Love, lust and trust: Emotional understanding is key to technological success

Karen Fewell, Thursday December 3, 2015

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This is a topic I’ll be exploring at Hotelympia 2016 (29th February – 3rd March) in the Hospace Hub, the show’s specialist area dedicated to technology. You might think this subject doesn’t have a lot to do with technology and the latest trends to shape the market - but I would argue differently.

To make the most of technology you need to understand emotional behaviour

Getting to grips with consumers’ emotional connection to your brand is essential to being able to use technology to market your business. I honestly believe that understanding human behaviour is the key to successful marketing.

At Hotelympia on 1st March, I’ll be joined by some special guests to help me debate the subject. Set to be both lively and enlightening, the on stage panel will include a chef and a host of experts from the fields of marketing, branding and social media.

The session will begin by exploring technology’s impact on dining, including the multi-sensory experience of eating and face-to-face interaction around the table. Digital Blonde data will explore how and why consumers turn to technology when eating out and what, if anything, should be done to protect the dining experience from the potential desensitisation of digital media.

New experiment explores best loved brands

Things will really start to get interesting as we move on to investigate the findings of a new Digital Blonde psychological study to be exclusively revealed for the first time at Hotelympia.

I’ll be unveiling the best loved hotel, casual dining and food-to-go brands, detailing where several of these well-known brands fall on a consumer emotional spectrum. From love to lust and other emotional states like empathy, we’ll look at why certain food and hospitality brands have such a powerful effect on our emotions.

Why is this so important to explore? Studies show that we make over 200 decisions each day about food alone and that most of these decisions are actually made unconsciously rather than rationally. This means there’s a clear need for brands to connect emotionally with consumers in order to play a part in this decision making process.

How to make an emotional connection

One way to create an emotional connection, that is much talked about but not often well executed, is making use of storytelling techniques in digital marketing. Panellists and I will discuss what this means for hoteliers and other operators in the hospitality industry, looking at how to tell stories consumers will connect with. A recent study concluded there is no ‘buy’ button in the brain but there is a ‘story’ button, the panel will consider this idea with real-life examples to learn from.

Is technology an ally or enemy?

The reality is that while technology has made many aspects of sales and marketing easier, it has also made consumers lives easier too. This means that a consumer’s decision to purchase from a competitor brand can now be as simple as a few clicks of a button. So I’d like to think that this research, together with the subsequent Hotelympia discussion around understanding what drives consumers emotionally, will prove incredibly useful to all hospitality operators trying to succeed and differentiate themselves.

The session promises to be an inspiration-packed occasion with ideas and learnings for a range of hospitality operators to take away. I hope to see you all at ‘Capturing imagination as well as attention’ at 2:15pm on Tuesday 1st March, in the Hospace Hub at Hotelympia 2016.

Visitors to the show can also hear more from me at the FCSI Food Service 2020 event, at 12:45pm on Tuesday 1st March, during the ‘Redefining Marketing’ session.

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