In an increasingly crowded and competitive retail and hospitality industry, quality and practical benefit of a product or service alone is no longer enough. Operators able to sell emotional value to customers and entice them to share personal experiences are those that are emerging with a competitive edge.
The trend of consumers shifting to experiences over goods is indicative of greater weight now being placed on emotional and experiential value.
Firstly, operators need to carefully consider what their brand stands for, and how it is differentiated from its competitors. This extends beyond the product offering and goes to the emotions intended to be stimulated in customers, and the brand value and narrative.
Secondly, in order to derive value from that emotion, it is imperative that the physical and digital strategy is built around and consistent with that brand value and narrative. Doing that necessarily involves blending product with lifestyle to impart an emotional connection with a brand and its offering.
As content from social media saturates our lives, operators have an additional tool with which they are able to increase patronage, however, it is not enough to merely have a social media account; a carefully crafted social media presence is required in order to encourage customers to not only visit, but to involve them in a brand ‘conversation’.
This extends to how ‘Instagrammable’ an experience or product is. Key to capitalising upon this is creating an environment with a thoughtful aesthetic and cohesive brand narrative that resonates with target customers so that they post comments and photos as a means of social proof.
Emotionally stimulating purchases are the ones customers want to make – but don’t forget, you’ll still need to get the product pricing and ranging right.