Right in the feels: how emotional engagement drives brand loyalty

By Andrew Witkin, founder and president, StickerYou

Emotional engagement is much more important than you may realize. Recent studies have found that when asked to think of a specific product, 86% of consumers first mention products of brands they are emotionally engaged with. In fact, studies have found that 82% of consumers continually buy from brands they have an emotional engagement with – proving just how much loyalty emotionally engagement is able to create between consumers and brands. Further studies have proven that of those consumers who are emotionally engaged with a brand, 70% of them are willing to spend up to two times more with those brands they connect with.

For brands who have not succeeded in emotionally engaging clients, be aware that 39% of those consumers are likely to switch brands after a single bad experience with your brand. For those who are emotionally engaged with a brand, however, up to 80% are likely to recommend products to their family and friends based on their loyalty.

Growing emotional engagement

One of the most important factors in the success of your brand is high emotional engagement with customers. The loyalty created through this connection will help you promote your brand, as well as maintain a steady fan base. But how do you engage customers in this manner successfully?

Connect with your audience

There are many things a consumer will consider when shopping. Two of their largest considerations are based on rational and emotional factors.

  • Rational Considerations: Rational considerations are things like price, customer service, promotions, and loyalty programs. Rational considerations are often the first thing a potential customer will notice about your brand. This is because they are the pragmatic aspects of your brand. Rational considerations are some of the main factors that can cause a customer to leave your brand for another. (In fact, studies have found that 70% of loyal customers leave due to rational considerations, such as high prices or poor customer support.)
  • Emotional Engagement: While rational considerations are the first things customers may notice, the emotional engagement experience is the connection that drives loyalty. Emotional engagement is typically considered to be two-way interactions, opportunities for both real-time and varied interactions, and differentiated shopping experiences.

Sustain the connection

Customers today expect dialogue. In fact, 70% believe their feedback is essential to brand relationships. They also believe this feedback will drive responses or actions. However, their feedback is not the only important factor in maintaining a connection. Up to 50% of consumers enjoy when companies site their previous feedback.

Statistics aside, consumers enjoy feeling as if they are in a reciprocal relationship with a brand. Just as relationships are in real life, it is important to maintain the back and forth flow of feedback, integrated responses, and positive service interactions.

Responsive, not invasive

There is a careful balance between a brand that is responsive and a brand that is invasive. Being responsive helps to encourage the emotional engagement relationship. Being invasive, on the other hand, is likely to destroy that relationship.

Consumers typically expect a brand to know why they have opted to purchase a specific product. They also expect a response or acknowledgment of a complaint within 24 hours of one being filed. Both of these factors will help to foster trust, as well as grow an emotional engagement.

However, customers do not feel comfortable with brands that seem to “know too much” about them. Customers know that brands collect data with every click of the mouse. Between 30% and 35% of all consumers find it invasive for a brand to recommend products based on browsing histories or unique preferences.

Consistency is key

Being consistent with your customer service, emotional engagement, and other consumer expectations is also a part of maintaining relationships with your clientele.

For example, customer service in a store may be continually fantastic. However, online customer support may be subpar, which is of course at odds with customer expectations. This can damage your customer relationship and demonstrate an inconsistency with how you engage your clients.

At the end of the day, promoting your brand is vital to the growth of your business. From brand-marketing, office décor, and personal branding –it’s imperative to continually and effectively engage with customers by providing consistent, quality products and experiences that can be used to market your brand.

Andrew Witkin

As the founder and president of StickerYou, Andrew Witkin believes in the enormous power of customization. With over a decade of StickerYou success, he is one of Canada’s leading experts in e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Witkin has previously served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.