Marketing an Experience

01.14.2013 / Posted in Articles, Image Management, Strategy

Ah, the times when you’ve decided to overhaul your wardrobe with a few key items and then felt like you needed every shirt they showed you. We’ve all been so wrapped up in a buying experience that our purchase logic went out the window.

Marketing a product is more than just highlighting its features and benefits. It’s a focus on the overall customer experience. In many ways, a purchase is an emotional, rather than logical, decision.

How can you create that emotional sell?

Evoke a Feeling

What feeling do you hope your product evokes? When thinking of this emotion, make sure that it ties to the overall brand promise and stays true to the brand’s core values and attributes.

For example, Folgers wants people to associate its coffee with heartwarming family moments. The company’s drive to evoke this emotion is exemplified in its series of commercials with family members coming home for the holidays. (Click here for an example.)

Find creative ways to spread an emotion and reach your audience. Sometimes a fresh take has a greater impact than the tried-and-true. For example, Seattle Children’s Hospital created a video in which cancer patients lip sync to Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Stronger.” The popular song is catchy and memorable and the images connect to the hospital’s self-empowered, can-do, positive attitude.

Craft the Customer Experience

You can still hit the mark with messaging and fall flat. Once the customer connects, you need to give him a memorable experience.

Starbucks does this very well. Walk into any location and you’ll smell the same Starbucks coffee aroma. A friendly barista will greet you and strike up a conversation—something the company trains employees to do. Starbucks knows that to increase sales, they need to make the customer feel welcomed, warm, and comfortable. The company aims for a “local coffee shop” experience—and delivers.

Post-purchase Communication

Think if you deliver a solid, emotional message and give them a great experience, you’re all set? Not so fast. You need to keep open the lines of customer communication.

Have you ever made a big purchase, such as a new car, and a month later received a phone call from the salesman who asks how you enjoy your vehicle? Proactive customer service and ongoing post-purchase communication builds a relationship between the consumer and the brand. (Want to learn more about marketing to your current customers? Read our article here.)

At the end of the day, yes, your product or service needs to be good enough to sell itself, but the possibilities of evoking a feeling, creating an overall experience, and further building a relationship with the consumer allows for exponential growth.

Not sure where to start? FrogDog to the rescue!


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