By Tracy Judge, CMP
Director of Business Development, Cadence Meetings & Incentives

We thrive on moments that evoke emotional connections.

We thrive on moments that evoke emotional connections.

I recently attended a business trip that unexpectedly awakened me.  The serendipitous moment was not part of the agenda (or even business related at all), but it offered meaning to my life, both personally and professionally.  The experience tapped into my emotions.  It allowed me to feel a connection with the host company and I before I knew it, I was converted into a brand advocate.

It is no secret that an emotional connection to a product or service is key in shifting consumers from users to brand advocates. How is it done? When a brand gives users exactly what they need before they know they need it.

When women sign up for Stitch Fix, a successful online personal stylist, they are asked a series of detailed questions related to their size, body type, and personal preferences. The company uses sophisticated algorithms to make fashion recommendations based on the information collected, and a stylist hand selects and packs a collection of items personalized for each shopper.  The result?  Women receive pieces that fit perfectly and define their lifestyle. For women who don’t typically enjoy shopping experiences, the real product Stitch Fix offers is confidence. The resulting emotional connection creates textbook brand advocacy.

When we think about the purpose of incentive trips, do we not share the same main objective- to create brand advocates?  Both employee and customer incentive trips are often planned in order to retain top performers and motivate sales. So, the big question is this: how do we design incentives trips that tap into the emotions of our attendees and convert them into brand advocates?

Just like Stitch Fix, we get to know our audience. We discover what their wants and needs are. We give them specific and convenient opportunities to express their opinion, including live conversations, social media engagement and meaningful surveys. The personal, raw feedback we receive dramatically strengthens our "incentive travel arsenal." With an emotional connection in mind, our destinations, resorts, activities, technologies, gifts, itineraries., etc. are powerful tools that can be strategically leveraged to convert brand advocates.

Interested in continuing the conversation? I am. Please post your thoughts in the comments section below… And keep your eyes peeled for future posts about utilizing our incentive travel arsenal!

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