The Herman Trend Alert: The Payoff From Emotional Connections

The Herman Trend Alert: The Payoff From Emotional Connections

Successful brands associate usage of their product or service with their customers' and prospects' aspirational feelings. When companies connect with customers' emotions, the payoff can be huge, including significant increases in business.

It was Maya Angelou who said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When companies connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge, including significant increases in business. Though the material in this Herman Trend Alert was originally published in the November 2015 Harvard Business Review, it is very insightful for business leaders today.

The enormous payoff

“Fully connected customers” are worth an average of 52 percent more, than those who are merely “highly satisfied.” In fact, their relatively higher value is significant “across a variety of metrics, such as purchases and frequency of use.” We, at the Herman Group, extend that same payoff to include internal customers (employees) with those metrics being tenure, productivity and more. And, fully engaged employees often are relatively even more valuable than fully engaged external customers.

Pushing the “right” buttons

The authors, Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas and Daniel Leemon, all who work in the field, conducted research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories. They discovered it’s possible to “rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers’ behavior.” They call them “emotional motivators.”

High-Impact Emotional Motivators

Knowing these “High-Impact Emotional Motivators,” brands that capitalize on people’s desires to feel successful, independent, secure, a sense of belonging or more, will be rewarded handsomely with greater engagement, sales and, of course, profitability. Although there are hundreds of these emotional drivers, the authors discuss only the top drivers that “significantly affect customer value.”

How it works

Successful brands associate usage of their product or service with their customers’ and prospects’ aspirational feelings. When a leading household cleaner began messaging to maximize the emotional connection, it turned market share losses into double-digit growth. In another case study mentioned in the article, the authors cited a major bank that introduced a credit card for millennials, designed to inspire emotional connection. The result was not only a segment increase of 70 percent, but also new account growth rose of 40 percent.

What emotional connections can mean to any employer or brand

Internally, creating emotional connections with employees makes them feel more connected and invested in the viability and the success of the organization – and therefore, more productive and likely to stay. Externally, creating emotional connections with customers and prospects makes them more likely to buy and to remain loyal customers, thus driving increased profitability.

The bottom line is simple: emotional connections drive profitability.

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