Brands serve as extensions of our self-concept and identity. They encapsulate and convey our core values, lifestyles, and aspirations. When we choose to associate with a brand, we are expressing a part of ourselves to the world.
- Example 1: Stereotypical “Skaters” shop at Vans, Tillys, and Zumiez. The so-called “skaters” are aligned with those brands because they tailored their messaging and brand identity to skaters. The products we engage with become symbolic because of the values and identities that we, as consumers, imbue them with.
- Example 2: Victoria’s Secret helps individuals express their sensuality and sophistication and is viewed as a high-end brand. In contrast, Walmart offers a platform for expressing practicality and affordability. While both companies provide the same product, they market themselves to different audiences that care about different things. In this way, brands become the symbols through which we communicate who we are, what we believe in, and how we wish to be perceived.
Don’t Mistake Information for Intimacy
It’s common among marketers to rely heavily on data, statistics, and product specifications when crafting advertising campaigns. While these elements certainly have their place in marketing, they can sometimes overshadow the need to establish a more profound, emotional connection with consumers. This preference for facts over emotional connection can inadvertently lead to a sense of distance between the brand and its audience.
Example: Consider McDonald’s recent marketing strategy with celebrity meal promotions. On the surface, these meals consist of the same food items available to any customer. However, what sets them apart is the framing of these meals in the context of a celebrity’s favorite choices.
Ultimately, people tend to influence people more profoundly than mere information or data in marketing, sales, and life. The power of storytelling, relatability, and emotional connection drives consumer choices and fosters brand loyalty.
Conference: Detroit Digital Summit | Session Title: For The Culture | Speaker: Marcus Collins