Epsilon conducted research to uncover which types of connections drive business outcomes in the hospitality industry. We analyzed thousands of data points for more than 3,000 adult personal and business travelers and asked them to identify their most frequent brand of hotel. Then, we identified and ranked the factors most closely associated with brand commitment and share-of-wallet intent.
We found that meaningful interactions and experiences ignite emotional connection with the brand, and this translates into profits. Consumers are looking for a connection, and they often find it when brands align with their self-image and personal values. As we'll see, these connections can be deeply personal and highly profitable.
Each customer experience produces emotions that have a positive or negative effect on business outcomes. There's a point at which a positive (or negative) experience is so strong that it transcends the rational aspects of the brand (e.g., quality, price, service) and becomes a part of the brand itself. That's why creating and controlling the customer experience are so important.
Our research showed that while most respondents had a favorable impression of a brand's quality, ease, and service, the disparity between high- and low-emotion respondents was quite significant. (See Figure 10.1.)