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We've known for a while now that people make their decisions mostly on the basis of emotion, not logic. So we marketers keep trying to appeal to consumers' emotions and optimize customer experiences, all with the goal of building brand loyalty and influencing purchasing decisions.

But what happened to making an actual connection?

In all the frenzy of trying to grab consumers by their emotions, we've crowded out the possibility of creating genuine moments.

A genuine moment between a customer and a brand occurs when the customer experiences something real, something that's more than a transaction. It may be as simple as a human interaction between a customer and a brand representative, or it could be a personal message to the customer that hits home.

Those moments themselves may be fleeting, but they leave a lasting impression. A genuine moment truly boosts the customer experience. And customer experience is predicted to be the key brand differentiator by 2020.

Today's consumers have endless options, and they expect you to compete for their brand love. And as human attention spans get shorter, we have to work harder to stand out. That's why forging a genuine connection is so important: Sharing personal, emotional experiences with your customers will secure their loyalty over the long term.

Making an Authentic Connection

To start creating genuine moments, think of your customer as a friend. You celebrate your friends, empathize with them, listen to them: You show them that you value them as people. Treating your customers that way will create those genuine moments that build connection.

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image of Daryl Person

Daryl Person is vice-president of marketing and creative services at  Hallmark Business Connections, which helps businesses build and strengthen relationships with customers and employees.

LinkedIn: Daryl Person