identity to the world. If they want to protect the environment, your company can help them to live more sustainably. If they are looking for a sense of well-being, your product might help them to live a more balanced and stress-free life.

Take the time to really think about what the main emotional motivators are that would drive customers to your brand, and how you can help them meet those emotional needs.

Build your messaging around those emotional motivators 

Your messaging should clearly flow from those emotional motivators and how you can fulfill those needs for your customer.

Take our brand, Sticker You, and our company motto: “Make What Matters Stick.” Yes, we’re a custom sticker company, and we fulfill our customers’ material need for custom labels, decals and temporary tattoos. But on a deeper level, we’re helping them to stand out, as they’re able to project their values and their unique vision to the world. We’re helping them to feel a thrill – to do something fun – by unleashing their creativity. We’re also helping them feel a sense of satisfaction, as they use our products to build brand awareness of their businesses.

Having a genuine desire to meet those deeper emotional needs of your customers will help build that trust and loyalty with them, which in turn will keep them coming back to your brand.