Use Emotional Connection in Your Engagement Strategy

January 20, 2023
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Honest emotional connection is at the core of every great engagement strategy. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • UA catalyst conversation can uncover your purpose so you can use it as a foundation for connection 
  • An emotional connection with your target audience is a vital part of a successful engagement strategy 
  • Every connection comes from the 3 Keys: purpose, value, and story
  • Customers need your purpose and values to align with theirs
  • You must create intimacy with the right customers, not just anyone

In today’s world, where the customer holds all the power, it’s all about what they want. A successful engagement strategy is no longer about brand affinity – it’s about a connection with the customer on an emotional level. 

Brand loyalty is judged – even measured – by emotional connection. More than ever, people want to feel a sense of intimacy with the brands they care about. They crave to feel like you know them and that you’re part of their tribe. 

Emotional connection is what will set your brand apart from your competition. The emotion is what drives the customer’s desire to not only buy from your brand but align with it completely. And ultimately, that’s what leads you to more repeatable success. 

To develop that emotional connection, you must understand your brand inside and out and understand the needs of people who want to connect with you. Intimacy begins with a good fit when it comes to values and purpose, and you are able to spark the connection with a story that the customer identifies with. 
 

Uncover your purpose

 
You must discover your purpose and alignment before you can unleash an engagement strategy that’s based on an intimate connection. If you’re unclear on the reasons behind your actions, you can’t expect to resonate with anyone on a genuine level. 

First, you have to know what makes your people take action. That’s an absolute prerequisite for brand success. You can win at all your business goals if you take the time to build connections, which means you must know what makes the right people spring to attention. 
 

People crave connection

 
People want to feel an emotional connection – it’s one of the biggest driving motivators of buying behavior. According to Harvard Business Review, fully connected customers spend twice as much annually as highly satisfied customers. 

Another study (this time by Gallup) concluded that companies that emotionally connect with their customers outperform other brands by 85%. Clearly, people who feel connected to a brand are more active as customers. 

Customers seek out brands they can see themselves in. It’s just not enough to address a problem and provide a solution. You must find the people who believe in you because that’s where an emotional connection develops. 

Once you find the right people, you have to figure out  what makes them feel connected and what they need (or what pain they are looking to solve). You can cultivate a real connection if you discover the emotional motivations behind buyer behavior. Ask yourself what your people want and how you can help them achieve it. 

For instance, Harvard Business Review says these 10 wants drive customer behavior the most:

  • To stand out from the crowd
  • To have confidence in the future
  • To enjoy a sense of well-being
  • To feel a sense of freedom
  • To feel a sense of thrill
  • To feel a sense of belonging
  • To protect the environment
  • To be the person I want to be
  • To feel secure
  • To succeed in life 

 

If these are basically universal motivators that make people want to take action, you can use that knowledge to your benefit. Next, you have to figure out how you can fulfill those basic wants. 

Do you want to help people protect the environment? You can implement sustainability-friendly policies throughout all your business ops. 

For example, maybe you want to help people achieve their best self, so you create a product that helps people find their worth and feel like they’re leading a life that really means something. 

The makers of BestSelf are a good example of this. They’re a team made up of people who are “obsessed with their own best self journey” (in their words). They want to help people make that same journey, so they created a line of planners that asks you poignant questions about your life and actions along the way. 

Show that you know who they want to be. That’s how you get all-star customers who truly assimilate your brand into their identity and worldview. 
 

Payoff comes from connections

 
There’s a tangible benefit that comes when you connect with your customers on a human level. 

Of course, you build a fan base of promoters who want to shout your praises from the rooftops. But you also get customers who stick with you for longer and spend more. 

It may be hard to quantify emotional connections, but there’s a ton of research already out there that reflects the importance of the customer experience, which is critically linked with connection. 

For instance:

  • Buyer-focused companies generate 60% more profits (Forbes) 
  • Customers spend up to 14% more with companies that deliver a great experience (Pricewaterhouse Cooper)
  • Brands that put the customer experience first grow their revenue 1.7 times faster (Adobe)
  • Businesses leading the world in customer experiences have stocks that perform at a 307% return (Watermark)

There’s near-infinite value in a customer who sticks around, especially in today’s world, where people expect an authentic experience from every brand they connect with. It’s worth it to take the time and connect with people who fit your brand like a glove. 
 

What emotionally motivates people

 
To create emotional connections, you need to know what motivates people on that level. 

Here’s a hint (and a refresher): You must begin with the 3 Keys of purpose, values, and story. 

Purpose is the whole reason your brand does what it does. It’s your vision and mission and how they relate to your customer’s human experience. 

Values are the ideals that help you attract customers who align with your brand. They’re the foundation behind your culture, which is a big part of how customers relate to you and connect. 

Story is how you communicate what sets you apart as a brand. It’s the narrative that draws customers into how your brand came to be and what makes it tick. Most importantly, it’s where customers see themselves in your brand. 

Ultimately, people want to see you live their purpose and do something they believe in (not just shout about it). They want to see in your values that you care about the same things they do. And they want to hear your stories that prove you’ve been where they are.

People want to know that you genuinely hear what they want and need. They want to feel trust toward your brand, so you must align yourself with their compass. You must validate (and solve) their problems and remove their pain. That’s what builds real, lasting intimacy that translates to an enduring customer relationship. 

That said, people want to know it’s all genuine –that they haven’t tried to forge a rickety relationship on a false foundation that could fall apart at any minute. They’ll see right through a facade that’s not authentic. It’s essential to find ways to connect emotionally that don’t compromise what’s important to you (nor should you expect the customer to compromise). 
 

You must connect with the right people

 
Here’s another hint: You can connect with someone who doesn’t totally align with your 3 Keys, but when there is that chemistry and connection, you will find and click with them more easily.  A potential customer needs a reason to choose you. They won’t find that reason easily if you don’t share common values and purpose or if they can’t relate to your story. 

Remember, if they aren’t on board with your 3 Keys, they may not be a total fit with your tribe, and you may not be a proper fit for theirs. A real intimate connection is based on mutual effort, not effort on your part alone. It truly matters that a customer is right for you and that you’re right for them. 

You can’t convince anyone to have an emotional connection with your brand. Instead, you want to reach the people who already believe in your purpose and align with your ideals. 
 

The catalyst conversation

 
Here’s where the catalyst conversation comes into play. 

The catalyst conversation is a tool that helps you explore and define your biggest challenges to drive growth, and it all starts when you uncover insights about your audience: who they are, what they want, and what you can do to gain their emotional connection and trust. 

Connect profit with purpose with a catalyst conversation before you engage with people. We’ll help you understand your purpose so you can connect with people who share it. 

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