What is the difference between a need and a desire? Emotion, that’s what. A need is something for which someone has a necessity; a desire is something they want or crave, whether they know it or not.
There are the three main types of products or services that companies offer; it is important that you underst and the difference between them as well as what you are offering or planning to innovate, if you are to be successful.
Some organisations speak about articulated, unarticulated and unimagined needs, but they miss the power of emotions if they are considering all three as simply needs to be addressed. Unless there is an emotional connection between what you are selling and what your customer perceives he is buying, you are likely to remain at the level of a commodity, or at best are restricted in the price you can charge. Only emotional connection brings passion into the equation, when customers desire or crave your product or service and are willing to pay (almost) anything to have it.
Examples of Great Emotional Connection
Think about Apple as a great example of a company that brings passion into their products, so that potential customers pre-order or spend the night queuing in front of the shop in order to have the privilege to give Apple their money in exchange for the latest gadget.
Now I love Apple as much as most people, but are their products really worth more than their competitors? Was the iPod really that much better for listening to music on the go? Probably not, but it is their customers’ desire to be a part of the Apple “family” that makes them crave their products.
Another example is Marlboro cigarettes. Do they really taste better than other br ands? Maybe, but it is not the taste (alone) that makes smokers remain loyal to the br and; rather a feeling of community and adherence to a desired image.
And speaking of taste, what about colas? The now famous brain imaging study run by Baylor College of Medicine – you can read more about it here – showed that consumers thought Pepsi tasted better that Coke, but there was something very different happening in the brain when consumers thought they were drinking Coke or Pepsi. It was what the consumers were thinking that made the difference, a result of br anding.
So what can you do to make your customers think differently about your br and, so that they remain loyal to it, desire it and even crave your product or service? Bring in and stimulate their emotions; here are four ideas on how this can be done:
#1. Make them feel special, different, privileged
This can be achieved through:
- higher prices – many premium and luxury products are priced more on image than on cost and their customers are happy to pay more for the associated image that has been created
- membership to a br and club with special privileges – Nespresso is a great example of this; their clients get to order online and even get asked their opinion or to choose new flavours
- personalised offers – unlike clubs, these are offered to a wider group of purchasers (on a mailing list for example) but the wording of communication and the offers proposed are personalised to each target group, so they are perceived as more personal
#2. Stimulate more of your customers’ senses
So that competitive products are disappointing in comparison. As Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst at Millward Brown, mentioned in his blog post Sensory br anding and sensible questions, “The research conducted for BRANDSense confirms that memories of the sensory br and experience do have an important role to play in encouraging br and loyalty. The stronger, more positive and differentiating, people’s sensory memories are of a br and, the more likely they will be to consider it for repeat purchase”. For example:
- add sound and texture to a food through a hard coating, as many ice-creams offer today
- provide extra sensations in the mouth through additional ingredients; c andy and chewing-gum often offer these as new sensations
- surprise through special perfumes for household products; remember the popularity of “green apple” a few years back?
- astonish with unusual colours for personal care products; have you tried the range of Pantene colours, the shampoo I mean!
- amaze through special textures of creams or clothing; luxury face products are often claimed to have a richer, creamier or more “melting” texture.
#3. Involve your customers in the innovation process
Even if your customers don’t always know or can’t express what they want, they are usually much clearer about what they don’t want. Listen to them describe their experiences with your product or service category and the pain-points they have. What do they like, dislike; what would they change? And more widely, what do they think about the category, their situation when needing or using your product or service, what feelings they have using ir?
By getting them involved from the start, you are much more likely to satisfy their rational needs and emotional desires, AND you will encourage discussion as they share their experiences with their friends, family and perhaps even wider on the web.
#4. Build excitement through communications
Many products and services are launched with a “teaser” campaign that sets and builds customers’ expectations for weeks, if not months before launch. This certainly can make your target audience excited with anticipation, but the new product must deliver on its promises.
Remember the launch of the completely redesigned BMW Series 5 in Europe about 10 years ago, which had to be quickly replaced with the older design when current owners rejected the modernisation? Or what about the more recent launch of the BMW 5 Series GT in the US, which had 5 Series Touring customers running to rival Mercedes-Benz and many current Series 7 owners downgrading to the cheaper car? As with any product or service, you must deliver what is promised and this becomes doubly important if you fire your future customers with excitement for the new launch.
These are just four ways in which you can bring more emotion into your innovations; I know there are many more, so why not share your own experiences here? We would love to hear how you have brought more emotion into your products and services.
For more on Innovation, please check out our website here: https://www.c3centricity.com/home/underst and/
If you are struggling to bring emotion into your products or communications, please contact us, we can certainly help support you through advice or a 1-Day Catalyst session. NO obligation, just a great OPPORTUNITY!
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