This TV interview with Heston Blumenthal brought out the critics. Yet his message “food is about emotion” provided great insight into why he’s a world-renowned brand. He doesn’t focus on the customer experience. It’s deeper than that. His focus is on customer emotion.
For us, this small piece of insight completely changed the way we approach our customer experience. Branding has always been about perception, creating an emotional connection with the customer, and winning their hearts and minds. But what was remarkable for us is that our approach to customer experience has always fallen one step too short. We’ve always referred to the customer’s experience as well.. just that… the customer experience. It’s been referred to and measured as a series of transactions. But what if we take Blumenthal’s approach and treat it as the customer’s emotion? It takes the principles of branding to a whole new level. The customer journey becomes a journey of emotions. Each brand touchpoint is an opportunity to identify what we want that customer to feel rather than what we want them to think.
We feel faster than we think
The latest research outcomes that show “we feel faster than we think” again backs up Blumenthal’s approach that we are driven by our emotions first and foremost, before our brain kicks in.
Emotion is the differentiator
When we apply this notion of “we feel faster than we think” to our customer experience, our approach changes significantly. No longer are we standing for a word in the minds of the consumer. We’re standing for an emotion. This is the differentiator between brands. It’s only when brands aren’t competing on an emotional level does the consumer then need to tap into their logic and try to differentiate between brands based on other factors such as price.
how premium brands integrate emotion
Let’s now integrate that thinking of building ‘customer emotion’ into the principles of what makes a premium brand. The principles of a premium brand are authenticity, scarcity, exceptional service, quality and heritage. Again we’ve stopped one step short.
What if we were to re-categorise these principles into emotions? Authenticity is really the emotion of trust. Heritage again relates back to trust. Exceptional service relates to that customer emotion of feeling special and valued. Quality relates to trust and peace of mind. Scarcity is also an emotion – fear. In this case, it is the fear of missing out. The greatest premium brands have identified these emotions and successfully integrated it into their customer experience, when and where it matters most.
rethink your customer experience
Have you mapped out your customer experience in terms of desired emotion, rather than transactions? It’s worth thinking about…