Retail Reflections

So You Think You Know Your Customer?

So You Think You Know Your Customer?

Think again!

Do you remember the excitement you felt when you acquired your first car? Were you bursting with pride while showing it to your friends?

Many of us did and still do no matter whether that’s our first or second or fifth car…

There’s something alluring about cars. We interact with them and develop feelings for them.

Almost in the same manner as we do for our loved ones. We call them ‘my baby’, ‘my girl’, we give them nicknames, and we even give them a stroke to express our love.

Why? What makes us to behave this way?

Emotion – that’s what hugely governs our lives.

The reason is subservient to emotion

Sigmund Freud postulated that the emotional responses are mostly generated unconsciously.

Likewise, research suggests that the factors influencing purchasing behaviours are 80% emotions and 20% logic.

This points to the fact that first we emotionally find reasons to buy, then we try to find reasons to validate that purchase.

We enjoy our emotionally driven reasons for purchasing because it activates the brain’s reward system when we experience something pleasurable such as buying a luxury item.

The power of experiencing and remembering

Psychologically speaking, when it comes to remembering experiences Daniel Kahneman, the founder of Behavioural Economics, differentiates between two selves: the experiencing self and the remembering self.

For example, luxury cars offer features and accessories that activate and delight the Experiencing Self. However, experience as Kahneman claims, is defined as positive or negative by the Remembering self, according to the customer’s journey.

It’s about remembering feelings during or after interacting with a brand as a whole that greatly affect our emotions and the memory of the experience.

Multi-sensory experience does make sense

How does your brand look, smell, sound, feel or taste?

As the old adage goes – retail is detail – so the importance of engaging your customers with the five senses mustn’t be overlooked.

Whether we smell or taste or touch or see, or hear something, or combination of all, we automatically link it to emotion either positive or negative.

University College London’s Department of Imaging Neuroscience study suggest that some of our most powerful memories are linked to a smell.

By stimulating the brain sensory centres the scientists, for example, explain why a familiar song or the smell of a former lover’s perfume has the power to conjure up a detailed picture of past times, says Jay Gottfried who led the study.

If your brand personality stirs positive emotions in people then they are more likely to associate those emotions with your brand.

And here’s the thing:

Emotions have a strong motivational component therefore it follows that triggering the right emotional response to your brand will elicit the action you wish your customer to take – ie. make the purchase!

Key Takeaways

  1. You can’t be an all-star brand without putting the customer in the centre of your business. Human-centric touch is all important when it comes to forging strong, long lasting customer relationships;
  2. We are driven by emotion and as such we develop a sort of affection towards the product. Make an emotional alignment with your costumer, give them a reason why your product is exactly what they need;
  3. Always remember that emotions drive behaviour.

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