The best brands are more than just brands…they’re something of a belief system.
To those outside of the advertising industry, that may seem a little grandiose and overblown. However, it’s the truth.
Across all industries, we’re seeing a trend of consumers gravitating towards businesses with a strong belief system. People are shunning brands who don’t share their values and flocking to ones that align with their beliefs.
Not sold yet? Let’s take a closer look…
More and More People Want to Connect to A Brand
Consumers today have access to more choices than ever before. Whether they’re shopping online or at a grocery store, there’s no shortage of quality goods and services for virtually any need or desire. Now that customers have easy access to great goods and services, we’re starting to make purchasing decisions based on something more.
It’s like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: our basic needs (the need for a quality product) are already met. Naturally, we’re now looking for something more – does this quality product align with my beliefs and values? Does it make me feel better about the world?
Consumers Want Brands That Share Their Beliefs
A few decades ago, this concept would have been very foreign to consumers and advertisers alike. But times have changed. Consumers are more conscientious than ever about the impact businesses have on the world. They’re asking themselves, is this brand making the world a better place?
For starters, there’s an unprecedented level of transparency between consumers and businesses. It’s harder than ever to hide your dirty laundry – when a company makes an offensive advertising blunder, everyone knows about it. Similarly, messages like Patagonia’s $10M donation to fight climate change dominate headlines and spread fast across social media.
Nowadays, 57% of consumers say they’ll boycott a brand based on their social beliefs. In short, people want to vote with their dollars.
And think of Apple: they have so many devoted fans that some have gone far enough to call it a cult.
That devotion isn’t just about the iPhone, it’s about their belief in challenging the status quo and making the world a better place with the best possible tech products. With Apple, you’re not buying a computer, you’re buying an ideology and a community.
People Want to Be a Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves
Brands with a strong belief system offer something more compelling than any product or service. They offer consumers a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to play a part in a bigger story.
When an organization is changing the world, leading innovation, or saving the planet/kids/animals, we’re naturally drawn to the products, services, and mission. It can be as dramatic as saving the environment, or as humble as promoting healthy lifestyles with affordable, nutritious food.
We All Want to Find Our Tribe
Lastly, a brand with a strong belief system offers a sense of belonging. It’s a core part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and if we were to create a hierarchy of brands, it would be important there too. We all want to find people like us, who accept us and care about the same things we do. By speaking to the values of our audience, we can give consumers a sense of belonging.
Thinking Past a Product
Consumers are looking for a brand that stands for their belief system. Brands that stand for something bigger in the world, that offer community and a sense of purpose. Is your company offering that? How are you weaving your beliefs into your branding?
Give us a call to talk about belief systems in branding and how they influence audiences.