You’re at a social event with a friend when someone you’ve met before walks in. You can’t remember this person’s name, where you met, what you did together, or what you talked about. Despite this total lack of recall about the concrete elements of your meeting, you have a feeling that you’d prefer a root canal to interacting with this person again.
Or, maybe you’re cruising your Facebook newsfeed and the profile picture of an online acquaintance catches your eye. You’ve never met in person, and you’ve only had a few casual social exchanges, but seeing this person’s face makes you smile. You’re not sure why (you’re not even sure how the two of you crossed paths in the first place), but now you’ve stopped scanning so you can read this person’s post.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou
I do not know in what context writer and poet Maya Angelou originally uttered that now ubiquitous quote, but I doubt it was anything to do with marketing. Still, her words ring true and marketers of all kinds should take heed.
In my post “Is your business the marrying kind or a one night stand?” I shared a personal, real life example of how the dramatically different ways two big brands (AT&T and Verizon) made me feel changed my relationships with those brands. Forever.
I have chosen restaurants, yoga instructors, sandwich shops, books, hotels, hosting companies, laptops, phones, apparel, notebooks and all kinds of other products and services based on the brand’s (whether corporate or personal) ability to make me feel good. Conversely, I have withheld my business from brands that make me feel bad.
How do you make your customers feel?
- Smart? Valued? Respected?
- Stupid? Taken for granted? Frustrated?
- Joyful? Proud? Hopeful? Creative? Happy?
- Afraid? Ashamed? Angry? Bored? Sad?
It’s a really important question.