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2020: Building the emotive link between customers and our brands

The ability to build an emotional connection between a brand, an entertainment property, a service, and its consumers, is becoming very much more difficult. Don't believe it when you are told someone has a handle on digital communication to build Brands in the way immersive TV and magazine advertising once did. Buying clicks is not comparable with buying spots in targeted and measured television programming. The emotional interface is far less.
Image source: Gallo/Getty Images.
Image source: Gallo/Getty Images.

Can a pop-up ad on Facebook really compete with the emotion of a TV spot?

Viewers once enjoyed watching TV ads. Those of us that are old enough can still remember Cremora’s “It’s not inside – it's on top”. VW’s original “Memories” ad, one of the best ever South African TV ads ever produced. The fantastic run of Nando’s irrelevant political advertising that got us all laughing and talking about. These Brands and ads remain embedded in our subconscious waiting to be switched on at any time.

Take a look at The VW "Memories" ad. 

Top-quality, emotive storytelling. You can’t help but want a VW after seeing this. And to start making these memories for yourself.

Those days are long gone. They are in our memories. We must accept that the communication channels between media and our customers have changed so fast many of us have been caught working slightly behind the change.

Fragmenting viewership away from traditional advertising

TV ads, flighted on a limited number of stations, uniquely built an emotional relationship with brands, in a way that is no longer available to us now. Consumers hate being interrupted by ads in Facebook videos. Hate having poorly crafted irritating insurance ads on Satellite TV every day. YouTube has the dreaded 5-second ads, but now we can pay not to have them.

Consumers hate invasive channel self-promotion spots. So, let’s not try to hang on to the past. Let’s not invest our valuable marketing budget in advertising that irritates our customers and helps them resent our brands rather than love our brands.

Major international entertainment studios and content suppliers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, Apple TV, Warner Media, and HBO, have become readily available in South Africa and are massively fragmenting viewership away from traditional advertising based local media. And most do not flight ads, and if they did, only international company ads.

At $7 - $15 a month, they each offer great value for the sheer volume of entertainment content offered. Streamed Entertainment that consumers are willing to pay to see when they choose.

Adding entertainment to online shopping

“Online” stores, and the new challenges they present to bricks and mortar retailers, also has a negative effect on brand building. Online we generally buy products based on product pictures and pricing. There is nothing entertaining in buying a product from Takealot, other than instant retail gratification. Adding “entertainment” to online shopping will soon become a priority as competition increases and online stores look for a competitive edge.

We all know the importance of building a brand with defined brand values, to secure a marketing and sales advantage. But where and how do we interface with our customers to deliver and build brand values?

How do entertainment studios now build a brand like Batman that has survived 80 years and continues to generate a significant contract and licensing revenues in an increasingly segmented media marketplace? On their own segmented pay channels.

We must exploit the best available opportunity to stay ahead of our competitors. To compete with online shopping and to get customers through the door, retailers must offer a great in-store experience. Customers will go and buy where they are entertained. The quality of entertainment they offer will compete with the lower prices offered by online stores.

The emotional interface between a product or store brand, and customers, will develop through an emotional exchange within a store, rather than via traditional media.

Online sales are driven by price, and product pics, with no emotional interaction. The loyalty is to the “online business” brand and their visual presentation of the product.

Mall shopping is now an entertainment. If it’s not, customers will buy online.

The answer to the future success of bricks and mortar retailing is to significantly increase the customer experience by adding and increasing an entertainment element to create an emotive link between customer and store. And to increase average basket size using impulse purchasing.

88.6% of Americans succumb to the temptations of impulse shopping, with an average spend of $81.75 per session or $17.78 billion per year.

A study by MYJAR for the independent newspaper estimates that impulse buys account for about 108 individual impulse purchases a month.

Partnering with existing entertainment properties is an obvious way to start offering your entertainment experience. Take a look at how Primark used Harry Potter to develop a great in-store experience.

You can read the whole Primark Harry Potter story here

Primark’s original investment into store decoration and merchandising has been paid for time and time again over the last 2 years – impulse purchase is up – and Primark has become a destination store that no online store can compete with. How could customer not buy something in this magical area?

And customers then visit the online store when they return home for additional purchases – driven by the emotional experience they had in-store. This is a good example of how to bring online stores and retail stores together for the benefit of both. 1+1+3 so the question of how online stores can be integrated with mall stores is a priority.

The next time you are in a retail mall, give a mental score out of 10, based on the entertainment experience you feel retailers offer you. I think you will be surprised. There is lots of work for us to do. Build your brands, entertain your clients, produce an emotive link better than your competition or you will get left behind.

About Alan Radmall

Generating revenue from Entertainment Brands. Representing Global Entertainment companies/studios like Warner Bros and Turner Cartoon Network. Batman, Transformers, Superman, Ben 10 and many many more.

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