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Connecting with Customers' Emotions

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Marketing natural products in an increasingly crowded marketplace can be a daunting task. Understanding how to better connect with customers’ emotions and motives can help boost the bottom line.

The statement, “I think, therefore I am,” emphasizes the belief that humans inherently act logically. Consumers, for example, would buy products based on rational reasoning. However, a large body of neurological research reveals, ultimately, it is the emotions that kick customers into action—not rational thought.

This area of science started 40 years ago with neuroscientist Antonio B. Damasio. At that time, he worked with a patient, Elliott, who had a brain operation that destroyed the area responsible for emotions. As a result, Elliott could no longer feel any emotions. Damasio discovered once Elliott had the operation, he also suddenly stopped being able to make any personal decisions. He couldn’t even decide between two similar appointment times; yet, all tests showed Elliott to be just fine, intellectually and mentally. Since then, Damasio has worked with many such patients who lost their ability to feel, and also their ability to make decisions.

It turns out there is a far more profound connection between emotion and decision-making than originally thought. Simply put: emotions serve as guides, pulling us in one direction or another.

What this means is customers don’t make hypothetical decisions. They make decisions they know, either subconsciously or consciously, will impact their personal lives. They’re feeling—not just thinking—their way through even the tiniest decisions. The first thing they want to know—either consciously or subconsciously—is: How will this product impact my life? Make it easier? Better? What daily pleasures will they have to give up, and will it be worth the sacrifice?

Scientific substantiation is necessary in marketing; but, proof isn’t what tips prospects into final action. So, is your marketing connecting with target customers’ emotions and motives?.

Many natural products companies miss the boat in this respect. Their marketing materials focus heavily on technical information. Instead of emphasizing benefits, they emphasize features and technical information. Benefits are anything and everything customers want, need or desire. They want to hear they’ll feel better, be healthier, live longer, have more energy or have more romantic love. They need vivid descriptions of how their lives would look as a result of buying your products. Features merely describe what the product is. Often, these descriptions feature rather dull technical or scientific descriptions and lists of ingredients.

Natural products companies do have to walk a fine line to conform to federal regulations when making health claims and stay within the constraints imposed by a need for substantiation; however, there is a way to craft emotionally compelling copy within these restrictions.

 

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