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“Fifty percent of every buying decision is driven by emotion. Using this construct can help brands create effective marketing communications and spark a love affair between a product and its consumers,” – Sam Swisher

Brands and businesses have proliferated at rapid rates across multiple markets in response to the paradigm of economic globalisation. This has enhanced the concept of consumer choice in unprecedented ways and invested deep meaning in the idea of business expansion. However, certain negative effects of economic globalisation have emerged in recent times. These include the erosion of consumer loyalty, limited consumer attention spans, high decibel marketing campaigns that fail to gain the desired traction, and emergence of fake consumer brands and products. Therefore, modern brands and businesses face multiple challenges in engaging and retaining their consumers. In light of this situation, brands and businesses should be advised to design marketing strategies keeping the long-term interests of the business in view, as also serving the best interests of modern consumers.

Businesses should work to create marketing campaigns that help customers feel intimately connected with their products and services. This connection can only be established when consumers and customers feel that they share values with a certain brand or brands. For instance, a legacy milkshake business can choose to create marketing campaigns that leverage the hoary past of the beverage brand. This course of action is recommended because it can help present customers feel intimately connected to the business, while making a viable pitch to gain new business with emerging customer segments. The said business should also work to re-energise the beverage brand by tuning into the sensibilities and preferences of the modern consumer. We must note that older consumers will automatically connect with the milkshake brand because they have had exposure to the product in their early years. The younger segments can be won over by expanding the scope of flavours and by deploying innovative product packaging. These strategies will likely help customers feel intimately connected with the business, thereby helping the brand to expand its footprint in many markets.

Achieving an emotional connection can help a business to reinforce the concept of brand loyalty in heavily competitive markets. This is especially important because multiple products and a number of competing brands occupy every niche of consumer products available in the market. This situation makes it imperative for brands to create situations wherein customers feel intimately connected with proffered products. In addition, the outcome can help to establish an emotional bonding between products and customers. For instance, a dog food product manufacturer can strategize to capture the high end of the market through a concerted marketing campaign that hinges on an emotional appeal. We must note that dog food (as a product category) is available in multiple brands, different flavours and nutritional values, and many pack sizes. Therefore, the said dog food manufacturer should be advised to create an overtly emotional campaign that appeals to the love of dogs in prospective customers. The campaign should focus on the well-chronicled human love of domesticated animals, especially dogs, so that customers feel intimately connected to the brand of dog food. In the aftermath of the campaign, we may infer that dog lovers would likely prefer the brand’s dog food product and thus validate the marketing campaign of the manufacturer.

Empowering the consumer could be considered as an approach to establish a direct connection with a brand’s consumer base. This strategy hinges on trust and leverages a novel approach to traditional marketing paradigms. For instance, a large financial products and services company could embark upon a marketing plan wherein, it would offer a significant donation to a charity to be decided upon by the majority of its consumers. This plan clearly seeks to empower customers and therefore, intimately establish a connection with the customer base. We must note that the donation amount should be significant in order to attract consumer attention. The ensuing activity can galvanise the individual customers of the financial services organisation and create a raft of dedicated community activities. We may state that the campaign is designed to drive consumer consensus and the outcome would benefit both the sponsor and the selected charity. The entire exercise helps the financial services provider to connect with the wide base of its customers, while burnishing its corporate image and driving a notable agenda on corporate social responsibility.

The marketing strategists of a business enterprise can explore alternative marketing mechanisms to appeal to certain segments of their customer base. For instance, a consumer electronics brand can devise a marketing experiment to reinforce its brand value among the younger demographics of its customer base. This can be viewed as an attempt to refresh the brand’s appeal among a key customer demographic and to make customers feel intimately connected with a superior brand. The said experiment can take the form of a three-year sponsorship of a popular music band that enjoys a wide following among the youth. We must note that the sponsorship is essentially a commercial device to boost brand visibility, but committing corporate resources for a three-year period helps customers feel intimately connected to the said brand.

Individual gestures denote significant meaning in both the professional and personal domains. Marketers and brand strategists can explore strategies wherein, the first hundred customers of a new product are offered a significant discount on a different product. This approach can aid in the creation of significant customer traction by intimately establishing a rapport between a brand and its customers. The long-term effects of such an approach to marketing can be assessed by reviewing the data generated from such campaigns. The primary objective of the campaign is to make customers feel intimately connected with the freshly minted product. In addition, the efficacy of the campaign can be determined by closely examining the possibility of repeating similar strategies for different sets of products. We must note that in all iterations, the key objective should be establishing an intimate connection that can be sustained in the foreseeable future.

Special customers present a high probability of being transformed into brand evangelists and brand advocates. Brands and businesses must acknowledge this fact and must work to court such customers. The motivation behind such actions should be to acquire the customer’s trust and deploy him or her to advocate a brand or business. The desired outcome is a scenario wherein, select customers feel intimately connected to the brand or business owing to the special treatment accorded them by the business. We note that this tactic should be carefully refined so that the faith of a brand or business is not entirely misplaced. That said, we note that a brand or a business should exert itself to expand the numbers of brand advocates in a bid to grow the consumer base and to establish an emphatic presence in competitive markets. Brand ambassadors can be accorded preferential treatment and discretionary pricing in an on-going effort to retain their custom.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the tactics and strategies that can be deployed to make customers feel intimately connected with a brand or a business. We must acknowledge that these strategies are essentially designed to retain customers and to create pools of dedicated consumers that will not be swayed by rival brands. Establishing intimate connections with consumers also offers outsize gains for brands and businesses because such connections generate guaranteed revenue streams and reduce the requirement to find new customers. That said, we must note that business enterprises must commit themselves to deliver outstanding value in order to seal their market reputation and to continue to remain relevant in the customer’s mind space.

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