In this new era of social distancing and virtual connections, is experiential marketing going to be redefined?
Marketers and brand owners have been mastering the art of connecting with customers via social distance for a while now as people shifted to the convenience of online shopping for direct-to-home delivery. In fact, a Forrester study indicates that the emotional experiences – good or bad - with a company are one of the most telling indicators of brand loyalty. Emotional loyalty correlates with the likelihood of future orders and total spend with a brand.
For example, if you are among the millions of people on Facebook, you have likely been targeted by various advertisements. At some point, you gave into the temptation and made a purchase. Not all experiences are bad, but odds are, you have experienced buyer’s remorse, at one time or another. Perhaps, the item took way longer than expected to get to you, so you were frustrated. The package arrived looking like it was dragged across three continents before it arrived. Or possibly, the items were not “as shown” in the ad. Maybe it arrived damaged and you had to start the return and reorder process. Disappointment, anger, and frustration are the emotions that are associated with the memory of a customer journey such as this one. (You know what we’re talking about. We’ve all been there.)
And in today’s social environment, our experiences are not always a one-to-one relationship between the buyer and seller. Instead, they now have far-reaching implications as you use social media and rating sites to share with friends and family.
So, how do we turn that frown upside down? The brands that are creating “emotional loyalty” with customers have mastered these three methods:
1. Purchasing with Purpose: Research conducted by Clutch demonstrates that consumers prefer to do business with companies that share in the social causes that are near and dear to them. They cite that 75% of people are likely to start shopping at a company that chooses to support an issue they agree with. The data is also teaching us that there is now an expectation shared by 71% of consumers that the companies we support are contributing to make the world a better place.
Brands that add purpose to a purchase elicit a feeling of satisfaction among buyers. They don’t limit that emotional connection to the moment when the customer clicks the buy-now button. Instead, they reinforce the feeling when the person receives their package. This can be seen in the messaging that is provided with the item in the package – an insert about charitable giving, packaging that contributes to the cause or a printed carton or mailer to reinforce the cause marketing message. These actions renew and reinforce the emotional connection to the brand. Consumers are also more likely to share their satisfaction with friends and inspire others to buy from that company to extend the social impact.
2. Packaged to Delight: Everyone enjoys feeling like they made a good purchasing decision. It is even more rewarding when you receive a product that actually exceeds your expectations. We often refer to the moment when you begin unboxing your purchase “Moment Zero”. It is at that very moment when your perception of the product starts to form. Elevating the package with premium packaging is one way to start off positively before the product itself has been experienced. In fact, studies show that premium packaging can increase the perceived value of the product by as much as 45%! Packaging that delights customers is such a simple, yet impactful, way to bring on positive emotion. In turn, that influences brand loyalty and increases the likelihood of repeat orders to extend customer lifetime value.
3. Avoid the Negative: What is one of the quickest ways to spoil the customer experience? Opening your package to find a damaged item inside. Research shows that 73% of consumers are unlikely to purchase from a company again if there is damage. This is particularly true when you are purchasing from a brand in which you expect a quality product. The disappointment and frustration that is experienced when this happens often compels people to vent to friends or post a negative review on a company’s website. In fact, dissatisfied customers typically tell 9 to 15 other people about their experience. On top of that, significantly more people post about negative experiences than positive ones, and frustratingly enough, it takes approximately 40 positive experiences to offset just 1 negative review. People trust the recommendations (or warnings) of friends and family more when it comes to making purchase decisions more than traditional advertising statements. That is why it is so important to get the experience right. Marketers are more invested than ever before in the customer journey which now culminates at the point of unboxing. That is why it is so critical to avoid the negative.
Do you want to use your packaging as a tool to help foster a stronger emotional connection with your customers? If so, let’s connect. Pregis is ready to introduce you to a whole new way of connecting remotely with customers that are flocking to the internet to secure virtually all of their goods in this current stay-at-home environment.