Smart brands work to maximize joy post-purchase.
Your consumer has finally decided that it’s time to update the kitchen, redecorate the living room, or replace the floors downstairs. As many marketers of high-end home brands know, the purchase cycle for an expensive home-related product could be six months to a year before she finally buys.
Good brands take into account this extended buying process and ensure that messaging is consistently “on-brand” through each phase. But there is an opportunity to go from good to great by understanding how the consumer’s emotions evolve during this process.
The Advertising Research Foundation studied how emotions evolve during the purchase process for many different categories, ranging from consumer electronics to automotive to packaged goods. Using the widely accepted group of emotions found on Plutchik’s Wheel, researchers graphed how these emotions increased and decreased at each stage of the purchase process.
As you might expect, there may be some sadness or annoyance during the problem recognition phase – when something breaks – but as a consumer begins searching for information and evaluating brands, anticipation and interest increase dramatically. What every marketer should aim for, of course, is maximum joy during the post-purchase phase.
The Advertising Research Foundation identified some of the trends driving this evolution of emotions:
- Today’s consumer lives life online and offline; the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
- Digital and social have raised the bar for today’s shoppers.
- Shoppers often feel imprisoned – not liberated – by all of the information brands give them online.
- Brand perceptions and offline advertising continue to drive consideration.
While the emotional intensity by phase can vary dramatically for individual product categories, the chart above shows how emotions evolve for a wide variety of categories. It’s interesting to note how the three major emotions – interest, anticipation and joy – vary by purchase phase.
Understanding how these subtle, but significant, changes impact your brand can help improve your marketing communications and forge an even tighter bond with your customer or prospect.