The emotional benefit of a business is an often overlooked aspect of transforming your business from a run-of-the-mill operation into something special. Much focus is paid to rational elements of businesses; these rational elements include cost-savings, product claims, and detailed specifications. However, increasing evidence suggests that what makes a product succeed is more than the sum of its part. The success of product, its transformation into a brand, is based in the emotional attachment it creates with potential users.
This approach of securing business via an emotional attachment pays dividends for the small business owner. Creating a brand people can trust, that they feel they need to support and use, is the key ingredient in long-term viability. This branding does not take the place of creating a product with the necessary features and benefits; instead, this branding allows you to separate your product from a sea of competitors by focusing on the emotional needs of the customer.
A good example here is Olive Garden. If you consider their advertising campaign, you realize that the effort of the campaign is not on the food served at Olive Garden, but on the occasion of sharing a big meal with friends and family. This emphasis on the family meal sets them apart and is their emotional benefit.
Identifying the emotional benefit for your brand is not easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it successfully. Listen to your loyal customers; ask them to tell you a story about why your product, service, or business is good for them. Use their words to uncover the emotional impact. It might be as simple as saving them effort at work so they can spend time with their family. It might be that you held their hand during a difficult technology transition. Identifying why your customers continue to use your services can reveal much about your business’ emotional appeal.
In the end, how you make a customer feel resonates longer than what you sold them.