Big data and analytics play a powerful role for businesses to target and play around the needs of potential shoppers. However, businesses that seek to improve customer experience throughout the journey, focus on creating an emotional connection. The base of every successful relationship, trust, is a foundation that boosts both customer loyalty and retention. A report by Forrester states that emotion is the single most important driver behind customer experience.
For an overwhelming majority of customers, a relevant journey equals a positive experience. The intersection of personalization and emotional marketing techniques always strikes a chord. It resonates with the customer in a personal way and amplifies lasting associations between the brand and the customer.
Tapping into the neural networks of a customer during the holiday season can be a potentially game-changing move by brands. When done properly, a personalized user experience can turn customers into lifelong evangelists for a brand.
The Use of Personalization to Build An Emotional Connect
According to a HubSpot 2020 marketing report, “message personalization is the No. 1 tactic used by email marketers to improve performance”. Customers react differently to an automated email as compared to a one that has their name.
Having said that, pulling this omnichannel process is not easy. One successful way to incorporate personalization in sales is to follow an ‘attention to detail’ approach. When laying the groundwork to build a personalized relationship with customers, make space for the emotional aspect in every part of the business.
Birchbox, an online subscription service, is a great example of how a company can effectively create an emotional response through personalization. The company’s business model cleverly uses data to build customized boxes of mini beauty products for its subscribers. Their bespoke packages offer access to niche beauty products with an element of quirkiness. A box curated with products a customer would never discover on their own. The brand also saw an extremely low churn rate. They lost less than 10% of their customers during the first three years of their launch. An article by the Harvard Business School attributed this success to the brand’s USP of offering a very unique service.
Using personalization through heavy targeting, Birchbox scanned customer reviews and user profiles extensively to trigger feelings of surprise, delight, and loyalty.
Evoking emotions through brand perception
Customers want to be heard! But beyond that, they want the brand to add value and solve a problem. What if your strategy does not resonate with the consumer? One of the most important elements of creating an emotional connection is by managing brand perception.
Glossier, a beauty and skincare brand founded by reality TV star Emily Weiss, is cleverly built and has a thriving community around its blog. The company resonates with its customers to the extent that Buzzfeed claimed it to be ‘your best friend or benevolent big sister’, instead of a makeup brand. Glossier’s track record of evoking emotions through personalization is one of the most successful examples in the industry. Their product Milky Jelly Cleanser was built purely around customer critiques. It was conceptualized after responses received from a blog post.
The lesson: When brands personalize a product based on suggestions, especially during the holiday season, it helps customers feel both appreciated and valued.
The role of emotion AI in personalization
Emotion AI, a subset of artificial intelligence, plays an important role in humanizing the personalized marketing approach by using humanoid interactions (e.g. chatbots). It makes customers feel as though they’re partially relying on their friend for making their purchase decisions, thus leading to customer retention. Emotion AI ensures that communication gets less robotic and less awkward, so connecting with your consumers becomes much easier.
96% of customer experience professionals expect an increase in demand from customers for customer intelligence.
By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see.– Gartner
Keeping it low-key and intense without the cringe
“We hear you!” — Is the key to a completely personalized customer experience. To understand the psychology of emotion, brands need to understand the touchpoints of customer interaction. Different emotions trigger different responses. Personalization, like any marketing campaign, when taken too far, can ruffle feathers.
How to embrace personalization during the holiday season?
One of the touchpoints for brands to keep in mind during the holiday season is little details matter. When it comes to personalization creating an emotional connection, details are key.
Chef’d, a meal kit startup turns customer-submitted recipes into actual meal kits. For each meal kit sold, the creators are paid a royalty fee. This empowers customers to submit dishes they would enjoy eating. A particularly useful strategy, customers love a little extra during the holiday season. So Chef’d surprised its consumers with a turn-key kit packed with essentials to whip up overnight oats. Here’s how they did it:
- Analyzing customer data – By focusing on information from existing customer base and target audience.
- Customer segmentation – Understanding and targeting different groups.
- Geodata for localized promotions – Targeting local customers using geodata from their mobile devices or address profiles.
- Exclusive offers – Attracting new customers through personalized offers based on previous orders and user behaviours.
In today’s fiercely competitive environment, a lot of strategic thinking goes into staying ahead of your competitors. Personalized marketing directed towards building an emotional connection between a customer and a brand drives customer loyalty. These emotional activators trigger an experience that is tailored to the brand’s ROI while improving the overall customer experience.