The human brain is divided into two hemispheres with unique qualities: the right hemisphere handles novelty and is the dreamy one, while the left hemisphere handles knowledge and is the rational one. Until today, brands have focused primarily on the left one. With our society really just starting to consider the right hemisphere, it opens a huge scope of opportunities for marketers. How can they feed the brain to develop stronger relationships with customers and cultivate greater loyalty?
Continue to feed the left hemisphere
Both sides of the brain are important and have to be taken into account equally. That’s why loyalty programs should not suddenly neglect the left hemisphere in favor of the right.
In fact, brands already understand that to feed this part the right way, they need to help customers accomplish functional desires. The rational part of every human being seeks valuable discounts and attainable rewards; because they are quantifiable, customers can easily calculate savings gained in exchange for their loyalty.
Even more, these types of gratifications are comforting in times of economic difficulty that impact the daily life of citizens in western societies.
But those practices are extremely common in B2C and so a good way to differentiate is to thrill and satisfy aspirational desires.
Feeding the right hemisphere: a good way to differentiate
Tapping customers’ emotions through a loyalty program is more complex. Organizations have to deepen their relationships with them, and know their values, needs, and motivations precisely. A handful part of brands are already doing it well, but it’s a reachable objective for every business.
In view of good examples, loyalty programs could complete their proposal with aspirational elements. The right hemisphere that reaches for dreams is more focused on the big picture; it will be driven by winning great rewards over the middle or long term. Searching for real engagement with the brand, it will be pleased by special privileges in exchange for loyalty.
To give a specific example, Lady Gaga is a master of these practices, and even if she’s not recognized as a complete artist, she knows how to cultivate legions of loyal fans worldwide. She devoted her time to her highly engaged super fans that represent the top 1% of her community and named them her “Little Monsters.” They feel as part of her family thanks to a lot of advantages rewarded them for being part of this group.
It’s the same principle that works with fashion or luxury brands, or even Apple: when you are a customer of these brands, you feel like a member of a special social group. And do you know that earning social acceptance activates the same centers of the brain as earning money?
For future loyalty program strategies, brands should consider feeding both hemispheres, which means continuing proven practices that work for the left one and start focusing on the right at the same time.
Fortunately, loyalty marketing software can help brands to better understand the needs and behaviors of their customers, and then to deliver personalized offers and experiences that appeal to both sides of the brain.