Emotions play a big role in our buying decisions. Especially at the end of the process when it’s time to put the money on the table. We begin with a need (or more likely a want), we sprinkle in a bit of logic to narrow down our choices, and then our feelings take over and close the deal.
Retailers tap into our emotions in many ways. Some make us feel good about saving money, others calm our insecurities and make us feel better about ourselves, and others make us feel like our purchases contribute to making the world a better place. These are all sound strategies to win our dollars because people run on emotions, and what we buy says a lot about who we are.
Understanding our Values
At Retail’s Big Show 2014, hosted by the NRF, Bert Jacobs, co-founder and CEO of The Life is good Company said, “Retailers can no longer just buy stuff and put it in the window – those days are over.”
Retailers need to connect with consumers in ways that transcend product. BJ Bueno, founder of The Cult Branding Company, said, “It’s important for retailers to understand what values consumers are rallying around. They need to dig into the unconscious of customers and find the emotional triggers.”
Life is good has achieved incredible success with that approach. The company’s mission is to spread the power of optimism. It operates around values such as joy, compassion, generosity, and love. Part of that means donating 10% of all proceeds to The Life is good Playmakers Foundation.
For David Oksman, Chief Marketing Officer at Life is good, it’s all about listening to customers. “Everything about our brand is about connection,” said Oksman.
Technology and Simplicity
Today there are many ways for retailers to connect with customers. There are also many sources to find out what’s important to them and discover their emotional triggers. But that is also the problem. “The digital age has really made things incredibly complex day-to-day,” said Jacobs.
Retailers need to tackle the tough job of finding, collecting, and analyzing the vast amount of consumer behavioral data floating around on the internet. “It starts with data,” said Oksman. Bueno suggests retailers layer consumer Big Data with human psychology to expose the storyline of why people buy one product instead of another.
Life is good is leveraging technology to better engage with consumers. “Technology, more than anything, is helping us,” said Oksman. And while technology is the key to understanding consumer Big Data, Jacobs drives home the importance of keeping things simple. “I think what people crave more than anything is simplicity,” said Jacobs. I tend to agree, we are humans after all, not robots.
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