Feeling a sense of belonging is crucial to our overall well-being. We have an innate desire to feel connection. Connection to things, places, and other people. Brands have long ago caught on to this and they use belonging as a concept to sell things.
Social Media Marketing
Everywhere you look you are being sold something. People want your money! With the advent of technology, it’s a known fact that we are all available all of the time, and that means we are available to be sold to all of the time. Back in the good old days, only the T.V pervaded our privacy but now we are sold to from all angles. Browsing the internet, social media, straight to a device in the palm of our hand that we choose to dedicate a lot of our time to voluntarily.
What’s interesting is how sophisticated selling has become. Consumers have become more discerning too. As our options for choices have opened up so has our power as consumers. Brands know they have to play the long game in order to retain loyal customers.
In The Club
One of the many ways marketing has evolved is with this concept of belonging. Brands know we want to feel a part of something, a part of the club. From adverts that show you something you want to be then offer you the solution to get there (I’m thinking weight loss products) to the supermarket giants competing for your attention, lots of marketing campaigns hone in on feeling a sense of belonging.
Brand identity is huge because brands need to relate to their customers, or actually, to help their customers feel like they relate to the brand. It’s imperative for a corporation to define their brand well in order to stay afloat. Think of any of your favourite brands and you might notice they are not all things to all people. Each brand has a very specific ‘personality’ and consumers are able to choose which ones they identify with. This is because they want to appeal to particular people so that they can feel like the brand fits with their identity.
Money Can’t Buy Everything
Companies have discovered how powerful a sense of belonging is. It’s something we all crave in our lives. We like to feel a part of the club. It’s an easy ‘in’ for brands because as much as we want to belong we also don’t like to admit it. We have been spun a yarn somewhere along the way that longing to belong is somehow weak or inferior.
We can’t buy belonging. We must endeavour to find causes we want to be identified with, whether that’s through our work, home life, or church. Finding out what makes us feel like we belong contributes to our mental and emotional well-being. And it shouldn’t be a taboo subject.