Your Target Audience Is Looking for More Than Customer Satisfaction

Using Emotional Connection to Drive Brand Engagement

What do you need to connect with your target audience? Is it enough to have a great product or service? Or maybe you have zeroed in on a problem your product can solve, and that alone will be enough to drive success.

For many companies, the goals for growth surround customer satisfaction — building an experience that, from start to finish, encourages brand engagement. Friendly, helpful staff are available for product questions, the website is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate and provides a wealth of information. Once the customer makes a purchase, they’re happy to find that there are resources for troubleshooting, a great return policy and customer service is ready to assist.

These are the measures companies put in place to drive brand engagement, and they also tend to be the measures consumers indicate would optimize their experience with a company. The data clearly points to the fact that customer service isn’t the whole picture.

When it comes to building brand engagement, your company will need to look beyond customer service. What builds the kind of loyalty that makes a person talk about your brand in glowing descriptions online or that causes them to enthusiastically don a t-shirt with your logo?

Brand engagement is about an emotional connection. It turns out that customer service, while an important contributor to success, doesn’t dig deep enough to foster a long-term, mutually-loyal relationship with your customers.

Does what consumers do, mirror what they say? One of the great benefits of data analytics is you can take a look at old paradigms and see if they hold up in light of the data. Customer service, while important, simply doesn’t build engagement on its own. Companies often invest a lot of money in no-questions-asked returns or in adding representatives to reduce hold time, because that’s what customers say is important.

Finding out what actually leads to repeat sales and strong brand loyalty takes more than hearing what customers say. It’s also important to look at what they do. For many, being able to return a shirt without a receipt is a nice feature, but shopping at a store that seems like it “just gets you” is better, and builds loyalty.

Connect with your target audience emotionally. It can be difficult to identify what emotional motivator caused a customer to relate with your brand. They often struggle to define exactly what they like about the brands with which they align.

There are a few common emotional connections that tend to drive behaviors:

  • A desire to stand out from the crowd and be unique
  • Possess confidence in the future
  • Experience freedom, a lack of obligations
  • A sense of belonging or connection with a group
  • Security and the belief that what a person owns will be there tomorrow
  • Success, both financial and personal

These are some of the more usual emotional connection points that customers have with a brand. Another popular one right now is personal health. Many companies are finding a deep-seated desire within their target audience to eat healthy, pursue long-term nutrition and exercise goals, all with an eye on longevity and a higher quality of life. In many cases, this emotional connection also touches on a community focus, with families or groups of friends pursuing these kinds of goals together.

Additionally, you might connect with your target audience through a shared passion. Whether it’s the support of a local charity or protecting the environment, it often creates a feeling of “we’re all in this together” that is appealing to both the company and the customer.

Identify the likely emotional connections with your brand. Maybe you produce an unusual line of sports eyeglasses that are designed with vibrant colors and retro frame shapes, all created to make sports glasses cool. Your emotional connection may touch on the consumer’s desire to be an athlete that is not only the best on the field, but also looks the best on the field. You’ll connect with the customer over their pursuit of a unique look and their identity as a serious athlete that, of course, would invest in a great pair of glasses just for playing soccer or softball.

What does the emotional connection do for you? When a member of your target audience jumps in for emotional connection, the result is better brand engagement that leads to them becoming a brand advocate. When you have this level of connection with customers, they buy more products and services from you; they have less sensitivity to any price changes; they recommend you to others; and they will pay attention to the content you send out and follow your advice.

Creating an emotional connection is hard to measure, but if you know your brand and the pain points that your product or service answers for your target audience, you should be able to establish an emotional connection.

At SJC Marketing, we help you identify the best ways to create brand engagement with your target audience. Contact us to talk more about how we come up with accurate emotional touchpoints to help you build brand advocates among your customers.