A friend just briefly told me about a BMW tagline he heard on TV: What you make people feel is just as important as what you make.
This raises a vital point about the shaping of customers’ emotions in delivering a compelling engagement with your product or service–emotions matter, not just a little, but just as much as what you’re selling! Indeed, this really is the company’s deep driving serious responsibility, in line with the brand promise. Emotions are at the heart of the personal perception, interpretation, experiential co-creation, and personal sense-making of a company’s offering because in the end it’s about the HUMAN encounter which resonates in the hearts and minds of yours customers. You’ve got to care about customer’s emotions to create products they will LOVE. Product managers and engineers may battle over features and performance, but if the story of the product doesn’t fit the human expectations of use and value, nor deliver a powerful degree of comfort, delight, trust, happiness–it’s all for nought. No matter how long the feature list or how many cross-promotional marketing deals, your customer has to feel connected to the product/service, embrace it into their lives, and enjoy using it as if they could never imagine life without it. And the opposite is true as well–if your product instills anger, frustration, hatred, paranoia, fear and distrust then you have violated the unspoken, tacit underpinnings of that human encounter, negating the product’s value which no feature list or price deal can rectify.
Emotions matter just as much as the product/service you’re making. Perhaps while writing the product’s functional requirements there needs to be a description of its “emotional requirements”– Wouldn’t that be something!