Getting emotional

Getting emotional

August 1, 2018

Professor Dr Michaela Merk believes you can transform your passengers into ambassadors only if you touch their emotions as they travel. Here she explains how.

Speaking at Formia’s annual Forum 365 during WTCE, Merk, an expert in luxury brands and consumer behaviour, identified five key emotions that can truly touch and impress a passenger: trust, pride, identification, recognition and passion.

She said: “Without passion, nothing happens. Your business has to transmit passion and it does that through your team. Be sure they can tell the story of your product, and create visual clues across the passenger experience that build the value of your product and touch emotions. Passion is contagious and is transmitted like fire.”

Make passengers proud
Trust is triggered through first impressions, she says, so a truly authentic, genuine welcome counts for a lot. Passengers also need to identify with your brand’s values and feel they reflect their own human values. She says: “Having a great concept isn’t enough. Passengers need to feel comfortable in the environment you put them in – it needs to smell pleasant and be warmly lit, with touchpoints such as fabric, art or plants that communicate a sense of home. Your brand’s DNA must be reflected in the product you offer.”

You can give your passengers a sense of pride in the choice they have made to travel with you by being innovative and different she says. “Consumers love to be associated with a brand that is a trendsetter. If you promote your brand as modern, innovative and pioneering they will be proud to know they are part of something new and different.”

Exceed expectations
When it comes to rewards, she says brands get real thanks when they exceed their clients expectations. “Give your passengers something they don’t expect and you will win recognition from them. Personalise the offer or give them a thank-you gift, make them see you recognise them as an individual and they will reward you with their repeat business in the future.”

In conclusion she encourages businesses to prioritise positive first impressions and brand personality. Add touches to make passengers feel at home and personalise the offer.

It’s not just about the products you offer she insists but in the way you present and position those products, the service and experience around them. She says: “Consumers are all different but they have one thing in common – they all want a unique experience. They will say something was awesome, as soon as they are touched by emotion. It is these emotional connections that bring value to your offer.”