This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 11, 2017

The Payoff from Emotional Connections

It was George Carlin who said, "People will soon forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel". When companies connect with customers' emotions, the payoff can be huge, including phenomenal increases in business. Though the material in this Herman Trend Alert was originally publish in the November 2015 Harvard Business Review, it is very insightful for business leaders today.

The enormous payoff
"Fully connected customers" are worth an average of 52 percent more, than those who are merely "highly satisfied". In fact, their relatively higher value is significant, "across a variety of metrics, such as purchases and frequency of use". We, at the Herman Group, extend that same payoff to include internal customers (employees) with those metrics being tenure, productivity, and more. And fully engaged employees are often relatively even more valuable than fully engaged external customers.

Pushing the "right" buttons
The authors, Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon, who all work in the field, conducted research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories. They discovered it's possible to "rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers' behavior". They call them "emotional motivators."

High-Impact Emotional Motivators
Knowing these "High-Impact Emotional Motivators", brands that capitalize on people's desires to feel successful, independent, secure, a sense of belonging, or more, will be rewarded handsomely with greater engagement, sales, and of course, profitability. Although there are hundreds of these emotional drivers, the authors discuss only the top drivers that "significantly affect customer value".

How it works
Successful brands associate usage of their product or service with their customers' and prospects' aspirational feelings. When a leading household cleaner began messaging to maximize the emotional connection, it turned market share losses into double-digit growth. In another case study mentioned in the article, the authors cited a major bank that introduced a credit card for Millennials, designed to inspire emotional connection. The result was not only a segment increase of 70 percent, but also new account growth rose of 40 percent.

What emotional connections can mean to any employer or brand
Internally, creating emotional connections with employees makes them feel more connected and invested in the viability and the success of the organization---and therefore, more productive and likely to stay. Externally, creating emotional connections with customers and prospects makes them more likely to buy and to remain loyal customers, thus driving increased profitability. The bottom line is simple: emotional connections drive profitability.

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