I like to drink a “pint with my chums”, or a “beer with the guys”, whichever side of the pond I am on at the moment. Generally, I find that the experience is relatable to most men I know. We drink beer, talk about work, sometimes sports, you know…guy things. A lot of our time we spend just bantering, or making fun of each other.
What I choose for my pint/beer depends a lot on where I am. For example, I love Guinness — especially when I drink it in Ireland. Beer purveyors probably hate to hear that. They spend millions in advertising every year to try to change that about me.
Beer commercials in general are comedic and appeal to our more immature nature. Typically, these are targeting a younger audience or the younger man that hides inside our not-as-young-as-we-used-to-be body. This is the kind of branding that we are accustomed to when it comes to beer.
A new ad by Guinness, however, really stands out from the crowd of it beer commercial compatriots. Before I talk about it, I suggest you watch it:
This is not your typical beer ad. Oh the ad is still manly. It still has sports.
It still has a certain amount of trash talk. But what it has most of all is an appeal to our emotions and to a deep-seated desire that most people have to be better person. Most of all, it appeals to everyone in their target. Whether you are young or old, manly or not, this advertisement appeals to the part of you that values your friends, your choices, and your character.
I like this type of branding because it focuses on the addressing the emotion of a purchase or choice, and by that, I mean the subconscious emotions that play into the purchase or choice. Emotions play a big role in all points in the customer experience. But for now, let’s focus specifically on these, the emotions that drive you to choose one product over another. These emotions are critical because without them, your customer wouldn’t have chosen to even participate in your customer experience at all.
Emotions play a really big role in decision-making. Each time we think about a brand, we associate it with an emotion at a subconscious level. In my post, “How We Really Make Decisions” I talk about this emotional response and how essential it is to design a customer experience that addresses it, meaning creating an emotional association with your brand. In our white paper, Implicit Association Test: Measuring the effect of the subconscious on a Mobile Phone Brand’s Value’, we talk about the 10 emotions that make up the subconscious experience. From our extensive research on the topic of emotions and customer experience, we know that there are some emotions that our consumers are aware of and some that they aren’t, but that both sets drive their choices. We believe that by taking this into account when you are designing your experience, you can positively influence the emotions of your consumers on both levels.
The Guinness ad is showing this in action. What I like about what Guinness is doing with this ad is showing that beer drinking is not all about chasing girls and clever catch phrases. They are showing the consumer how their beer is part of their lives. They are showing the consumer how people who do something extraordinary with their weekly basketball scrimmage also do something as ordinary as drinking beer together afterward. But the beer these extraordinary people choose is a beer with something more. So naturally after you view this ad if you want to be extraordinarily kind, good, and full of character, you will choose Guinness, too.
Their brand is that Guinness is “made of more.” Their message is that people who drink Guinness are made of more. For most people, being “more” is what they want to be. Because when it comes down to it, who doesn’t want to be like the group of able-bodied guys that drinks Guinness after their basketball scrimmage in wheel chairs so they can include their friend who is confined to the chair? Subconsciously, people will choose the beer so they too can be made of more. To me this is brilliant marketing and well played by Guinness.
When you brand, you have an opportunity to form emotional responses from your consumers that build a loyalty that retains them. These emotional responses are what make them subconsciously decide to buy your brand. Since the subconscious has so much to do with your decision making process, at least 50% by our estimates, making an ad with such a universally positive response will help you build a brand with a loyal following.
To me, this is where your customer experience starts. Sure, it’s long before many of the people viewing the ad are even going to have a beer with their friends. But this emotional connection will drive them to pick Guinness when they do. Every interaction with the company from then until they actually order the beer is part of the experience too, from the time they see the ad, to the time they have beer with friends to when they tell the bartender or wait staff what beer they want or pick up the carton at the store. By branding well, you start your customer experience off right.
Companies that consider the emotions of an experience as far back as Guinness is with this ad will likely be well on their way to designing a great customer experience for their consumers. They will have an experience designed to “made of more” which as we know is what we all aspire to do.
|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books & recognized Business Influencer by LinkedIn. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from our Global Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX