In the last post, I outlined how the first of eight strategies for creating conversation-worthy communications: Make New Rules. This time I’m writing about a different strategy: Creating Belonging. People have an intense desire both to stand out and fit in. Feeling a part of something is often how people form their identities, express their interests/values and form relationships with others. Brands can capitalize on this by being part of the identity of a specific tribe of consumers. When the success of a brand depends on it being adpoted by a specific consumer tribe, then this is a good strategy to employ. Marketing to a tribe is different than marketing to many individuals. There’s power in numbers, and when consumers feel a part of something, when they collaborate or unify, they can create true change. And that change will be a tide worthy of riding.
So what’s important to know when trying to create a sense of belonging for a brand?
First, identify the tribe(s) of consumers that must adopt the brand for it to be successful. Understand everything about them: What drives them? What binds them together? What are their aspirations? How do they want to be perceived? What do they want to achieve? A keen understanding of the tribe is a must.
Second, the brand has to give them a way to act together. This could come in many forms. It could be a movement that consumers in the tribe can join. There can be a collective goal that the brand enables them to reach. The brand can enable the members of the tribe to better connect with each other. Or, it could give the tribe a platform from which to speak or gather. Organizing collaborative consumption can create a sense of belonging and connect the tribe.
The Great Schlep: A movement created by Droga 5 targeting young Jewish Democrats with grandparents in Florida.
Nike Plus: Nike targeted runners and gave them a the means and the place to compete, share and connect online.
Levis: With its “We Are All Workers” campaign, they helped a small city while connecting with a nation of struggling workers.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Acts as a social hub for sports fans who want a place to hang out together.
Brands who serve as platforms for connection and belonging earn WOM from both their customers and consumers. Next strategy for making consumers the media: Market a Belief. Stay tuned (via RSS feed or whatever).
Credits to David Yeend and Anna Lipmann.