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Brands: win your customers’ hearts, not just their minds

Eric Koivisto
Partner, New York
Hall & Partners

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Many brands forget about their customers when it comes to tracking their brand performance.

Yes, they know all about the importance of unique and relevant imagery. They’re laser-focused on the key benefits that distinguish them in the marketplace. And they know how they want the brand to be described in terms of personality.

They also know they need to pay attention to communicating with consumers in both a rational and emotional manner, testing facial patterns, implicit responses and the like.

But sometimes they forget about how they want consumers to feel as a result of engaging with their brand.

How people feel is a key element of the brand relationship that drives choice

Overlooking this emotional connection could be costly – we’ve found in many cases the emotional connection people have with brands, how brands make them feel, is a far bigger driver of consideration and preference than anything else.

More important than anything else including brand personality, rational arguments and any legacy imagery you’ve built.

In a customer-centric world, it also just seems to make sense that how people feel is the element of the relationship that drives choice.

What does this mean for all of us involved in building brands?

It means we have to get smart at understanding which basket of emotions is key to our brand, and understand how our products and services line up with these. And then build strategies with these at the core.

It’s not just about doing emotive ads that make people feel something. It’s about making consumers feel a certain way through all brand experiences, not just the 30-second spot on primetime.

The payoff could be big because once you own an emotional relationship, your competitor’s rational arguments will have a hard time cutting through.