Get personal with the customer

It pays to make emotional connections with your customers by stimulating positive emotions in them. A customer who feels secure, unique or perceives that the company is meeting his or her desire to be the person they want to be will also be a profitable customer.

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The Harvard Business Review presents an American study, conducted among 39 well-known companies, that shows the relationship between customer perceptions of which brands are good (good brand) and what emotional relationship (emotional connection score) they have with them. The study shows that customers who have an emotional connection with a brand are 25–100 per cent more valuable in terms of income and profitability, compared with customers who are merely satisfied.

Even if a brand is considered to be good and the customers are satisfied, this does not mean that customers have warm feelings for them. Coca-Cola, Nike and Starbucks are considered to be strong brands, but still have low scores on the emotional scale. It is therefore not sufficient to have lots of advertising and a strong customer focus. To make emotional connections with a customer, a company must be able to see and meet the customer's need to be seen. Quite simple, to be personal. Just as in an emotional relationship.

Companies whose brands reflect a given lifestyle or exclusivity find it easier to make strong emotional connections with their customers. The car company BMW and the jewellers Tiffany & Co are the two companies in the survey that are highest on the emotional scale, while at the same time they are also considered to be good brands.