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Unleashing the Power of Emotions, Empathy, and Purpose

Connecting with customers has never been more important than it is now. With businesses vying for customers’ attention, the key to success lies in building brands that resonate on an emotional level. As someone who has worked on brands from scratch, I know what it takes to create the kind of wonderful experiences that people remember for a lifetime.

Unleashing the Power of Emotions, Empathy, and Purpose
Unleashing the Power of Emotions, Empathy, and Purpose

When I wrote my book ‘Marketing & Comms on the Job,’ I delved deep into the realm of ‘From Scratch’ possibilities. It’s those incredible, mind-blowing experiences that truly capture the essence of building something from the ground up. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on brands from scratch, and while there are countless formulas to follow, I’ve come to realize that turning a business into a brand requires a unique set of considerations.

Creating Lasting Memories: The Link Between Emotions and Branding

At its core, a brand is about emotional connections. It’s how someone feels about you, your product, and the experience you provide. In building brands, empathy reigns supreme. Brands today can only connect with customers if they are empathetic and truly understand their needs and wants.

In days gone by, brands primarily focused on highlighting the unique features of their products. Before the pandemic, the superiority of a product played a pivotal role in shaping a brand’s power. Although product quality remains influential, the key drivers of brand success today are the experiences they create.

Establishing a genuine connection with customers requires understanding their emotions. In the modern business landscape, it is crucial to prioritize customer happiness. This begins with empathizing with their feelings and being there for them when they need support. A successful customer experience yields a seamless customer journey.

It’s fascinating to see how the link between emotions and memory has become a prized territory for brands to conquer. Emotions have the power to create lasting memories, and brands strive to make an indelible mark on people’s minds.

According to a Forrester report, a staggering 65% of B2B customers complain about receiving excessive messaging from businesses—most of which they deem useless. Moreover, a thought-provoking article by MarketingWeek reveals that only 30% of marketers and advertisers demonstrate a high level of empathy in their communication efforts.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the concept of empathy. What does it truly mean? To me, empathy is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s about gaining a profound understanding of their needs and desires. In the realm of brand building, marketers strive to comprehend their customers’ requirements. This has given rise to personalization, customer personas, and segmentation.

From Product-Centric to Experience-Centric

Personalization, segmentation, and customer personas are all born from an in-depth understanding of customers’ needs. Segmentation is particularly important in the automotive industry, with active, inactive, and lost customer groups used to inform dealerships’ marketing strategies. Active customers are those who regularly engage with a dealership, but every manufacturer and dealership may have their own definition. Inactive customers, on the other hand, have extended their lifecycle with the dealership and no longer visit as frequently. “Lost” customers are a segment that some manufacturers term as endangered or defectors—those who have abstained from visiting the store for a certain period.

But in brand building, it’s not just about understanding customers. It’s also about authenticity. Brands need to have a clear, authentic purpose that speaks to their customers. An inspiring example of authenticity in brand building is none other than Renault. Their strategic plan, aptly named "Renaulution", unveiled in January 2021, paves the way for an ambitious transformation focused on shifting from volume to value. With their recent launch of the third chapter called Revolution, Renault is well on its way to exceeding its initial objectives.

The Lush brand is also great example of a business that has successfully embraced its ethos of environmentally friendly, vegan, and natural products. Similarly, Renault’s "Renaulution" strategic plan has transformed the company from a business focused on volume to one focused on value.



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