Today’s guest blogger is Shandice. I love this quote she says on her blog: “As a young woman, I believe to breathe is not enough. I want to live! I want to be life, share life, and inspire others to live the best possible life they can.” Shandice is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Social Science and she wrote this awesome post below about the science of marketing!
Have you ever wondered what drives a consumer to walk an extra 10 minutes past their local coffee shop and right into Starbucks? Or, what about a consumer who will spend an extra $20 dollars on a pair of shoes made out of the exact material as the cheaper version? Well, there are many reasons for consumers making those decisions, but I’m going to focus on three realizations that not only fill company pockets, but most importantly they build brands.
Consumers are people
First I’d like to ask you a question, when reading the paragraph above did you connect with the word consumer? Personally… I didn’t, it makes me feel cheap, as if I am only capable of purchasing a product, rather than investing in a brand.
Companies can choose to either temporarily attract consumers or build a community who will buy into the vision of the company. One of the key factors of brand loyalty is the emotional connection people make with brands, you hardly hear someone say “I love my coffee machine”, you’d most likely hear them say “I love my Keurig Coffee machine”, the brand gives a product its identity, now what customers see is down to what companies show.
In all aspects of life, people want to feel appreciated. We buy products to fulfil a want or need, but we invest in brands which make us feel like valued customers. When we purchase items from a select company not only are we buying a product, we are supporting a movement, their movement which essentially becomes our movement.
What is the ideology behind your brand?
Brands tell us a story, in order to attract customers a company’s brand must hold substance, no one wants to buy a novel with empty pages but how do you get the customer to buy the book in the first place? The company must create a narrative that matches their vision, belief system and has room for growth. The narrative then becomes an ideology, one people can relate to and appeals to their five senses.
A company must stand for something. A fine example being the ‘One for One’ Toms shoes campaign, when you buy a pair of their shoes you are also supporting the belief that children worldwide deserve the opportunity for a better future though improving their health, education and well-being. There will be customers who are drawn to Toms shoes strictly because their design and comfort but there will be a great amount of customers who will invest in Toms vision because they also want a brighter future for young children worldwide, hence why Toms has a great number of giving partners who make his vision possible to fulfil.
Does your company have a Sociological Imagination?
A Sociological Imagination is all about your perspective, and opening yourself up to new perspectives as well as creating your own. We are born into a world filled with traditions and cultures that we naturally grow accustomed to but those who dare to break the mould not only break outside of the box, they create experiences worth paying for.
To name a few, Cold Stone Creamery designed their signature process of preparing custom ice cream on a frozen granite stone and Steve Jobs started an iTunes/iPod revolution which enhanced the musical experience. Remember when you were a child and the sky was the limit? You had a colourful imagination comparable to the rainbow. Well in order to build brands which break boundaries companies must not only be imaginative, they must be courageous.
The process of building brands does not belong to the arena of business and marketing, it stems for a single seed of inspiration, now you can call this my ‘ideology,’ my point is you cannot push a brand you don’t believe in, building brands is as much an emotional experience as a boardroom meeting. When you connect the two, the results are limitless.