Emotional Loyalty means an Emotional Connection.
Motista have published a study on the value of the emotional connections that consumers hold with a brand. We are big believers of emotional loyalty at Vivid Engagement, and while we expected to see positive results, the numbers themselves are quite impressive.
Comparing customers to those who rated themselves as "Satisfied" vs "Emotionally Engaged" Customers, the study shows that the Emotionally Engaged Customers:
Leading the pack of brands where consumers have that emotional connection is, unsurprisingly, leading luxury brands (Gucci and Burberry), followed by a retailer of luxury brands in Neiman Marcus. Making practical sense in an emotional environment at #4 is IKEA.
Having an emotional connection allows a fast decision that requires little to no thought, programmed if you will, and one unlikely to be reconsidered:
"Oh, I need a coffee. Where's the Starbucks around here?"
Compared a Rational Decision-Making Process which is thought out.
Rational decisions are more thoughtful and practical, and not as fast, but also contribute to increased and repeated spend. You have many tools in your arsenal to leverage (bonus points, redemption offers and so on) to encourage customers to make a practical decision to return for that next purchase.
Depending on their perception of the relationship, each customer will use the left or right side of their brain to make that decision.
"What brand of TV should I get? I hear the new curved ones are amazing. I'll go to the store to take a look. Hold on. It probably won't fit in my car - who delivers?"
What's the Best Approach?
Ultimately as a brand, you need to make a rational decision. The goal is to use practical tools, offers and most importantly, leverage your data. So, you should move the needle with the customer and funnel them into the right segment, and treat them how they should be treated - with love, care, and respect.
But, you need to remember that not every customer has an emotional connection with your brand, yet.
Besides, as humans, we are happy when we allow our brains to follow the path of least resistance.
We are simple folk, after all.