The other day I took some time out and spent it with my wife at a Spa. By the end of the day I felt relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to re-enter the world with a renewed enthusiasm.
But what was it about the day that worked so well for me? Was it the relaxed, quiet, unhurried environment, was it the hot saunas and cold showers, the swimming, the hamams, the massages and treatments? Or was it just spending some quiet time with my wife? Undoubtedly each element of the day contributed to my enhanced disposition, but for the company putting together this experience it is vitally important to understand not only how each element works in relaxing and rejuvenating me but also the best way to piece them together, moving from passive relaxation to active massages, light exercise to total inactivity. Even the elements that they cannot control such as my relationship with my wife are allowed for, facilitated and incorporated into the experience that they offer.
So as brand owners offering our consumers a physical – sensorial – and emotional journey do we really understand how all the elements of that journey come together for our consumers? First our communication, packaging and appearance set up consumer expectations. Then these expectations have to be met during consumption. Whether we are delivering a food, a drink or a customer service the consumer experience is a series of mini elements from the beginning through a number of separate but connected events to the end and then the finish and the aftertaste.
It is great when the consumer says at the end that they enjoyed the experience, but we only really understand our brand when we understand all the parts of their journey, which are the crucial elements, the order that they should be delivered in and how we can change them or the order of their delivery to vary the experience but still deliver the desired result.
It is only when we truly understand the journey on which we take our consumers that we can adjust our brands to keep up with their evolving tastes and demands, that we can extend our brand to deliver in different need states, different formats or even in different categories altogether.
Emotional profiling of brands helps us to really understand our brand. It tracks the emotional journey that we take our consumers on and explains how and why this is delivered by the individual elements of the sensorial journey. It gives us a true understanding of how our brands, our products, our services work and helps us see how we can adapt, improve and thrive.