Emotional Engagement and Brand Loyalty: Procter and Gamble Gets it…do you?

CS_Emotional Engagement and brand loyalty_Proctor and gamble-300Brands that build an emotional connection with their customers are the ones that will continue to thrive in our global and commoditized economy. Where better to do this than on the recent Winter Olympics? One organization that understands this better than any other is Procter and Gamble (P&G).

Procter and Gamble (P&G) understands the importance of building an emotional brand connection with their customers. The also know their target audience well and what makes them feel. In 2012, they had an ad called “Best Job” that depicted the role a mom plays in the forging of a future champion. The tearjerker ad won the Emmy for Best Primetime Commercial as well as two Gold Lions and three Silver Lions at Cannes.

Not be outdone, they have produced a sequel for the recent Sochi Olympics, this one called, “Pick Them Back Up.” In case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

My wife likes to watch things that make her cry. I think she is absolutely mad. Who wants to watch something that makes you sad? Apparently, my wife and most of the other women I know.

“But I’m not sad she says. I am happy.” She tells me by way of explanation.

Now of course I know she’s mad because who cries when they are happy? Again…my wife, and apparently most of the other women I know.

So it came as no surprise to me when she cried while watching the new follow up ad that thanks moms for “teaching us that falling down only makes us stronger.”

Emotional engagement is a critical part of branding successfully to build customer loyalty. Forbes magazine wrote in 2013 “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll never be able to differentiate yourself on an emotional basis.” In the results they announced for their 17th Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, they revealed that most desire for a brand was driven by emotional engagement and if you could locate where that emotional engagement is in your category, you will be able to create it with your customers.

Guinness did this last fall with men. They appealed to our sense of being a hero, or specifically ‘made of more.’ But that was for beer and they were clearly targeting men.

P & G, which is the parent company for Tide, Pampers, Duracell, amongst others is targeting women, even more specifically, Moms. They are tapping into what creates emotional engagement for these women. Specifically it points out how much work it is to be a mom and how long it takes. It thanks moms for always being there with a sympathetic ear and a warm bowl of water and Epsom salts to warm and soothe cold, sore feet.

The reason that my wife and nearly every other woman I know cry when they see this ad is because they all have been there, done that and probably most importantly, felt that. Plus as I mentioned before, my wife loves things that make her cry.

Emotions play a really big role in brand loyalty.  We associate brands with an emotion at a subconscious level.  In my post, “How We Really Make Decisions” I talk about this response and how essential it is to design a customer experience that addresses it. In our white paper, Implicit Association Test: Measuring the effect of the subconscious on a Mobile Phone Brand’s Value’ we talk about the 10 emotions that make up the subconscious experience. We show that there are some emotions that our consumers are aware of (conscious) and some that they aren’t (Subconscious), but that both sets of emotions drive their choices. We believe that by taking this into account when you are branding your organization, you can positively influence the emotions consumers feel about your brand on both levels.

The Winter Olympics have just finished. The ads promoting the event were successful. News stories about Vladimir Putin’s chance to put on good games were airing on the 24-hour news channels. This international audience of an immense scale is an excellent place to build a brand.

P &G is brilliant with these ads. They know whom to target and how to emotionally engage them (read: make them cry while watching the Olympics). As a result of their emotionally engaging strategy, millions of moms will choose their brands on the supermarket shelf, over and over again. They have earned their customers loyalty by bringing them to tears.

Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin has been recognized by LinkedIn as one of the top 150 Business Influencers in the world.  He is an international author of four best-selling books on Customer Experience. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from our Global Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA.

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