9 min read

Making products people love ❤️

When your customers first lay eyes on your offering, it should be love at first sight!

Consider Apple—it isn't just the product features that make Apple devices irresistible. It's the sleek design, the sophisticated packaging, the unique, artistic aesthetic that evoke the emotion of exclusivity and elegance

The first step in creating an ecommerce brand that people adore is crafting a remarkable product. You're not just producing an item—you're manufacturing a feeling, an emotion.

This is where your own brand love story starts.

Make them swoon: Building deep emotional connections through product design

Building an admired ecommerce brand goes beyond the aesthetics and functionality of your products.

It taps into something much deeper, something innately human: Emotion.

Crafting products that establish a deep emotional connection with your customers can transform their brand interaction from a mere transaction into a meaningful relationship.

Think about it: When we form emotional attachments, it's not (usually) because of a checklist of attributes. It's because of the feelings those attributes evoke in us, the way they resonate with our personal experiences, values, and aspirations.

This is what creates enduring loyalty and brand love.

Harley-Davidson is an exceptional example of this. The motorcycle manufacturer doesn't just sell bikes—they sell a lifestyle and a sense of belonging. Their brand doesn't resonate because of their engines' horsepower or their bikes' paint quality.

It resonates because it symbolizes freedom, adventure, and rebellion.

So, how can you weave emotional connections into your product design? Here are a few strategies:

Align your product with your customers' core values

Does your product reflect what your customers care about?

Brands like Patagonia and Allbirds have managed to create strong emotional connections by producing environmentally sustainable products, thereby aligning with their customers' core value of sustainability.

Create a sense of belonging

Apple and Harley-Davidson have successfully created communities around their products, making their customers feel part of something bigger than themselves.

Tell a compelling story

Every product has a story, whether it's about its creation, its purpose, or the people who made it. Sharing this story can create an emotional bond between your customers and your product. This is what TOMS does with its One for One promise.

By intentionally incorporating emotional connection into your product design, you create more than a product or a brand—you create a love story that your customers want to be part of!

And when they're part of that love story, they're more likely to stick around for the long run (do we hear wedding bells on the horizon?!).

From emotion to action: Building your Minimum Lovable Product (MLP)

The concept of a Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) builds on the idea of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future development.

However, an MLP goes a step further—it not only satisfies customer requirements, it delights and fuels the kinds of emotional connections that are integral to product development.

So, how do you turn all this talk of emotional connections into an MLP?

Understand your customers

Building an MLP starts with deeply understanding your target customers.

What are their aspirations, values, pain points, and desires?

Use research methods like surveys, interviews, and user testing to gain insights into your target audience. Tools like user personas and empathy maps can be particularly useful in this process.

Define the core value

What is the one key value or benefit that your product will provide to your customers?

This should align with your customers' needs and desires and is typically the primary reason they will love your product.

Design for delight

Think about how you can create moments of excitement and happiness in the user experience.

Here are some examples of ways you can take your product design from "meh" to "marvellous":

  1. Personalization: Customize your product or packaging to make it feel like it was made just for your customer.
  2. Unexpected surprises: Include a small, unexpected gift or a handwritten thank-you note to show your customers you care.
  3. User-friendly design: Make your product easy and enjoyable to use with intuitive interfaces, clear instructions, and visually appealing aesthetics.
  4. Exceptional customer service: Go above and beyond to make your customers feel valued and supported.

Prototype and test

Once you've identified the core value and potential delight factors, create a prototype of your MLP and test it with a small group of target users. Collect their feedback and iterate on your design.

Launch and learn

Launch your MLP to your target customers. Collect feedback, analyze usage data, and continue to iterate and improve your product based on what you learn.

The Burger Shop: An example of the MLP in action

burger on the left and double cheese burger on the right

Let’s take a look at a fairly straight forward example here: A hamburger business we’ll call The Burger Shop. The Burger Shop could use a single burger (left) as an MVP to showcase the unique flavors, textures, and quality of their artisanal burgers before investing in more complex menu items (right).

But, we’re not just talking about MVP here, we’re talking MLP—so, how do we take this burger from viable to lovable?

Dish up a story

Let's get chatty.

Every patty has a story. Maybe it's about Bob, the local farmer who handpicks your lettuce at dawn. Or the eureka moment when The Burger Shop discovered that chipotle-mango sauce combo.

Sharing these nuggets (no pun intended) adds a savory layer to the burger’s experience.

Unbox the excitement

Remember that feeling of opening a gift? Let's recreate that with this burger.

Jazz up the packaging, pop in a personalized thank-you note, or how about a surprise side dish? Talk about a party in a box!

Burger talk

Feedback is an MLP’s secret sauce.

Ask, listen, and show customers they're being heard. If customers rave about The Burger Shop’s sauce, then why not bottle it up? Sell it separately. Let them take a piece of The Burger Shop brand home.

Join the Burgerhood

Everyone loves feeling like a VIP. The Burger Shop could launch a loyalty program or an exclusive taste-testing club for burger aficionados that creates and surprising and delightful experience for customers.

Service with a smile

Friendly staff can be the cherry on top of the burger experience. Quick service, warm smiles, and genuine care can transform customers into raving fans.

The secret ingredient?

It's always love.

And voilà!

Our burger MVP just became an MLP, seasoned with love and garnished with delight.

And once customers have tasted this, they’ll be lining up for the full menu!

Crafted with care: Quality fosters loyalty

Imagine your customer unboxing their product. They feel the weight, they admire the design, they experience the quality.

In that moment, they decide that this was a purchase worth making. That’s why quality is so important in creating products people love.

A study from Walker Information found that customer experience, which includes the quality of your product, has overtaken price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Quality goes beyond just durability or functionality. It's about how well the product serves the purpose for which it was made.

For example, Patagonia has gained an ardent following not only because of their products' rugged durability, but also because of their commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices.

Let’s dive into some quality-related differentiators to consider alongside your MLP:

Implement quality control measures

Set up a rigorous inspection process at every stage, from sourcing materials to shipping the final product.

This way, you'll identify defects early and take corrective action, keeping your customers happy and reducing returns.

Build long-term supplier relationships

To maintain consistent quality, collaborate with reliable suppliers and manufacturers who share your commitment to excellence.

Remember: The better your partners, the better your products!

Communicate your quality standards

Let customers know how much you care about quality. Use product descriptions, images, and even customer reviews to showcase your dedication to detail and excellence.

🚀 Pro tip: Consider the "10x Rule" when creating your products. This principle suggests that to truly stand out and delight your customers, you should aim to make your product at least ten times better than the competition in some aspect.

Get personal: Use customization to differentiate your product

According to a study by Deloitte, 1 in 5 consumers is willing to pay a 20% premium for customized products.

Customization and personalization are increasingly important in ecommerce, with statistics showing that they can have a significant impact on customer engagement and sales.

You can also use customization and personalization to differentiate your product from the competition.

Here’s how:

Offer a range of customization options

Customization options can make products more appealing to individual preferences.

Offer color choices, engraving, or monogramming to create a stronger emotional connection between the customer and your brand, thus increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Take Nike's custom shoe program, Nike By You. Customers can select their preferred colors, patterns, and materials to create a unique shoe design that reflects their individual style.

Nike By You
Nike By You Editor

Use customer data to personalize recommendations

Using customer data to provide personalized recommendations or unique product bundles is a powerful way to enhance the customer experience and differentiate your product from the competition.

By leveraging data like purchase history, browsing behavior, and demographic information, you can offer personalized recommendations that align with the customer's interests and preferences (We’ll cover this more in later sections of the guide).

Amazon's recommendation engine
More than 1/3 of Amazon.com’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine (source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/how-retailers-can-keep-up-with-consumers)

By analyzing the customer's browsing and purchase history, you too can recommend products that the customer is likely to be interested in, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Experiment with limited edition or exclusive designs

Experimenting with limited edition or exclusive designs is another way to create a sense of scarcity and urgency, driving customer engagement and sales.

It can also be a key differentiator for your product!

BABOON TO THE MOON's Sofi Tukker Collection
BABOON TO THE MOON's Sofi Tukker Collection

Limited edition products are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, creating a buzz and generating excitement around your brand.

Sustaining emotional connections post-purchase

Many brands focus heavily on the pre-purchase stage, and while this is super important, post-purchase interactions are just as crucial for maintaining and enhancing emotional connections (i.e. Creating ecommerce brands customers love!).

Keep the party going: Customer engagement strategies

So, they've bought your product.

High five!

But wait, the party's just getting started.

Keep the momentum with follow-up emails that say, "Hey, we're glad you're with us!" Or how about a friendly nudge asking how they're enjoying their purchase? Social media shout-outs from happy customers?

Here for you: Customer service excellence

Nobody likes a party pooper, especially if it's a faulty product or a late delivery.

But hey, mistakes happen.

It's how you spin the record next that counts. Easy returns? Swift, sincere responses to their concerns? Now that's a service that doesn't miss a beat.

One big, happy family: Building a community

Remember the warmth of those family gatherings?

Let's recreate that with your brand.

Invite your customers to your exclusive club, spark conversations on social media, or throw a customer appreciation day. When customers feel they belong, they stick around for the encore.

This post-purchase harmony doesn't just keep your customers coming back for more—it makes them feel like they're part of your brand's journey.

And that's a connection that strikes the right chord, every time!

Key takeaways

As we take a step back and look at the complete picture, we see an enriched roadmap that encompasses every aspect of creating a product that people will love.

From the inception of the product to maintaining the emotional connection post-purchase, this guide empowers you to create not just a product, but a brand that will be cherished and loved by your customers.

It's a journey—your journey towards creating products that people love.

And what a delightful journey it is!

Building blocks: Crafting a brand that inspires love
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