Today’s consumers demand unique and memorable experiences as part of their everyday lives, therefore brands are now changing the intent and purpose of their physical spaces.
Brands are rethinking the customer journey and creating distinctive experiences with a combination of in-store design, people, technology and product. The assumption is that people expect brands to deliver amazing brand experiences that are compelling across all stages of the customer journey.
With more and more demand for compelling customer experiences and fulfilling emotional connections the future of brands is heading towards creating deeper emotional relationships. This trend is clearly evident in the latest report by Gartner that predicts “50% of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations by 2017”
People buy experiences, not just products
By moving beyond the product, brands are revisiting the customer journey with immersive experiences that are designed to bring the brand and consumer closer together. The brand experience is and will continue to be the critically important driver of emotional connection.
Recent studies show that people live happier when they spend their money on intangible experience, rather than material things. Even when they buy something tangible, they judge the value of a brand based on the quality of the customer experience. Brands will need to be present in the micro moments that matter.
How can brands build emotional connections?
The human senses play a crucial role in attracting customers on a deeper level and thus impact their thoughts and behaviors. The concept behind developing emotional connections involves stimulating as many of the customer’s five senses and must go beyond simple visuals and engage other senses as well.
Emotional connections engenders loyalty and influences purchasing decisions with research showing that engaged consumers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and deliver 3 times the value to the brand over the course of a year (Rosetta).
Research by Nobel Peace Prize winners Richard Axel and Linda Buck reveal that our sense of smell is widely considered by scholars to be our “most emotional” sense. The reason being that rather than analyze the information we receive from a particular scent, we immediately get a feeling when we smell something.
Using scents not only enhances customer experiences but also inspires certain behaviors towards brands and products. Scent enables customers to recall a brand and better communicate the brand’s attributes and creates positive associations with the experience. To maximize brand recall, it is important to be consistent with the scents across the entire customer journey.
Successful brands will be those that can can create an experience, forge a memory, and build an emotional bond with their customers. We help our clients rethink the customer journey and create distinctive experiences with the introduction of an Olfactory Identity via brand scenting.