About the author: Anastasiia Bilous – CSO at New Media Services with overall IT experience on TOP positions for 10+ years

Do you sell a product? Or a service? Actually, you sell none of those.

You sell emotions.
Insurance companies don’t sell insurance. They sell fear and a feeling of confidence and safety.
Fashion industry doesn’t sell perfumes. It sells romance and inspiration. It’s a well-known fact, that emotions sell much better, than rationality.

Each brand you can think of, does this. Think about Hinge and Tinder. From the first sight, these dating apps are very similar. However, emotions they convey are completely different.

Emotions are what makes people prefer one brand over the other. For example, dating app The League conveyed such strong emotions, that having way fewer functions than match.com, they managed to become insanely popular. Another example are two websites Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend, that allow users get rid of loneliness by sending them messages that are just like ones you’d get from a real person. Intimacy and care drive them towards these services.

Marketing is all about getting into your clients’ shoes and understand what emotions they feel. There are seven basic emotions, that trigger consumers and motivate purchasing.

Source: YourMarketingRules

According to the study, positive emotions evoke more reaction from people, than negative ones.

Source: Business Insider

I can see, how marketers successfully use emotions to sell their products, and there is nothing wrong with it. People are driven by emotions, even if they explain them in rational terms. However, while you can sell your products using fun ads and adding sexy images, you barely can make people truly loyal.

In fact, empathy is what provides a long-lasting relationship with the brand.

However, I see that marketers rarely actually listen to their customers. They are obsessed with statistics and big data, and these graphs make them emotionally detached from people.

They know everything about their customers, from their location and age to their marital status and hobbies. Marketers readily make overall assumptions about what their customers need. And while some may say it’s helping to solve their problems, I say that this is pushy and intrusive.

Let me give you an example.
Women often have a situation, when they google beauty tips or products, and the next day marketers start sending them emails about lip or breast enlargement without surgery. They use information about women’s age and marital status, and if a married woman looks for tips on how to improve her relationships with her husband, she is offered to enlarge her breasts.

This isn’t just wrong timing. Such ads are insulting and they don’t solve a problem – they just show how badly a brand wants customers’ money.

When you generalize your audience, you lose individual approach. People feel that a brand treats them like a wallet with standard needs. They forget that there is an actual human being behind all these stats and information. So, how can you become an empathic brand?

  1. Wait
    When you talk to your friend about their problem, you don’t interrupt them with an immediate solution without even listening till the end. At least, I hope you don’t do that. Treat your customer as a friend you want to help. Don’t push sales and don’t try to predict what your customer will need next – wait till they’re ready.
  2. Show advantages, not consequences
    Some marketers love to give advice and tell people what they should do to avoid certain consequences. While fear also works in marketing, people will be much more loyal to your brand, if you don’t manipulate them so obviously. Show them, what your customers get, if they use your products. Don’t show them what they’ll lose, if they don’t.
  3. Don’t ask, give first
    If you want to get a friend, act like one. Similarly, if you want your customer to give you something, be the first one to give. Offer value for free, and make sure your free stuff is great. If what you give for free is so amazing, how cool can your paid product be?

These marketing strategies can help you become an empathic brand that will provide real value to your customers and not selling them things they don’t need. Combine emotions, empathy and big data. All these components work best only if you take all of them into account.

Some people feel that brands and companies want to fool them and trick into spending money. Honest marketing, however, cares about adding value to customers’ lives and providing them with solutions they actually need. Be emotional, be empathic and honest. This is what makes brands truly connected with customers.

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