Consumers expect instant gratification, but immediacy alone isn’t enough anymore.
This once surprising perk has lost its thrill. Overstimulated, oversaturated, and “always on” consumers can’t seem to break away long enough to focus, or even feel the way they used to. Brands that play the role of Provocateur grab attention and captivate by creating consumer experiences that heighten anticipation, startle and surprise, and build suspense. Brands pique consumers’ interest when they step in with pre-purchase enticements, teases, peeks, and foreshadowing. Provocateurs provoke feelings consumers didn’t realize they could feel anymore, and distract them even if just for a moment from the burdens of life today.
The Opportunity: Be a Provocateur
Anticipation is the game mechanic that brands leverage to capture the hearts and minds of consumers long long before the moment of purchase or use. As a primal force, anticipation pervades all aspects of human decision making and consumer behavior, and when used in play engages consumers at a spine tingling emotional level. Anticipation is the antidote for tired, ineffective drivers like instant gratification — it is the active, animating game mechanic that has the power to exponentially heighten the pre-purchase foreplay experience.
Innovative brands are identifying opportunities to start their engagement experiences earlier and extend the post -purchase experience as well. They scout for special moments to drop in surprises along the way. They set expectations that they can exceed, creating challenges and calls to adventure as part of the overall experience.
Amidst the dull repetition of ordinary life, dominant brands strive to capture the consumer at just the right moment, marking and extending pleasurable moments in time.
Eye-popping layers of fore-purchase experiences generate a crescendo
of excitement that ultimately peaks at the moment of purchase.
Teaser clues, sneak peeks, and partial reveals create a pre-connection
suspense that might turn out to be the climax of the relationship.