The value of selling emotions, not products

By: Penta Editorial Team

Our senses allow us to create feelings and experiences which connect us to the world around us. Big brands and brands in general no longer sell just products, but they sell experiences that the consumer perceives in their mind and keeps in their heart.

The reason for this is that our decisions are unconsciously predetermined long before we are aware that our brain has set them in motion. This was evidenced by a study by neuroscientists at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin, Germany, where the brains of 14 people were scanned while they made a decision when making a simple purchase. During the study, they were able to confirm that there were clear signs of brain activity up to 10 seconds before the participants realized which decision they had taken. 

If our subconscious has such a high influence on decision-making, how can we connect with that aspect of our consumers?

The answer in my concept is INTERACTION, the consumer must feel us as well as seeing us. Many brands concentrate on the sense of sight and leave the other senses aside. A clear example of this is the digital advertising which we are bombarded with every day. 

If you were asked, of all the ads your saw today online, how many would you say you remember clearly? Most likely the answer is: “almost none”. Often when we do remember adverts it’s because of their degree of interactivity. Examples of engaging interactive digital advertisement can be where the element of play is involved, or where the user can test the brands. When the consumer interacts with the brand, even though the interaction may be small, they are having an experience. 

A clear example of direct consumer interaction can be found at Disney, whose main motto is “wearing our guest’s shoes”. Their marketing concept is to think and act as the customer, which means that each of the experiences Disney transmits to us was previously evaluated from the consumer’s point of view.

What does my consumer like? How do I interact more with him? How do we generate recall?

We don’t buy products, we invest in experiences 

Different studies agree that people unconsciously invest in experiences rather than products, so as good as my product maybe, my customer won’t buy it if it doesn’t generate any emotion for them.

How can I interact with my consumer? There are countless ways to do this but a key element is an INNOVATION. I write it in capital letters because creativity here is essential. There are no limits when it comes to letting the imagination fly (without neglecting budget constraints entirely) and simple ideas can generate great results. The important thing is to generate omnichannel experiences (offline/online) for the consumer, to stimulate people’s senses and emotions and create a unique experience for them that only the brand can offer.

Brand activations are a useful tool in getting closer to the consumer. They can take place at different events, concerts, launches, or any normal day in public places. Activations not only allow for direct INTERACTION with our consumers, but they open doors to the media and can become social media trends. I can assure you that the people who interacted with our brand will never forget it, will continue to buy it, and become brand ambassadors.

Experiential marketing aims to stimulate the senses to arouse endless emotions and feelings, and a phrase which defines the essence of this is, “You can forget what they told you, but never how they made you feel”, How do you connect people’s hearts and minds to your brand?