Nowadays customers are better up-to-date in regarding to buying and comparing products and services online, which has led to the result that customers have high expectations but show low loyalty towards brands (Straker & Wrigley, 2016). According to Kralingen (2011) customers these days are driven by consuming emotions. This might not sound as an average expression, however it means that customers are driven by feeling positive emotions rather than negative emotions. The reason why we as people are so focused on emotions is because we seek for something bigger than ourselves (Fukuda, 2013).
Markets where customers are searching for these emotions are markets such as entertainment, decorating, fashion, interior, food and drinks, family, music, nature, wellness and sports (Kralingen). Most of the markets where emotions play a big part are more or less implemented in the cruise line industry, therefore it is interesting to explore the world of digital channels.
Emotions have an enormous function in our life as they can push us towards or away from thoughts, objects, certain individuals or activities (Striker & Wrigley, 2016) Robinette et al. (2000) even claimed, and I quote: “in every encounter there’s an opportunity to meet a need and make an emotional connection” with the customer. Moreover the marketing literature also claims that the only option to obtain a loyal customer is through building emotional connections which leads to positive behaviours and attitudes from the customer.
Nowadays people are increasingly purchasing items and/or services online, however there are also negative experiences in regarding to buying items and/or services online. Kate Spade listened to her customers and learned about the negative experiences. She turned them around and designed a digital channel where customers can choose what they want, when they want it (Striker & Wrigley, 2016).
Moreover creating a relationship with customers through digital technology could lead to earning the customer’s trust and that would eventually lead to an emotional investment in the company. Literature has shown that positive experiences leads to positive behaviour and in turn the company could gain loyal customers (Striker & Wrigley, 2016).
The cruise line industry should as well engage their customers emotionally through looking at the negative experiences, and turn them around into positive experiences. Positive experiences can be realized through the help of innovating their digital channels and really get the customers involved to create an emotional connection.
Fukuda, S. (2013). Emotion and innovation. Emotional Engineering vol. 2, 11-21.
Kralingen, R. & R. (n.d.). Emotional Innovation. Retrieved on September 20, 2016, from http://www.kenniscentrumtoerisme.nl/l/library/download/11106
Robinette, S., Brand, C., Lenz, V., & Hall, D. (2000). Emotional marketing: The hallmark way of winning customers for life. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Striker, K., & Wrigley, C. (2016). Designing an emotional strategy: strengthening digital channel engagement. Business Horizons, 339-346.