By K Rajan
This is getting to be a big love-affair. Marketers are beginning to realize that the key to selling products lies in capturing the hearts and minds of the customers and capitalizing on the love and affection that customers feel toward their business. Emotions are the key factor behind most buying decisions whether it is a toothpaste, shaving cream or microwave.
Love is immortal and cut’s across all barriers of language, class, religion or culture. It has universal appeal. Monuments like Taj Mahal and Khajuraho–continue to attract generations of people all over the world because they are symbols of eternal love. Love helps to sell a range of products from cars to films, jewellery and even organizations, personalities, concepts and ideas. Price sensitivity does not apply to products that find a place in the customer’s heart. Nothing… nothing is too big a price to pay — for something you love. It is worth every penny it costs.
The strength of the affection, affinity or love that customers feel towards the brand depends on how well it connects with its prospects. The love and bonding between the customers and the brand — and locking them tighter and tighter in an embrace is crucial for profitability and growth of any business. It costs less to maintain an existing customer than to gain new one and one satisfied customer brings atleast two more. The question then is – how you make the customer love your brand more than the competitor’s product.
Love is the most potent brand positioning tools in the hands of marketing people who trigger an emotional urge to buy in the heart and mind of the customers to succeed. Love triggers emotions which guarantee success. The purpose of marketing is to build emotional bridges and bonds with the consumers, while branding and advertising help to sharpen and strengthen these ideas and emotions – in order to sell it.
The love affair between a customer and a brand usually starts with attracting attention, generating an urge, igniting a strong desire and stroking it further to last a lifetime. People are even willing to pay a premium for brands they love.
In today’s highly competitive markets only the brands people love will succeed and even the best that people don’t love — will not even find a buyer. It’s like a love at first sight situation. Every brand has virtually three seconds to impress, connect and make the customer fall in love. Everything revolves on a love-respect axis. Any relationship — with a person or brand– is based on love and respect. A person of thing that does not fit into this criterion is rejected.
The critical challenge for manufacturers in all industries is to develop and promote brands that consumers love, trust and use year after year. A brand can make nations crazy and defy rational behavior. Emotional motivation is the prime reason behind the purchase of a brand because of the strong connection with the hearts, mind and nerve endings of consumers. Most human beings live in the worlds of Ideas, dreams and aspirations. Great ideas originate not in the mind but in the heart and the gut. Once the idea germinates in the heart, even the mind follows.
The manner in which people used to shop has changed drastically over the past 15 years. Consumers today expect value, convenience and good customer service. Hence marketing is not just about supplying the product but a string of measures to win new customers but more importantly retain old ones. One of the greatest challenge marketer’s have to face is to create awareness about the brand, retain loyal customers and consumers and encourage others to change their preferences.
Marlboro is an example of how a company understands and combines the physical and emotional elements that appeal to customers love a certain lifestyle.
(To be continued)