March 20th, 2016

Penned by Chief Strategy Officer Dave Corelli.
Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.

This is the most critical question that defines our brand and business.

The Harvard Business Review published the following piece on the power of emotional connection in December 2015.

The research shows that customers who are emotionally connected to a brand, vs being merely satisfied, are 25% to 100% more valuable in terms of revenue and profitability.

Product meets expectations. Good customer service. The brand has a great reputation. This is what creates satisfied customers. This is where, as marketers, the lion-share of our efforts reside.

A desire to feel secure. To stand out from the crowd. To be the person they want to be. This is what defines being emotional connected - resonating with people’s deepest emotional drivers.

What’s our level of brand awareness? How many people believe we are a good company that gives back? What is the likelihood they will purchase? These are all the wrong places to focus when building our product, brand, campaign and business. They are important, but are not the most important.

How do we help people be the person they want to be?

This is the #1 question to ask ourselves in branding and business.

This is also where the lines between product and marketing blur. The best businesses and brands do not treat these as separated. There is no line between where the product ends and the marketing begins.

I’ve admired for a long time the enduring model that American Express has built. A long time ago, someone in that organization asked themselves this question and the company has since built a business model that defines them as more than just a credit card company.

When I sign up for Amex, I’m not getting a credit card, I’m joining a club. A club that allows me to experience more of the things I want to experience in life - travel rewards, front of the line access to the best performances. Gives me added assurance that I'm secure, with rental car insurance, fraud protection. Provides ease of mind, knowing they have customer service that is seamless should anything go wrong. And defines me as a certain type of person - the type of person who carries an Amex. Do you take Amex? No? That's ok, half of the fun is just asking that question.

In The New Brand Promise, I spoke about Seth Godin’s philosophy of how people are ‘hiring’ our product or service to solve a problem, and how that problem is rarely because we have 6 things and want 7. Rather, it’s because we want to impress someone, connect with people, feel less alone.

When you strip it down to the bare bones in life, everything we do beyond the basic necessities is to solve one of these problems. We live in the city because we feel that the excitement makes us more exciting. We choose a certain job because we like how it defines us to others and how it makes us feel about ourselves. We work tirelessly so that others will notice us. And we buy things to fill the holes in our lives, both negative and positive.

The hard work starts here, figuring out how we put the pieces together to create something that resonates emotionally with people. But at least we're starting in the right place.


/ Corelli

Dave Corelli is Chief Strategy Officer of SportBox Group, a global entertainment agency with verticals in strategic consulting, personality representation, and event creation and ownership. Corelli oversees business and creative strategy globally for the agency, its consulting clients, athletes and events. Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.