People Are Not Just Customers, They're Human Beings!
Written by Matteo Rinaldi and Alvaro Arrospide
STOP LOOKING AT PEOPLE AS CUSTOMERS
Targeting your customers based primarily on category consumption is limiting, for two reasons:
1. Lacking knowledge of the breadth and scope of how they live their lives, you lose insights into the larger role of your brand’s emotional benefits and focus too much on its functional benefits.
2. Category definitions are in themselves limiting. Many major product breakthroughs occur because the company thought outside the self-limiting box of typical users and usage occasions.
Unless you start with a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are and how they live their lives, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to meaningfully connect with them using your brand on both a functional and an emotional level.
3 REASONS TO LOOK AT PEOPLE AS HUMANS
1. Brands are a source of emotions.
As marketers, we tend to think that customers over analyze their choices, but the reality is that, we, as human beings, always act based on our emotions and then we create a rational explanation of why we acted as we did. Our purchasing decisions are no exception. Abraham Lincoln once said: “To win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great high road to his reason.” Indeed, to be successful, every brand should balance communication between functional and emotional benefits.
2. Humans influence other humans
As humans, we have aspirations. Whether consciously or not, we are constantly influencing others and being influenced by others at the same time. Consequently, to make the best choice when making purchasing decisions, we often seek advice from those who we think of as experts, those who are passionate about the specific category we are interested in, just as others look to us in areas where we have an expertise or strong experience.
3. Lifestyle matters
Understanding people’s lifestyles allows companies to determine when and where a specific message will be captured and assimilated by the receiver in the most impactful way. This is done by understanding the varying mindsets through day parts and activities related to the levels of receptivity people experience during their day.