Emotion May Be the Missing Link for Customer Loyalty

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By: Bill Hanifin, CLMP™ |

Posted on November 1, 2022

Three industry sources across three continents agree

Don’t get emotional!

How many times have you heard that exhortation during an animated discussion?

Well, in the context of its original intended meaning, there could be wisdom in that statement. For Loyalty Marketers however, it is pure rubbish.

Here are three solid data points evidencing how creating emotional connections with your customers is increasingly recognized as instrumental to achieving your highest goals with customer engagement and loyalty.

Charlie Hills, MD & Head of Strategy, Mando-Connect represented The Wise Marketer at the Festival of Marketing conference in London earlier this month. Charlie shared comments from Heinz CMO Irina Rodina in as part of her conference report based on a presentation at the event:

“Brands that resonate with customers on an emotional level will outperform non-emotionally intelligent brands”

A partner agency with Heinz, Carat, has the evidence to back that statement via its annual Brand EQ Report that looks into the emotional intelligence of brands. The results reveal a strong correlation between a brand's emotional intelligence and business performance across lots of categories.

Kobie Marketing just completed its 2022 Consumer Loyalty Research report and we recently interviewed Dave AndreadakisChief Innovation Officer about the findings in the report. We asked the question “How real is the connection between emotion and loyalty?” and David replied:

“The research shows there is a direct correlation between consumer emotional motivation and loyalty. Over 75% of emotionally connected customers know what rewards they want and are either redeeming for specific things or saving for them. Brands that focus on their most emotionally connected customers will have the best opportunity to generate incremental revenue from their loyalty programs.”

In a just released Forbes article by Shep Hyken titled “Customer Loyalty Comes From An Emotional Connection” the author shared comments from an interview with Zhecho Dobrev, a principal consultant at Beyond Philosophy and the author of the newly published book, The Big Miss: How Organizations Overlook the Value of Emotions. According to Dobrev, his research shows that the amount of business a company gets is dependent on its relationships with customers. He punctuated the findings with this statement:

“Emotional connection creates preference over the competition. Customers don’t just come back out of convenience. They see a difference between doing business with your company and other companies.”

Clearly there is something to get emotional about from these statements if your job is to build value in customer groups. The currency, offer, communications and technology you employ to execute your customer strategy are all important, but don’t overlook that building an emotional bond with customers is the factor that may tip the scales of engagement and loyalty in your direction.

When we see shared conclusions from research-based findings across three continents, we call that a trend to note in your strategy planning work.