The way we understand the customer buying process has changed significantly since the pandemic started. What used to be largely thought of as a linear and strategic thought process, composed of steps like researching multiple products, reading reviews, and making a purchase decision based on facts, has largely shifted to be emotionally driven. In fact, up to 90 per cent of decisions we make are based on emotion.
On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I couldn’t help but notice how so many people (90,000 to be exact!) of all genders, ages and walks of life could be brought together by this one theme park. Every family spent thousands of dollars to experience the Disney magic. It was almost comical witnessing grown men in Mickey Mouse branded muscle shirts singing along to the Frozen soundtrack with their young children but that’s what Disney does – it transcends age, gender, and ethnicity – to bridge an emotional connection with each and every one of us.
Disney has worked tirelessly to create a brand that we continuously go back to throughout our lives. They know the key to brand loyalty is to create an emotional connection early on and build on that connection so it stays with you through all the stages of your life. That’s why in a 2022 Brand Intimacy Study conducted by HubSpot Disney was ranked as the brand with the highest brand intimacy, among brands like Apple, Tesla, Nintendo and Netflix.
You don’t need to be The Walt Disney Company to create an emotional connection with your customers. In fact, it’s arguably easier to make a connection with the customers you can see and talk to face-to-face and really get to know. According to Branding Strategy Insider, to impact and affect a customer’s purchase decision brands need to appeal to their customers’ emotions. People connect to other people’s stories and strong narratives, and that should be the basis of your marketing efforts.
Spend the time and money to create a brand that’s recognizable and true to your brand voice and goals. This likely means hiring a graphic designer to create a unique logo, a photographer to capture professional product photos and a copywriter to create engaging content. Think about Disney, you’d recognize the standalone ‘D’ from the Disney logo anywhere and that’s the point. You want branding that can boil down to just one element – if a customer sees your logo after having a pleasant experience they’re likely to connect that logo to their experience. Once they see the logo, it brings them back to a positive time, making them more likely to return. It all comes full circle.
Social media is a great tool to help you stay connected with your customers and reach new ones. It makes it easier than ever to share new products and services, answer customer questions and reach new potential customers. Take time to invest in your social media strategy, this might mean hiring an agency to help manage your pages and advise on current social media trends, or even to monitor your Google reviews and replies. A company like Disney is obsessed with creating customer satisfaction, again it all comes back to emotion, and even the most brutal park reviews will often note that a Disney employee was there to help solve an issue. Although emotion is a major factor in some purchase decisions, reviews still matter and people will almost always take the time to search out a company and their reviews. Make sure yours stand out in a good way.
Believe it or not, even the House of Mouse relies on influencer marketing. To celebrate the kickoff of its 50th Anniversary celebration this year, Disney invited influencers and content creators from around the globe to capture content and share with their audiences. Even a brand as large as Disney uses influencer marketing to their advantage – they know that these people have spent the time to develop emotional connections with their audiences and they rely on that connection to help their own brand. As a small business, you can look for opportunities to use influencers to help your brand reach new audiences and benefit from the emotional connection those influencers have spent time developing. Send them a product or offer a service in exchange for an honest review and you’ll likely see some new face.
Brand intimacy takes time to develop but you don’t have to be The Walt Disney Company to create a lasting relationship with your customers. The above tips will help you get started in earning customer loyalty and ultimately, brand intimacy. We offer services such as social media management to help our busy clients make the most of their business online. To learn more, contact us.
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