With the major shifts and upheaval in the marketplace and evolving consumer behavior, businesses want and need to forge strong connections with their customers—now more than ever. One of the central premises of the book is that both experience and engagement are created, amplified, or destroyed—one connection at a time. So marketers need the kind of connections that result in positive brand equity and sales, and other positive business outcomes—now and in the future. Taking your marketing to the next level means really understanding what makes up a connection and then moving higher up the hierarchy of customer connections. Here we take a look at that hierarchy and how it applies to your customers.
In your personal life, you probably trust the people you feel highly connected with (your spouse) more than those with whom you share only a passing connection (your barista). So it goes in the marketplace, where there's a Hierarchy of Connections—a new construct we've created that builds on Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which you may remember from psychology class. As the customer connection becomes stronger, so does its effectiveness.