At The Buzzz we have been pushing the message about emotional connections now for almost two years. It is inherent in our thinking and our approach to conducting consumer and customer research – just take a look at our website for more details.
It is perhaps inevitable that brand marketing experts are also starting to realise the importance of the emotional connections between brand and consumer. Here are some of the thoughts of experts profiled in a number of articles we have read around the turn of New Year:
1. In 2014 we saw more brands using immersive experiences to engage customers, tell stories or live up to brand promises. To date, this has involved physical immersion, seen in the proliferation of pop-up stores, retail innovation or strategic sponsorships. In the future, we can expect to see brands pushing the boundaries of immersion further as intelligence about the connection between our senses and brain develops further and becomes more widely adopted as a strategy.
2. In 2015, brands will have to show they have the substance to back up their brand promise. Those that do so will endure. People want to create deeper relationships with brands. To nurture that relationship, brands will have to use data for the benefit of the customer, not the brand. The days of brands competing with other brands within a category is over. Customers will compare the experience they have within automotive to that of supermarkets, hotels and sports brands. Core products are coming together and the space within which they compete is the same. The customer experience that brands deliver will be the way they differentiate one brand from another.
3. In 2015, we also think we’ll see a host of brands return to simple values, messages and traditions – easing up on our obsession with technology to celebrate human interaction and the outside world. Culturally, we’re going to see an increased focus on offline play and real-life experiences. One of the biggest crazes of the year was not a new app or game but a set of elastic multicoloured Loom Bands. In the same way advertising is returning to simple messages; music is now fundamentally about stripped back sounds as exemplified by Ed Sheeran and Sam Smiths success.
4. Video will help brands connect with consumers and breathe life into their brand promise. Producing short and engaging video content that consumers find useful, timely and interesting, rather than merely hoping a TV ad will go viral, will be standard practice in 2015. Emotionally we interact better with simple short stories or humourous incidents and video enables a multi-sensory involvement – this is why people share video clips more and more.
5. In 2010 The Buzzz highlighted how a loss of trust in the basic mechanisms of our society banks; government; journalism and now even retailers like Tesco had shaken consumers confidence in an emotional context. In the UK we look forward (if that is the right word) to another General Election, but at a time when trust in those who manage our economy and way of life are less trusted than ever before. The inevitable focus on the electioneering messages between now and May will dial up even further the importance of brand trust in the hearts and minds of consumers and the electorate.

Do any of these ring true for you? If so – please share our link, if you feel it is useful. The Buzzz will be making these issues our primary focus in planning with new and current clients during 2015 – to anyone reading this, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!