Branding & Positioning

Creating that WOW Factor!

Take a second to think about Starbucks.  What comes to your mind?  Maybe it’s their iconic green seal logo.  Maybe it’s their pearl white cups.  You may even picture their menu and the options to pay close to three dollars for a Gande Iced Coffee.  How can a company strategically place a price tag on a product that costs the average consumer about ten cents to brew at home?  It’s the WOW Factor People are paying to experience the upscale atmosphere that Starbucks provides from its clean color theme, to its soft coffee shop music.

Like Starbucks, companies such as Harley Davidson, Disney, Urban Outfitters and Southwest Airlines are all excellent examples of organizations who are masters of understanding the psychology of the customer.  They know how to engineer the customer experience to capitalize upon emotions in decision-making.  The success of these outstanding firms lies not only in the quality and integrity of their products and services, but in the emotional connection with the customer.  They go right at the heart to create intensely loyal followers.  They know how to create the WOW Factor.  Why else would a person find pleasure by tattooing his or her body with logos making reference to Harley Davidson?

A personal favorite quote of mine comes from Jeffrey Gitomer, the author of The Little Red Book of Selling:

“Some people are headstrong.  Some people are heart strong, and most people, especially sales people, don’t understand that the heart is the filter for decisions.  The head is attached to the price, the heart is attached to the wallet.  If you jerk the heartstrings, the wallet comes popping out of the back pocket”.

Top-notch marketing and advertising agencies use emotion-based communications to the fullest.  They understand that our brain works in three very different ways:

  • The original sensory brain
  • The emotional brain
  • And the rational brain

The emotional brain is reported to send 10 times the amount of data to the rational brain than it receives in return. 

Customer loyalty to a brand is an outcome of emotion and requires more than trust and respect.  Customer loyalty requires an emotional attachment.  It is this component of emotional sentiment that turns the loyal customer into a social brand ambassador who proactively enhances brand equity by generating word-of-mouth recommendations.  Brand loyalty, once achieved, acts as an effective barrier against competition.  And, it all starts with the engineering of the customer experience to create emotion–the WOW Factor!

When thinking about the WOW Factor, to consider the following five points in an effort to make the consumer feel more welcomed and important.

  1. Testimonials – Customers want to feel reassured about their purchasing decisions. Testimonials increase credibility and comfort in the sales process.  The more specific the testimonial, the more power it has for the customer.
  2. Visuals – Create vivid, powerful images in the mind of the customer.  Research substantiates that the brain is wired to react to visual stimuli.
  3. Listen – Far too often, we get so caught up in delivering our ideas that we don’t hear the voice of the customer.  Ask questions and listen.  Getting the customer to talk about his or her issues creates emotion.
  4. Empathy –  Your capacity to identify with the customer’s feelings and emotions is powerful.  Empathy demonstrates a true  understanding of the emotional state of the consumer.
  5. Future Vision –  A vision is a motivating view of the future.  It creates pride.  It gives direction.  Emotion is created by taking the customer to a future place and time and looking back.  Future visions are filled with anticipation.

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