Falling in love follows the same chemical process whether that’s with people or brands.
Through research we now understand the process by which we fall in love. What chemicals are created in our brain and the process that we go through – a process that brands try to replicate when it comes to their customers and employees.
Dr Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist identified three stages that create the specific chemical reactions which mean we will naturally fall in love. Brands use the same process to develop a deep emotional connection with their customers and employees which means they sense the same feelings of bonding as we do when falling in love with a person.
Stage 1: Surprise and Delight – increased levels of excitement and fun.
Example: MasterCard’s “Priceless Surprises”
For years, MasterCard has been running its successful, and seemingly ubiquitous “Priceless” advertising campaign. But more recently, it launched a corresponding surprise-and-delight focused program called “Priceless Surprises.” This effort began with MasterCard connecting with members on social media to give them spontaneous gifts and prizes, like a meeting with Justin Timberlake, an exclusive Gwen Stefani concert, or even VIP tickets to the Grammy Awards.
Stage 2: Authenticity – increased levels of intimacy and transparency
Consumers are becoming more aware when there is an authenticity gap – when brands are not Reliable, Respectful and Real: the three R’s of authenticity. Brands that bridge this gap .
- Reliable, “Delivers on Promises” and is “High Quality.”
- Respectful, “Treats Customers Well,” and “Protects Customer Privacy and Data.”
- Real, “Communicates Honestly,” “Genuine and Real, not Artificial” and “Acts with Integrity.”
Stage 3: Act heroically – go out of your way
In Joseph’s book, DRIVEN TO DELIGHT he reveals why customers think Mercedes-Benz goes above and beyond:
- How Mercedes-Benz USA launched a multi-year program to elevate their customer experience ― even though their product was already “best in class.”
- How they activated people, improved processes, and deployed technology to emotionally engage customers.
- How the Mercedes-Benz approach can jump-start any customer-driven business ― by accelerating your commitment to the customer experience.
When people fall in love with your brand they are more willing to forgive and promote.