Stores have been stocked with heart-shaped candies and cards since December, but now that it’s actually February, I think it’s okay to think about Valentine’s Day. And because love is in the air (as well as on the shelves) it’s a perfect time to think about how brands can tap into this fundamental human experience to drive consideration, usage and loyalty.
We already know that understanding and influencing consumers’ emotions is crucial for building a loyal customer base, but what do we really know about love that could help us achieve those lofty outcomes? Based on a quick Google search (and a few life experiences), here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Love is an emotion.
Love is an action.
Love is a biological motivation system.
Love is an attitude.
Love is a drive.
Love is a choice.
Love is patient.
Love is blind.
Love is a battlefield.
Love, as it turns out, is rather complex. So what does that mean for marketers trying to get people to fall in love with their brands? Where do you start?
When studying emotion, traditionally researchers take a brand-centric approach and focus on how consumers feel about the brand. While there’s valuable insight there, it’s often more valuable to take a consumer-centric approach, one that asks consumers how the brand makes them feel. Consumers develop feelings about a brand because of how it makes them feel… understanding those feelings evoked by the brand is critical insight into how consumers develop strong, positive sentiments towards the brand.
That’s why EMPACTSM, our proprietary approach to measuring emotion, is based on decades of consumer psychology research, helping marketers understand how a brand or touchpoint should make consumers feel to most effectively drive their behaviors, and ultimately brand love.
For marketers trying to earn consumers’ love this Valentine’s Day (and the other 364 days of the year), it’s critical to explore which emotions your brand should evoke to make them love your brand. Do they want to feel respected? Proud? Efficient? Secure? Surprised? Just like with the object of your romantic affections, you’ll be far more successful with your customers if you ask them how they want to feel and create experiences and messaging that inspire those emotions. [ Tweet this!]
Heather Magaw is VP of Client Services at CMB. The brands she loves most this Valentine’s season are Apple, Amazon, Red Sox, IBM Watson, and CMB (of course!).