Here’s the thing…. We are totally irrational. Not just us Brigaders, all of us.
In the 1970s two psychologists proved that humans make choices that defy clear logic. Basically no matter how much we like to think that we are rational – we are not rational creatures. And while that actually sounds bad, it is in fact a good thing. We make better decisions being able to listen to how we feel about things. Without the emotional part of our decision making it becomes impossible to make a choice at all.
And according to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of the decisions we make are subconscious, driven by our emotions. We don’t mean to labour on this point (ok, maybe we do)… that is A LOT.
As soon as we start talking about emotion in brand building B2B companies start feeling a little, well, uncomfortable. After all it’s business right? But here is the thing, humans are humans, B2B or B2C it’s actually all B2H – business to human. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing we lose sight of that.
Research company Gartner conducted a body of research across 3,000 B2B customers – in partnership with Google and Motista – and found that B2B brands drive a higher number of emotional connections than B2C. The B2C brands generally had emotionally connections with between 10% and 40% of consumers, but the B2B brands were over 40%. Surprising right?
“Emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.” Harvard Business Review
What does that mean for us entrepreneurs?
We have to factor in the feelings! No matter what we are selling, we must build a brand that creates an emotional connection. Emotions drive purchase behaviour. The impact is huge, and that impact is measured in dollars (one of our favourite metrics). For example, a major bank introduced a credit card specifically for Millennials that was designed to inspire an emotional connection. The result? Accounts grew by 40% and usage increased by 70%. That is a huge, measurable impact to the business.
How do I create an emotional connection with my customers?
- Build your business on a deeper purpose. Clearly define what your brand stands for, its values, personality and points of difference. If you don’t know why you do what you do, it will be difficult to connect in a deep and meaningful way.
- Really get to know your customer. This means doing research and getting to the heart of who they are. You need to understand a deep human truth or insight you can build from, and from there be able to define the emotional benefits of your product or service. So many brands still make the mistake of talking from their own perspective (think features), rather than a customer perspective (think benefits). And while most companies can define their rational benefits, rockstar brands take this to the next level and define the emotional benefits as well.
- Building the connection between your business and your customer. This is your brand strategy – the connective tissue between you and your audience. This is what us Brigaders live and breathe for. The magic that comes from defining your brand and then bringing it to life is our passion, and sharing that magic is why we started The Brand Brigade in the first place!
- Use storytelling in your marketing. Storytelling is part of the fabric of humanity. A fact is a fact – but a story is a fact with an emotion wrapped around it. When you use a story your audience is more likely to notice in the first place, but they are also more likely to remember it as well.
One of the things we love most about branding, is that although it can sound daunting, and difficult, it is not. Branding is a process – you just need to understand the process and have the right tools – so you can create incredible results.
Want to know more? Download our 5 tips from top entrepreneurs ebook.
Jodie + Em xx