The Magic That Makes Customer Experiences Stick

The Magic That Makes Customer Experiences Stick

The most memorable experiences are suffused with emotion – not extra features or value for money.

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Businesses are discovering the power of emotion to forge memorable customer experiences, inspire loyalty and influence purchasing decisions. Drawing from behavioral and quantitative research as well as marketing strategies from automaker Ferrari, watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne, and other high-performing companies, Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke delves into the psychology and power of emotional customer experiences in this insightful article for MIT Sloan Management Review.


By inspiring customers’ emotions, businesses can increase engagement and influence purchasing decisions.

Customer experience designers have access to advanced technology and tools for data analysis, yet the customer experience hasn’t improved much. Businesses have been neglecting an essential element: emotions. People remember experiences because of the emotions they generate. To foster loyalty and engagement, provide experiences that change how people feel in a positive direction.

Emotions – more often than logic – drive people’s decisions and spur action.

According to neurologist Donald Calne, “Emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.” Quantitative research supports the notion that emotions, more than reason, inspire...

About the Author

Stefan Thomke is the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

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