We’ve already established the importance of Share of Heart, but how do you capture that?
Before we dive in, as a refresher: “Share of Heart” means people actually love and care about your brand. They’re not just spending money on your services— your brand actually causes emotional reactions within them. Because they’re driven by emotion, they care about these experiences even more than they care about the cost.
While building long-term customer loyalty and emotional bonds (Share of Heart) may not immediately increase revenues, it will pay off through sustained affinity and repeat business down the road. Here are three ways you can speak to your customers’ hearts and some real-life examples of companies who have succeeded.
1. Treat each customer as an individual, not just a number.
Seeing customers as unique individuals, not just numbers, is key to capturing their Share of Heart. Take the time to understand each customer's distinct perspective, needs, and story. Customizing interactions to match their priorities and preferences fosters a personal bond. When customers feel truly seen and heard, they're more likely to trust your brand, remain loyal, and keep coming back. It's not about mass marketing to generic demographics. It's about tailoring products and services to the individuals you serve. Make each one feel valued, and their business and advocacy will follow. Focus on the one-to-one human connection— that's how you earn meaningful Share of Heart.
Connecting with customers on an individual level pays off, as one raw pet food company discovered. Seeking to truly understand pet parents— their target audience— they teamed up with The ExperienceBuilt Group for an immersive trial. To uncover what was top-of-mind for customers in the moment, EBG observed pet parents as they perused options, chose products, and went through checkout. Through this, the client gained valuable insight into their decision making and learned how packaging, pricing, ingredients, and more factored into each customer’s unique purchase journey. Armed with a deeper understanding of the pet parent mindset, the company transformed their approach.
The lesson is clear: taking the time to see through your customers' eyes and cater to their distinct perspective pays dividends in capturing meaningful Share of Heart.
2. Implement a customer loyalty rewards program.
Creating great customer experiences is one way to foster loyalty, but a rewards program will take it to the next level. Customers want to know that when they choose your business, something is in it for them. Showing your appreciation creates an emotional bond, letting customers feel recognized and rewarded and strengthening their connection to your brand.
Think about it this way: if you’re not promoting loyalty this way, your competitor probably is. A strong rewards program works even for companies with superior customer loyalty. Take it from McDonalds, who launched their rewards in 2021. Through their program, customers can earn points every time they visit, and on future visits, they can trade them for free food items. Even with a strong customer base, their rewards program feeds over 50 million loyalty users, and they saw a 10.3 percent increase in sales in Q4 of 2022. If you thought the drive thru was convenient, digital orders make the process even easier, with rewards members picking up their orders inside or curbside. And they did - digital orders increased to 35 percent.
A simple rewards program allowed McDonalds to capture their customers’ Share of Heart, inspiring repeat visits time and time again.
3. Have an active, connected presence on social media.
Social media is no longer just apps on a smartphone, it has become a place. Imagine gathering a large group of your customers into one room. Some might not be paying attention, but for the ones sitting in the front row, it’s important to engage them.
Social media gives you the opportunity to meet your audience where they already are, but your strategy shouldn’t just be about posting. It’s about interacting with potential customers and stakeholders, giving them content they feel compelled to engage with. Using social channels to welcome your customers to use their voice will capture their Share of Heart, letting them know you care about what they have to say.
One of the biggest social media success stories is Duolingo. The foreign language education app has a fun, relatable voice on social media (what they call “unhinged”). Their strategy is less polished, where they have snarky, silly responses to comments and partake in trending content. In turn, their content has become memes, the “Duolingo owl” becoming an iconic character across social media platforms. Their focus is more on entertaining than selling, but anyone who sees their content knows the purpose of their business. So, when someone decides they want to learn a foreign language, they know exactly where to go.
Capturing your customers’ Share of Heart is crucial for building emotional bonds and long-term loyalty. While it may not lead to an immediate sales increase, you will see the payoff down the road, with sustained business and advocacy. If you make your customers feel recognized, appreciated, and connected to your brand on an emotional level, you will earn their trust, loyalty, and Share of Heart for the long haul.
Ready to dive into the minds of your customers? Contact The ExperienceBuilt Group to begin thinking like your customers.