Aviation Marketing: Don’t rule out emotional connections in the purchasing process

Connecting with your customers’ emotions can create a brand preference

In aviation marketing, the purchase decision is often solely based on the performance specifications of a product. Each product on the market, no matter the manufacturer, will fulfill the client’s baseline need. With different products of standard utility competing for business, one way to differentiate is by manipulating the price point. Although not terribly flexible, a price can be offset by manipulating variables within the company such as service, warranty, and delivery policy.

Commanding a premium price point requires brand loyalty. Loyalty stems from the customer’s emotional connection with the brand.

Assuming a product meets the standard performance specifications, as well as the price point, the purchase decision is then left to the customer’s personal preference. People become emotionally connected to a brand for different reasons:

  • Does the brand stand for something important?
  • Can we relate to it?
  • Is the brand intense, vibrant, or innovative?
  • Does the brand benefit society?
  • Is the brand unique?
  • Does brand interaction make us feel good about the purchase?
  • Are the front line people representative of the brand values?
  • Does the brand give us peace-of-mind?

Emotional decision-making is a unique process rooted in individual experiences, beliefs, and temperaments.  Even though emotions are unique to each individual, there are several common dominator emotions:

  1. Joy
  2. Trust
  3. Fear
  4. Surprise
  5. Sorrow
  6. Disgust
  7. Anger
  8. Anticipation

We react to marketing messages and build emotional brand preferences based on how we feel about the brand, and how it fits into our web of emotional decision-making criterion.

If a brand’s marketing portrays unrealistic expectations of how the choice to use their product will improve the customers’ lives, the trust emotion leads us to question the integrity of the brand promise.

On the other hand, successful brand marketing leads one to personally identify with the brand, building trust, and ultimately securing a long-term customer relationship.

As aviation marketers, we are challenged to drive brand marketing and create brand loyalty. One source of rich brand insight comes from social media platforms. The process of writing on these platforms clarifies human emotion, providing aviation marketers with a tapestry of raw customer insights gained from unfiltered blogs, tweets and other posts.

The emotions expressed in these threads expose the customer’s level of emotional attachment to particular brands. This gives us insight into which manufacturers deliver on their brand promise, and which ones come up short.

Learning to utilize data on social media platforms provides companies with a stream of free market research, endowing savvy aviation marketers with valuable insight regarding the brand’s emotional appeal. Manufacturers can then leverage these connections to help increase market share, demand premium prices, and ultimately improve sales.

photo credit: Mother_Flickr via photo pin cc

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