Consumer wants and needs constantly shift in response to current world events. In uncertain times, like a global pandemic, people long for comfort and security. They want assurance that expenditures they make will not only return a valuable product or service, but also provide an emotional boost to help psychologically handle the difficult times we live in. 

Now is the right time for brands to adopt a sophisticated “emotional IQ” as part of a smart growth strategy that can directly increase your customer numbers. 

Defining emotional IQ is pretty simple. A brand with a high “emotional IQ” knows how to engage with their customers. They are able to connect on a genuine human level, using personalized content to address not just what customers want, but how they feel. 

In this article, we will take a look at how high profile brands use empathetic marketing strategies. By incorporating these strategies you can boost your brand’s conversion rates. 

Brands We Know and Love

Part of the power of empathy marketing lies is customers who connect with your brand’s values and messages are more likely to become loyal customers.  

81% of consumers who trust the advice of family and friends over paid ads. It makes sense that successful campaigns are those that tap into feelings of trust. Successful brands are the ones that find an emotional niche to fill. Let a customer’s own internal inclinations do the rest. Circulating appreciation and admiration for that brand within local and broader communities will result in even more word of mouth advertising.

Thoughtful campaigning can help customers feel specifically catered to. When those emotions are engaged, they are more likely to buy products and pay for services from your company. 

The brands that inspire the strongest rates of emotional connection are those that clearly present a particular set of targeted values. These are values that consumers can identify with. Among automobile manufacturers, BMW has a high emotional connection score. It’s almost double that of Toyota.

This is because BMW uses advertising strategies that present a strong narrative. Customers not only appreciate the quality of BMW cars. They also relate to the story BMW presents and its core value: joy. According to brand strategist Dr. Ian Robertson, ‘joy’ has been the central focus of both design and marketing since BMW’s inception. 

So, having a clear message is key. Brands like REI, Tesla, Apple, and Ikea work on a global scale. Each presents a clear and consistent narrative. Every ad campaign and marketing tactic draws from and reinforces the central tenets of the brand story. This makes them easy for people to follow and understand.

How to Connect with Customers

At every level of advertising, creative opportunities for creating connection abound. Generally, there are six key stages to pay attention to when targeting customer’s emotions:

  1. First, grab their attention. Playing on familiar cues – with soundtracks and graphics that paint an immediate emotional picture – can help generate instantaneous engagement with potential new customers.
  2. Second, encourage purchases. Make sure to emphasize that the emotional connection they are feeling is related to your brand and specific products or services offered by your brand. This forms a stronger consumer relationship.
  3. Third, maintain a consistent narrative. Utilizing catchy and memorable slogans can help drive home what your company represents and allows consumers to feel safe within the familiar parameters of your branding.
  4. The fourth stage of the process involves developing customer loyalty. Offering personalized rewards and premium services to long-time customers reinforces the fact that their business matters to you. 
  5. Fifth, make your brand a regular part of your customer’s daily life. Spreading ad campaigns and slogans across platforms means that your message will be more deeply embedded in the awareness of your customers. If in one day, a customer can see your brand in multiple places then they will increasingly feel that your brand is familiar and trustworthy. 

Finally, play up the word of mouth (WOM) factor. If your company is involved in a viral Youtube hit, or featured in a song by a top of the charts pop star then customers and fans will do the advertising for you.

When people can easily identify and relate to a brand’s core value, the company benefits from organic marketing. WOM advertising increases a company’s viability and allows for natural market growth.

Brands for Humanity

Today’s audience of information-saturated global consumers demands more from the companies they purchase from. While hard hitting utilitarian strategies can promote the functionality of your services and products, today’s consumers prefer to develop a real relationship with the brands they support. 

They want to know the story behind the company and the people who make it happen. They want to see that a company is willing to evolve as their customers do. By connecting with your audiences in an intimate, friendly and relatable way, you will be able to increase your consumer engagement, amidst turbulent times.