Innovation Edge: Design An Experience That Connects With Both Head And Heart

by | Dec 13, 2016 | Marketing, Strategy, Trade Show

Studies have long shown that when it comes to consumer purchase behavior, it’s emotion, not function that drives decision-making. Sure, when evaluating a new product/brand/service, consumers will look for details, statistics, and information to help determine if a certain pet or baby food should fall within their consideration set. But, what most often pushes the consumer over the edge is ultimately driven less by nutritional panels and ingredient lists, and more by the trust they develop with a specific brand. That trust comes from feelings about the brand and its core purpose in solving consumer challenges.   

While we understand that the business-to-business exhibit industry does not generally rely on tugging heartstrings to sell products and services, we do believe the logic in customer decision-making still applies. And we believe it’s one of the most underutilized tools in the face-to-face marketing playbook. Why? Beyond titles, exhibits, technology, and statistics, one core principle remains: your prospects are people. People who ultimately use trust, feelings, and relationships to make judgments about the products they’re purchasing and the people they’re choosing to do business with.

So just how do you deliver the ultimate face-to-face marketing experience? At Exhibitpro, we believe it’s about connecting the head (to help educate) with the heart (to build trust). To do that, our solutions marry the function of sales with the emotion of human connection. Follow along to learn our three tips for improving the balance of function and emotion in your next face-to-face marketing experience: 

  1. Create an immersive experience. One of the most important things you can do is to holistically design your total exhibit experience – booth design, messaging, and engagement. When designing in silos, each piece tends to focus on the functional benefits of the product or service, often leading to repetitive messaging or experiences. By thinking about the entire experience holistically, and designing the elements in concert with one another, you are able to ensure a seamless experience that delivers both function and emotion at the right times and in the right ways.
  2. Make your messaging and experiences relatable. When it comes to your total face-to-face marketing experience, it’s easy to get caught up in showcasing all the new details about your product/service by telling your customers/prospects everything that your business can do. Instead, we recommend that you look for opportunities to showcase how your solution has worked for other clients or demonstrate what your brand and product stand for. By doing so, your customers and prospects will build trust and feel more connected before the conversation even begins; then, once you’ve established a relationship, you can share the details of what the product/service does and why it’s worth considering.
  3. Stop selling your product. You may be ready to stop reading now, but don’t. Trust us, we understand that trade shows – and every marketing tool for that matter – are about selling a product or service. But when it comes to trade shows, relationships mean business. And to develop strong relationships, you need to focus less on what your product can do and more on understanding the challenges your customers and prospects are facing. When customers/prospects see you as a partner in their problem solving, and believe you’re as equally invested in solving their challenges as they are, then they begin to build trust in your company – and in you. The number one reason why prospects become customers is because they trust the person with whom they’re doing business. 

Want to learn more about how the proper balance of emotion and function can influence your sales; or want to discuss with us how we can help improve your next face-to-face marketing experience? Let’s chat! At Exhibitpro, our successful approach rests in our program design. We purposefully develop and produce customized programs, based on each client’s individual needs, that carefully blend proven solutions with innovative ideas, to create meaningful experiences that disrupt, educate, connect, and drive action.