Love goes through the stomach, this saying also applies to brands. If companies really want to engage with the public, they now need to touch the head, the heart and the stomach, because, in a dematerialized world, “consumers” are increasingly craving for encounters.
The media too
In the analog world, everything is very simple: retail is limited to one channel, the store. Aside from a few mail-order catalogs, the physical store is completely self-contained. The entrepreneur should surround your brand with enough publicity and exposure through channels such as newspapers, door-to-door magazines, posters, radio, television, and more. Then it just remains to wait for the arrival of consumers.
Mass media is the primary way to create that publicity and push people to your store: effective, unambiguous, and standard. Open a store – advertise – sell. The rules of the game are simple and have been repeated by vendors for decades, to the point of outrage. They also have a formula for success that can be used forever and anywhere, adding to it, if necessary, a “local touch”.
Today, mass media is a part that is out of date and we find ourselves in a new, different and fragmented scene. But evolution is still going on, because man himself has become a medium. Actually, today, it’s not the newspaper ads that arouse people’s curiosity about a brand, but Jean and Marie’s posts on social media that convince their network of friends, and often their “companion” /backpack /lunch box. The consumer has become a walking billboard, whose Instagram followers have been the passing cars of the past.
Head, heart and stomach …
If men and women are the carriers, how do you reach them as a brand? How does it link to your stores? In today’s complex reality, men and women are increasingly torn between the head, heart and abdomen. The head is the same as digitization, reason and data: it guarantees online and repetitive purchases, rational choices and classical market segmentation based on socio-demographic data.
As digitalization expands the world of people, as they have more power and freedom than ever before. However, their universe is shrinking as the big technology players turn their heads. In fact, Google, Meta and others are not content to track them anywhere with cookies and advertising, they also create a “tunnel vision”: the mind is trapped in a tunnel of personal information, experiences and purchase suggestions “made”. As we can see, the consumer loses overall perspective and freedom.
This is exactly the reason why man has a huge need for connection, human connection and emotions (heart) in this digitalized world. The heart is looking for connecting interfaces and meeting places, such as sports, cafes, travel and also shops. Like churches, stores serve the dual role of meeting places and storefronts, places where people can go at any time and where they can feel and experience the brand. In marketing, the heart represents lifestyles and emotions rather than silos.
Below the head and the heart is the abdomen. He doesn’t pay attention to the tensions in other places, as long as he gets good things to eat and drink. When he wants! When these conditions are fulfilled, the stomach believes that all is well in the best of all possible worlds. The stomach stands for impulsiveness and comfort, but it also shows – literally – how food is the standard and driver of buying behavior. All things considered, it’s the stomach that pulls the strings.
Creating Heart and Stomach Targeted Sites
For retailers, it is especially important to appeal to the heads, hearts and stomachs of consumers. Wins the lead with data, ease of use, value and technology efficiency. But perhaps retailers and brands need to go further into the stomach and heart, because the head is already wearing the blinkers of the tech giants. Hearts are won by the service, a personal connection and an unforgettable experience. This is especially true in a rapidly aging world where loneliness prevails. The person wants to connect there.
It’s no coincidence that “blurring” is growing in non-food retail: clothing stores are opening coffee shops, furniture stores are turning into restaurants and home appliance stores are offering kitchens. As we can see, they point their arrows toward the abdomen, this basic human machine. At the same time, sales of non-food products at food retail are slowing, forcing supermarkets to reinvent themselves. They also aim to appeal even more by focusing on catering: sushi stand here, fresh food at home there.
Cities are also the places of the heart and stomach, where men and women feel like they belong to a community, want to meet other like -minded people and find food in every sense of the word. . Cities and towns can draw inspiration from Ikea, for example, which sets up real town farms and Swedish neighborhood markets to discover talent through hearts and stomachs. Ikea understands very well that by going through the head, heart and stomach, you get a unique “consumer” connection, a connection that will last a lifetime.