Marketing Emotion Still a Far Cry from the Dude Ranch


Last week my family and I spent a three day mini-vacation at a “Dude” ranch. Don’t think City Slickers. My kids are 6 and 9, so this was more “dude” than ranch.

We bought the kids cowboy hats so they felt authentic on the back of our senior citizen horses walking along a muddy trail. They met kids from other states, playing with cap guns and bullwhips. My 6 year old son hooked up with adults as my wife pulled me into line dancing. Surrounded by drinking strangers, to whom I trusted my son’s well being, my 6-year old son played pool for the first time. As my wife dragged me into line dancing, Kyle teamed up with a ringer and proudly won the game. That night we crawled in bed at our cabin and watched home movies as thunderstorms passed by.

I know it was a good vacation because as we drove down the rocky road to the ranch exit both kids teared up and said “I don’t want to leave!”. We passed the stable on the way out, where my daughter saw the mangy white horse she rode. As welling up flowed over to crocodile tears she struggled to whimper his name, “Soda Pop!…”

Am I celebrating this sadness? You bet! Mission accomplished.

To me, the best vacation is about a unique experience for my kids and family. A great vacation creates emotions that cement memory and are bind relationships. And if it wasn’t a great experience, then they wouldn’t be missing it when we leave. No emotion, no memory, no meaningful experience…no crying. So the crying was great!

Granted, this is a vacation, which lends itself to a memorable experience. But it got me thinking…an experience like this elicits a level of emotion that is a far cry (no pun intended) from a typical company-to-customer experience. Yet, it is this level of connection every company aspires to create because emotion drives purchase, loyalty, and word of mouth.

That begs the question: In today’s consumer-cynical world, how can you create emotion? It’s a question worth exploring…in your marketing, how do you create relationships, connections and emotion with customers? More to come. Comments welcome.

3 Responses

  1. breyeschow says:

    Congrats on the TypePad featured blog. I love seeing what things other folks are passionate about so the post about the Dude ranch was great.

  2. A to the RT says:

    Great story. But what about some of us that work in the pain and suffering industries – I am specifically speaking about Dentistry. I mean a nice office, cookies and coffee, a video screen for long appointments – those have been there done that. I always wonder if it is possible to create positive emotional experiences in an industry where fear and loathing are commonplace. As an outsider to our industry (but hopefully a user) what do see that needs to be done?

  3. kim young jun says:

    hi!!! i want to get a tip from you about marketing..
    emotion marketing !! i think it is very difficult to understand …
    asian have enomorous emotions such angry, joy,pleasure , crying…..
    compared with western, there are uncountable stuffs..
    as you know, you are very famous person in this field.
    i am just beginner in it, so i want get some things..
    i just had studied marking at university in london.
    just, verious marketing ways , which people want to get a useful information..
    at that time , my professor said advertising used to let person know about new things.
    marketing and advertising are very close..we can’t tell them without only one.
    mr,decker…you let me know about emotion will apply
    how to get many customers……
    pls, if you have time , would you mind if you send it to me..
    good bye..

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