12 September 2016
We are humans. Because we are humans, we have feelings. In the argument nature vs. nurture, I would have to go with nature, saying that people care about themselves only and are driven by self-interest. The one thing that we are always looking for is a pleasure. Therefore, when we go online, when we surf the web and when we talk to people we seek for positive emotions, pleasurable experiences and blissful feelings.
Associations play a critical role here as well. According to Skinner theory, if something gives us positive, rewarding experience, we are more likely to get back to it. Therefore, if a brand provides a positive experience for its customers, they will associate their feelings with that brand and are more likely to stay loyal and even advocate.
There are three consumer experiential factors that would help the brand to keep its customer’s associations about the brand image positive and advantageous
Having fantasies is a unique to humans ability. Fantasies help us create a psychological barrier to stress, negative feelings, help us plan the future and see the world through ‘pink glasses’ to maintain our psychological balance.
Feelings affect our behaviour, actions, and thoughts significantly. Theory of marketing vs. economic man says that people’s decisions are irrational, because they are based on feelings (i.e. marketing man), rather than based on rational and algorithmic thinking (i.e. economic man). That is why we buy things that we don’t need and do things that do not have a reasonable explanation.
Fun has a particular effect on our psychological well-being. Fun is a very subjective term and has many definitions. However, most of them also refer to the positive, rewarding experience that provides us with an increase in dopamine, and obviously makes us feel good.
Therefore, considering those three factors mentioned above brand is capable of creating a blissful user experience and make the brand image close to perfect in the consumers’ minds.
References: Holbrook, M. and E. C. Hirschman (1982): The Experiential Aspects of Consumption: Consumer Fantasies, Feelings and Fun. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 9.