A connect is created for a brand when it connects physiologically and emotionally with the audience’s at a subconscious level. There’s no greater success story than Apple when it comes to emotional connect. The brand thrives on its brand loyalty and its cult following.
On the big stage of the Macworld Convention in San Francisco, on January 9th, 2007, Steve Jobs and Apple launched the iPhone, a product that went on to fuel the most powerful brand-consumer connection ever known. When Apple Stores nationwide opened their doors at 6 PM on June 29th, 2007, the Apple revolution that had been cultivating itself for a few months, had truly begun. The New York City Flagship store saw a line winding around two city blocks, being formed 12 hours prior. Apple had achieved a cult status that was previously unknown for a brand.
Apple has mastered the art of emotional appeal. Every year, 1000s of people line up outside their stores worldwide to get their hands on an Apple product. Apple inspires everyone. They make people believe they can change the world. Time and time again, they have changed the world. Their ads have always strived to inspire.
There is an aspirational value attached to the brand that is unmatched. Apple’s brand value is why consumers are loyal. Apple, while being a technology company, is an unmatched marketing juggernaut too. Just a few years prior to the iPhone launch, the company was viewed to be doomed. Perhaps the greatest turnaround in history?
Why then is it that brands initiate conversations with their customers with features of their products and not create an emotional connect with their audiences?
Brands should be focusing on creating an emotional connect with their consumers. Consumers buy products based on how they feel about a product, not based on features alone. Connecting with customer emotions has a huge payoff. While brands do want their customers’ to like and trust them, most brands do not align with their customer’s emotions. While brands like Apple and Rolex have an emotional DNA, some brands have it harder. That being said, they still can build that emotional connect.
Take the example of Ariel and their #ShareTheLoad campaign. A detergent company formed the most powerful emotional connection of this year. Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg called it “one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen.” The campaign sparked a debate on whether doing laundry is just a woman’s job. An Indian father is shown reading out a letter to his daughter, about how he failed at sharing the chores load at home. He goes to say say sorry for her husband too as he would’ve learned it from his father. The ad sparked a conversation on social media, with reactions and opinions coming from across the world. The ad went on to bag the world’s first Glass Lions Grand Pix at the Cannes Lions.
Brands need to understand that customers are not bought and retained through contracts. They are bought and retained through connections. True brand loyalty is created through memorable connections.
How can brands build an emotional connect?
Determine the emotions that drive profitability. Tapping into emotions that motivate customers to make purchases will prove beneficial in the long run.
Resonate with your customers by building your brand around emotional values. The brand identity should be blended in. Product features should be used to support it.
Create the customer experience around emotions. Pay attention to the details. Apple has made its in-store experience special. Attention has even been given to un-boxing an Apple product.
Give a firm commitment to the brand identity. Once established, brands shouldn’t change their brand identity due to a slow increase in sales numbers.
Stay committed to the cause of creating an exceptional consumer experience. Continuously refine the approach to ensure the finest customer experience!
Long-term customer loyalty and retention is the primary goal of every brand. Creating a meaningful bond with the customer is the best way to achieve that.
Make your brand the apple everyone desires for!