Often, brands attempt to relate a large mass of consumers rather than to the individual, thus failing to align their marketing activities to the actual consumer experience. It is increasingly clear, however, that there is a big difference between the concept of the market or consumer segments and the idea of the consumer as a human being.
Entering into a relationship with a brand (purchasing a good or service) is often the result of an attraction created by the brand, but it can also be viewed as the opposite. Sometimes, it is the brand enticing the consumer, while at other times, the consumer may be attributing qualities to the brand to suit his or her needs. Seducing customers, for a brand, is very similar to entering into a human relationship. A man may be interested in a woman, but he needs to realize that she may or may not be open to his advances. Perhaps she is open only to a new friendship or acquaintance or is very happy on her own. It is also important to understand when your consumers are open to being seduced not.
As there are many different types of people looking for different kinds of human relationships, it is the same with consumers and brands. Some people may be open to a brief love affair, while others may be looking for a long-term commitment and everything in-between. There is an increasing need to pay more attention to how brands relate to their specific targets.
For a long time, manufacturers and service providers have tried to persuade consumers to buy their products/services. This practice did not consider the emotional sphere of a decision-making process. Today we have evolved consumers, who undergo many feelings, thoughts, uncertainties and fears when they have to make a choice. Here we distinguish seduction from persuasion. Persuading means convincing someone do to something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is the right thing to do, and also doesn’t mean we like to do it. Persuasion does not create a reputation, that is the first step towards affection, loyalty and then advocacy.
In the past, manufacturers used to convince consumers that their products possessed advantages over similar brands, differentiating their brands by using various promotional tactics. Advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations activities were commonly used to persuade consumers to make a purchase. Companies used to create positive esteem and loyalty toward the brand to fuel repeat purchases and customer retention by promoting their brand in creative and compelling ways. All these tactics, however, presupposed that communication is one-way, producers speak, and consumers listen.
Following a more human approach, and increasingly paying attention to the customer needs and expectations, communication has evolved into a bidirectional one, creating many touchpoints to interact with the target frequently. The marketing world is finally moving from B2B and B2C to H2H (Human to Human).