I’ve been in the marketing industry for over 20 years. I’ve learned about every type of marketing strategy — and tried most of them. And yet I still fall for (I mean, am impressed by) great, gut level marketing. I was reminded of this recently when I walked into the grocery store and saw a Coca-Cola display with ‘personalized name’ bottles.
Out of natural curiosity, I looked at the names on the bottles facing outward. There were many diverse names and I was impressed by their inclusion of more than the typical most popular names. Soon I found myself standing there, turning bottles around to find my name, just like when I was a kid looking for my name on the souvenir license plate or key chain. Then I saw it: the name of my mom, who passed away several years ago. She loved Coke. I didn’t even pause, I just grabbed the bottle and put in in my cart. I looked for a few more seconds and eventually found my name on a bottle, too. And yes, I also put it in my cart, even though I don’t even drink soda (and haven’t for over 4 years).
I laughed at myself for ‘falling for’ the oldest marketing tactic in the book: an emotional purchase. But it reminded me of the deep influential purchasing power of emotion. I went onto Twitter and Instagram later and found millions of people posting photos of themselves smiling with their personalized coke bottles. Others bemoaned that their unique name would never make it to a Coke bottle. But there were lots and lots of organic conversations about the product, aka ‘free advertising’. BRILLIANT!
While Coke may not seem a comparable example for most businesses; it’s iconic and has the financial means to try large scale marketing concepts (though they have had their share of marketing failures, too). But those personalized bottles of Coke are a reminder of the immense power of sentiment, brand loyalty, and emotion that goes into purchasing a product.
Think like a customer and consider how your customer feels about your product or service. What do they feel: relief? Safety? Relaxation? Hope? Joy? When you answer these questions you can pinpoint your customer’s needs and speak to them in a way that drives purchases and brand loyalty!