Why emotional connection is vital for customer loyalty

In How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, Professor Gerald Zaltman states that 95% of our purchase decisions are made unconsciously.

In reality, most of the times our brain is busy with automatic processes, not conscious thinking. 

Our unconscious decisions to buy are communicated to the conscious mind via an emotion. The conscious mind then finds a rational reason that makes us believe our purchasing decision was logical.

In other words, we justify our emotional signals to buy with logical reasons.

This is why a marketing message should promote the emotional selling proposition (ESP) rather than the unique selling proposition (USP).

The unique selling proposition consists of the range of benefits of your service/product and provides a logical reason why a customer should buy.

While the emotional selling proposition represents the emotional levers “beneath the service” that trigger the emotional connection with your customers.

The emotional levers that drive the choice to buy a service/product include:

* Feeling important
* Feeling valued
* Feeling part of a unique group or select band of people
* Feeling whole
* Feeling remembered
* Feeling attractive
* Feeling trendy
* Feeling safe
* Feeling accepted

Lastly, the feeling of superiority, often unconscious, is related to the most important emotion: survival. When people have something more or better than others they feel superior over another in their ability to overcome challenges and survive changes.

Moreover, it’s demonstrated that people are more risk-averse than reward seekers. It’s part of the survival instinct.

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, demonstrates that when people are faced with the choice of losing something in order to gain something, they are most likely to avoid the risk rather than taking the chance to gain something. In other words, people will pay a high price to avoid pain and get a risk-free gain. 

Here is how to develop an emotional selling proposition.

Developing an emotional selling proposition is a powerful way to differentiate from the competition and drive sales. When you can assign an emotional value to a non-emotional product, you earn engagement, trust, and a chance to create a loyal relationship with your customers.

1. Think about the feelings and the emotions that you want to create in your customers and use those emotions when promoting your product and services.

2. When you try to differentiate yourself from the competition think about:

  • What losses your customers could experience if they didn’t buy your service /product.
  • How you could deliver on the promise of avoiding the loss in a way that the competition can’t. Identify the fears that drive your customers’ choice and address them in your message.

3. Once you have attracted your customers with the right emotional benefits of your service/product, you need to use rational benefits like service guarantees, reliability or any specific features to back up the emotional argument you’ve already made. By this point, the emotional decision to buy has been made, and you just need to reinforce the logical reason to commit.

It’s important to remember that, features and functionalities can be copied, however, it’s not easy to replicate the emotional experience and fulfillment you can offer to your clients.

So, next time you are creating a promotional message make sure you think about the emotional selling proposition of your service/product and how you can appeal to those emotions to attract the right customers


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