Part 6 – Failing to Connect with Your Audience on An Emotional Level
Today’s consumer is bombarded with content. Online, offline, across screens, and around every corner there are brands competing for attention. Standing out from the noise and ahead of the crowd can be extremely difficult. Brands most successful in winning the battle are leaning into customer-centric storytelling to connect with their audiences on an emotional level and in turn boost engagement, build trust, foster loyalty, and more.
Making your customer the hero of your story can generate major gains. An often-cited statistic notes that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just the facts. And, that’s backed by a whole lot of science on the ways stories engage several different parts of the brain, trigger emotions, and more. To help you connect with your target audience on a deeper level, we’re sharing tips and insights on how to tell an emotional, customer-centric story, tap into the power of emotional decision making, and build true brand loyalty.
Leveraging the Power of Emotion in Decision Making
Consumers crave more than just an amazing product or service. They seek brands that provide an experience, align with their lifestyle, and appeal to their emotions. While there are a wide variety of outstanding examples from which to draw inspiration, some of the most notable storytelling campaigns in recent years have come from brands like Budweiser whose “Lost Dog” Super Bowl commercial pulls at the heartstrings and makes viewers feel a range of emotions from worry to warmth and belonging as a puppy adventures away from home but eventually returns. P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign also demonstrates the power of emotion and showcases the strength of mothers and the support they provide their children during difficult times. In both ads, the brands did not focus on their company or offerings. Instead, they presented a story that resonated with their viewers and helped drive a connection.
Because 70% of decisions are based on emotion, including brand preference, it’s important you dig deeper to better understand your customers, including what motivates them when making a buying decision. By doing so, you’ll be able to build a positive emotional association between them and your brand which can result in faster decision making and other favorable outcomes, such as:
- 23% increase in sales because of the emotional response of consumers.
- 4 times more likely to trust the brand.
- 1 times more likely to make a purchase.
- 6 times more likely to forgive a company’s mistake.*
Tapping into the power of emotion in decision making and creating positive emotional associations with your target audience requires you to meet your customers where they are and deliver your content through the channels they use in a format they want to consume. Take short-form videos for example, which are a content leader across online platforms. Finding ways to distill your story down into quick, impactful messages supported by visuals is an important part of capturing and keeping audience attention. In storytelling, the visual presentation is as important as the narrative and infographics, videos and images can be powerful resources for communicating your message and catching the attention of your audience.
Building True Emotional Loyalty
“60% of long-term customers use emotional language to describe their connection to favored brands.”
From behavioral loyalty to true emotional loyalty, the level of connection consumers have with a brand can take many forms. When you can move customers from behavioral loyalty (often rooted in comfort and repetition versus true intent and more easily swayed by external factors) to true emotional loyalty (when a customer becomes a true advocate for the brand and feels personally connected/invested in some way), you solidify your brand connection and increase retention rates among those high value current customers. When true emotional loyalty is achieved, other benefits are unlocked, including:
- More likely to recommend your brand to family and friends.
- Willing to purchase products at a higher price point than switch to another brand.
- Inclined to buy from your brand more frequently.
- And more!
To build true emotional loyalty, you’ll need to ensure two-way communication with your consumers, fulfill their wants and needs at every touchpoint, and find alignment between your brand and their ego and lifestyle. Identifying your brand’s unique value proposition, incorporating your differentiators into storytelling and prioritizing benefit-focused content all play a key role in the process.
Building a successful brand story is rooted in digging deeper into what makes your company different from the competition and how those differences can be leveraged to deliver value to your customers. When developing your brand story, it’s important to consider the following factors and determine how each can be woven into your narrative.
Unique Value Proposition: Identifying what makes your brand unique compared to the competition requires you to evaluate what your best customers and prospects really want and what your company does very well. Where these two areas overlap is where you’ll find your unique value proposition.
Differentiators: Once you have determined what makes your company unique, you should further define those differences so they will resonate and be easily understood by your customers. Once defined, they can be incorporated into your storytelling efforts.
Benefit-Focused Content: Focus on writing copy that considers your target audiences’ pain points and showcases how your product or service will provide value and benefit their lifestyle.
Customer-Centric Language: Be sure to use language that will resonate best with your intended target audience. When writing the story, use terms like “you” instead of “me” or “us”.
When you understand your customers and can truly put yourself in their shoes, you can better articulate how your products and services solve their problems and add value to their lives.
Need Help Crafting Your Story to Build an Emotional Connection with Your Audience?
Winning the minds of your audience starts with winning their hearts and that can be achieved through effective storytelling. Getting it right helps your customers make faster purchase decisions, increases loyalty, creates positive word of mouth and referrals, and many other benefits that connect to positive bottom-line gains.
While building a brand story for a B2B versus B2C business or for a product versus a service company can look very different and requires specific positioning, the underlying goals remain the same – articulate value and inspire connection. As a full-service marketing communications agency based in York, Pennsylvania, we have the experience and industry insights to help you develop the right narrative for your individual business and audience. If you’re searching for a partner who can help you maximize results, start a conversation with us to learn more about our services and how we can support your project.
To read previous blogs in this series, click here. Then, be sure to stay tuned for the last blog in our 7 Sins of Marketing series, which will discuss measuring your success and setting goals for the future.