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Building Emotional Relationships with Your Consumers
By Maggie Wright

Have you talked to your customer/consumers lately?  Have you studied their real desires and needs?  If not, you're missing out on sales opportunities.  No Social Media program or professional networking system is going to work, unless you know specifically who your consumer is and what triggers him or her to purchase your product or service.  This is the most important thing to do before creating any sales or marketing programs.  It saves you time and money when you do it right.

Consumers have their rational, 'intellectual' reasons for wanting to buy a specific product or service.  For example, they may be looking for a gluten-free food product, or a laundry detergent that leaves clothes soft.  Or, they may be looking for a dental clinic that has a good reputation. Another example, a business, such as a law office, may be looking for a messenger service that is efficient and offers frequent daily service at an affordable rate.

But, there is another piece. In addition to the rational and intellectual attributes and benefits, consumers also have semi-conscious emotional associations with using different products and services.  When a brand's message taps into both the consumer customers' rational reasons for purchasing AND their emotional associations that are associated with that experience, it will build an emotional connection with its customer consumers.   In other words, it will build a powerful emotional relationship that its competitors cannot match.      

Let's take toothpaste, for example.  Consumers may prefer a toothpaste that prevents cavities... or one that prevents plaque.  Or, having white teeth may be their most important reason for purchasing a toothpaste.  

So, let's take the concept of wanting whiter teeth.  Having "white teeth" means different things to different consumers.  It makes them FEEL differently about themselves.  Some consumers may associate having white teeth with being attractive to the opposite sex.  Others may associate it emotionally with feeling and looking successful and powerful to others.  And still, other consumers may associate white teeth with looking super healthy, or squeaky clean to others.  

Let's assume that brand X has a large consumer base that is into health.  They emotionally associate  white teeth as being the "marker" that signals to others that they are healthy.  But, unfortunately, the Brand X marketing team did not do their consumer homework.

Instead of communicating that Brand X  makes consumers feel healthy because it cleans and whitens their teeth, the brand message focuses on cheap price.  They may attract a few of the health-oriented consumers.  But, they would miss the opportunity for building a large and loyal consumer base.  They would miss the opportunity for building a strong emotional relationship with these consumers by promising to help them look and feel squeaky-clean to themselves and others.

Big-brand global corporations have been doing consumer research for years.  It's time for America's Small Businesses to use some of these techniques (in an affordable way) to build emotional relationships with their customer consumers.  Let's work together.  Let's rebuild America!

Copyright ©2014 Margaret T. Wright (Maggie). All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this article may be replicated without the written permission of the author.

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