It’s Friday night and you’re preparing for a first date. The plan is to meet downtown at an outdoor music lounge for drinks followed by a walk around the city. As you’re preparing for the night, you double check your outfit, brush your teeth, do your hair and mentally prepare yourself to meet a stranger for the very first time.
Finally, you’re ready to go. You leave your apartment, lock your door, and walk towards the elevator. As you reach the elevator you look into the metallic reflection one last time before the doors open. As you do, you notice your shoe is untied. You bend down to tie your shoe and as you do you hear the elevator ding. As the elevator doors open, you become awestruck by the sight of someone you’ve never seen in your building before. This stranger takes your breath away, so much so that now you’ve completely forgotten you were on your way to that first date you painstakingly got ready for. Some might call this kind of encounter love at first sight.
When Customers Feel Love at First Sight
If you’re like me, the above situation likely has happened to you at least once in your life. You can’t put a finger on what it is about someone that pulls you in like gravity, but when it does, it’s irresistibly magnetic and undeniably authentic.
Oddly enough, this exact situation can transcend into how consumers interact and view brands. If you can tap into this emotion with your consumers — you can connect with them in ways that will keep them customers for life.
Let me explain.
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How to Create Love at First Sight
A brand’s goal shouldn’t be to sell products to customers. The goal should be to create connections so powerful that customers don’t view them as transactional venues for purchase — they view them with human like characteristics that they can relate to. These connections need to be tied to a feeling that the customer has when seeing or using your product.
How can you achieve this?
- Content: Curate the content your brand creates and leverages in a way that inspires customers to think differently about the products and services you sell. To achieve this, you’ll have to spend time to really understand your brand and what emotions you inspire within your customers. I call this “brand soul-searching.” Look inward at what you stand for today, and what you want to stand for in the future and create content from this place. If you do, this content will build connections.
- Connection: If your brands content can achieve connection with your customers, you will have piqued their interest. They may not consciously be aware of this connection, but it’s there and they can feel it.
- Conveyance: Once the connection has been made and your customer purchases, the last element is the emotion and feeling they have once they are using your product or service. By this point, the product becomes more — and if you’re lucky, the feeling your customer has when using your product takes on human-like emotions. This human-like emotion conveyance or shift is one of the most powerful things that can happen between a customer and a brand and will help you create customer connections for life.
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Are Your Ready for Some Brand Soul-Searching?
Falling in love isn’t a choice, it’s an unconscious decision based on feelings that can’t be tied to specific attributes. The same holds true for brands. Sure, you can inspire customers to make purchases through various marketing techniques, but to really have customers fall in love with your brand you need to focus on being authentically yourself. Practice some business soul-searching exercises to figure out what your brand is and what you want it to be. Leverage content in that realm to build connections with your customers. Provide experiences and embrace your brand’s imperfections. It’s these imperfections that allow physiological conveyance to occur, moving customers to be inspired and to ‘feel’ the emotion of what your brand stands for and who you are.
As Emily Dickinson once wrote, “The heart wants what it wants, or else it doesn’t care.” Look inward at your brand, figure out who you are, what you stand for and what’s important to you — then provide avenues for your customers to see your true self and leave the rest up to fate.
Justin Racine serves as Senior Commerce Consultant at Perficient, a global digital consulting firm serving enterprise clients throughout North America. At Perficient, Justin helps clients achieve their business goals through commerce-enabled technologies.