Moving beyond mere customer satisfaction and connection with customers at an emotional level has been proven  to be one of the most effective ways to maximize brand loyalty. Brand strategists of today are in a pivotal necessity to tap into what aspects of the customer experience resonate the most with their emotional drivers. The Brandberries has exclusively chatted with Lamia Naguib, Media Manager Mashreq and Maghreb at Unilever, for the ins and outs of evoking consumers’ emotions.


BB: Customer Loyalty is any brand’s ultimate goal. Brands are in a race to adopt marketing strategies with innovative techniques to build the emotional connection between the brand and its consumers. From Unilever’s brand book, What’s your take on emotional branding?

LN: Any piece of communication or marketing strategy needs to evoke a certain emotion.  From a simple promotion to a complex brand proposition. Brands are made to connect with consumers on so many levels, and this connection varies from basic needs to aspirations, and the most successful brands are the ones that creates these deep emotional connections with consumers.  As much as it sounds apparent, but the brands we consume represents us and vice versa. In Unilever we invest in building brands, purposeful brands that surpass their initial function, making it matter by enhancing or enriching people’s life.

BB: In the search for growth, the world’s top brands are making huge investments in their customer experience hoping to establish an emotional resonance with their customer base. In your opinion, what are the most impactful emotional motivators that drive consumer behaviour ?

LN: Well it depends on many factors, I cannot name specific emotional motivators, because they are complex as human beings are, but I strongly believe in positive reinforcement and brands that provoke positive emotions usually resonate better with consumers. The most important thing for a marketer is to really understand the consumer, the consumer journey and create a piece of communication that is based on a real insight or human truth. This insight and the communication need to be authentic, relevant and creates talk-ability. If you can fulfil this magic formula you will certainly win the minds and heart of  your consumers. Take Dove as an example, it’s global brand that promotes “Real Beauty”. It wants all women from all around the world to feel beautiful and be happy about themselves. It broke the norms of beauty and made beauty a source of confidence and not anxiety.

BB: It can be said that good brands are well known, but great brands are well loved. How can brands build an ‘enduring’ emotional bond with customers ?

LN: That is a very true statement, People become emotionally connected or love a brand for a lot of reasons. Let us take a local example Like Amr Diab, which is a brand in his own right, for more than 4 decades he is dominating the music scene because he simply stands for something important to Egyptians and shares a lot values with them. Amr Diab, is unique, admirable, constantly interacts with consumers.  Who does not wait for his album every summer? He makes people feel good, and on top of that he remained authentic and relevant inspite of the years. This is how great brands should build themselves. Brand Love is a huge journey that needs to be earned over the years and only when the brand truth, and role mirrors peoples’ needs in a relevant and authentic matter , is when we move from good brands to great brands.

BB: All brands hold associated meanings in the marketplace. Well-considered brands reinforce their meanings and create a consistent association. Please comment

LN: All the world’s iconic brands do that without us even noticing. They continue to reinforce the brand philosophy and continue to offer experiences that is consistently and effectively implemented across all touch points with the consumers.  Also, it is very important for a brand to be distinctive, and this is what Dove did and continue to do. Instead of trying to convince the women to change, they encouraged women to stay the way they are. They encouraged beauty that was already there and not beauty that does not exist. This is very apparent in all Dove ads, the recent Dove hair ad, shows real women from the Arab world, once that is veiled, one that has curly hair, one with Grey hair and one with purple hair. Great brands build a story consumers’ can relate to and thus reinforce their meaning and associations.

BB: The most admired brands in the world have gone beyond their products’ functionality and started to invest in nurturing a human emotional connection with their consumers, aiming for a return on their business growth. In your opinion, can emotional attachment between brands and consumers be measured ? And if yes, what are the metrics involved ?

LN: Emotional connection can off course be measured, but there is no metric that can be unified across all companies and brands. It varies from one company to the other. The most important thing is to have a common understanding of the emotional connection the brand is trying to project and build, and then a metric can easily fall in place. The metric can be anything from standard brand equity measures, to specific associations that brand wants to own.  Also, emotional attachment between consumers and brands can reflect directly on loyalty. The stronger the connection the more loyal the consumer will be to the brand.