In “This Is Spinal Tap,” Nigel Tufnel tells the movie’s director Marty DiBergi that the settings on the band’s amplifiers could extend beyond the standard 10 mark.

Nigel: “You see, most blokes will be playing at 10. You’re on 10, all the way up, all the way up…Where can you go from there? Nowhere. What we do, is if we need that extra push over the cliff…Eleven. One louder.”

DiBergi: “Why don’t you just make 10 louder and make 10 be the top number, and make that a little louder?”

Nigel (after taking a moment to let this sink in): “These go to 11.”

The same is now true for turning up your brand. By amplifying your market research to include emotional investigation, you can…

  • Find and clone your best customers
  • Create long-term differentiation between you and the competition
  • Strengthen the bond between customers and your brand

Let’s start with customer loyalty and the bond between customers and your brand. There are several methods for measuring customer loyalty – all of which are in use due to the belief that the higher you go on the 1 to 10 scale, the more customer loyalty you generate; and, therefore, the better your top and bottom-line returns. Time and again, the results of our work point to two primary benefits to suppliers/brands that can achieve a 10 out of 10 rating:

  1. “Loyal” customers are proven to spend more with their preferred brands
  2. Compounding this higher wallet share, loyal customers tend to spend more in general

Let’s take two of the methods preferred by clients over the years: the Net Promotor Score and The Apostle Model, both of which rely on 1 to 10 scales. But let’s turn our dials up to 11.

The King Is Dead, Long Live the King (Net Promoter Score and Net Emotion Score)

Back in 2003, Frederick Reichheld wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review entitled, “The One Number You Need to Grow.” Perhaps there are two numbers you should know…

First, a little history. Prior to the introduction of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) in 2003, business leaders had moved from measuring customer satisfaction to measuring customer loyalty. Since the Reichheld article, NPS has become arguably the most prevalent loyalty metric in use, preferred by a wide swath of Fortune 1000 companies for its simplicity. However, in the past several years a growing chorus of criticism, and perhaps metric fatigue, has set in and the business world has been increasingly looking elsewhere for the next evolution in loyalty metrics.

As we have pointed out in earlier articles, true loyalty isn’t achieved until a brand forms emotional connections with its customers, as these are the strongest bonds and lead to top- and bottom-line ROI.

Over the past year, The Martec Group has been working with a new tool, Emotion Mining™, that uncovers the emotional connections between leading brands and their customers. This technique “turns up the volume” on what customers are saying regarding brand loyalty drivers, and generates the next-generation loyalty metric, the Net Emotion Score (NES).

In short, NES is a calculation using emotional metrics from the Emotion Mining methodology, which like the NPS calculation, subtracts the negative (unpleasant) emotions associated with a brand from the positive (pleasant) emotions associated. For example, in a recent study within a professional services market, our client garnered the highest NPS of all brands measured; however, its NES indicated that there may be opportunities for improvement and

Specifically, the gap between a brand’s NPS and NES signals an opportunity to transform satisfied customers into fully connected ones, and capture the resulting additional value. Furthermore, gaps between competitive NES scores indicate opportunities to seize or maintain advantage – so in this example, if our client relied solely on its leading NPS, it would be blind to the potential threat of several key competitors whose customers are more connected emotionally and therefore better positioned for achieving long-term growth.

Apostles Spend More

Like the NPS, the Apostle Model traces its roots back to the Harvard Business School. It measures two dimensions to determine loyalty: overall satisfaction and likelihood to repurchase. The resulting analysis enables companies to segment customers into six groups:emotional-segmentation

The real value of this model is the ability to use it as a basis for conducting Emotional Value Segmentation. By marrying traditional needs-based and behavioral segmentation data with emotional data, companies can not only identify their most valuable customers/segments, but now they can understand the emotional connections that motivate customer loyalty. With this knowledge in hand, marketers can tailor their solutions and communications toward near-neighbor customer segments and begin to move more and more customers into this highest value group.

Emotional Intelligence, and specifically Emotion Mining™, can be the amplifier that “turns up the volume” on any marketer’s customer satisfaction and loyalty research. It enables companies to better connect with their most loyal customers on an emotional, or subconscious, basis and drive both revenue and profit growth.

In our next installment, we’ll review the various research techniques for uncovering and understanding customer emotions and subconscious motivators. We’ll begin with a comparison of traditional research techniques and then dig into the emerging neuroscience and psychological tools available to marketers.

For more information on Emotion Mining™, please download our overview of “What Really Moves Us.”

“Are You Winning Hearts and Minds?” – Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important

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