Love Smart, Sell Smart

We keep them close to us all day. During the night, they sleep right next to us. They are the last thing we look at before the night and the first thing we check on in the morning. If we drop them, we gasp. If we break them, we are devastated and if we can’t find them, we panic. Yes, that’s our smartphones. Is our loving attitude towards these inanimate belongings a bad thing? Not entirely, according to recent research.

An emotional bond

Wharton’s marketing professor Shiri Melumad confirms what we observe on ourselves and others every day: “One of the key takeaways of my work is that consumers seem to have a uniquely emotional relationship with their smartphones over and above its functional value”. Our smartphones seem to work for us like an adult version of a pacifier or security blanket. Using them can reduce stress. We also seem to generate more emotionally positive content than we would with comparable devices.

For us as individual users this means that we can feel a bit better about our smartphone habits as, at least in the short term, there are some positive outcomes. As marketing professionals, we know that specific user behaviour requires corresponding marketing activities to meet consumers where they are. What is needed is a way of reaching consumers that resonates with the emotional bond they have with their devices and translates it into an emotional bond to the brand.

“What is needed is a way of reaching consumers that resonates with the emotional bond they have with their devices and translates it into an emotional bond to the brand.”

When it comes to marketing smartphones, too many brands have relied on trying to convince users with functional specifications or price alone. The only way of reaching consumers on an emotional level is to offer them something with true emotional value; and that is something that price reductions simply cannot deliver. Hence it is no surprise that many smartphone brands struggle with never-ending discount wars because they decided to put their marketing budget into the devaluation of their brand.

Spread the love

The answer is a lifestyle incentive that is embedded into an added value sales promotion. This type of promotion presents brands with the unique opportunity to add brand equity without the risk of retail pressure driven price reductions. Adding emotional value by providing exciting incentives ensures both that your brand is perceived with high value as well as the establishment of an emotional relationship between the user and the smartphone brand.

Above others, travel incentives have proven to be particularly successful when it comes to offering consumers just that. Free flight campaigns for example have been a great driver of sales for Samsung’s Galaxy devices for many years. Run by UK-based travel and sales promotion specialist Inspire, these campaigns outperformed all cashback initiatives and have proven to be the most successful incentive driver for Samsung in the region.

The Bottom Line

If you want your smartphone brand to outperform others when it comes to both sales and brand loyalty whilst at the same time increasing brand equity, the answer is straight forward: a travel incentive as part of an added value sales promotion will give you the tactical advantage over others that will make that growth in market share all the sweeter.


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