Twenty years ago companies could get away with the idea of, “if I build it, they will come”—as a way to sell their products and services. In this modern age of social media and consumer co-creation, building business is particularly difficult. It takes more than just traditional marketing approaches to cut through the clutter.
Consumers now control when, what, how and even whether marketing messages will reach them. Design, production and distribution of advertising and other marketing resources are now widely accessible. The result is an overcrowded space. Acquiring mind space with consumers is the challenge of the day.
Although incessant marketing can create attention, name/logo recognition and familiarity, many companies mistake this for “branding.”
…creates a rich, consistent and clear meaning system that defines what the brand stands for.
…differentiates from competitors and connects consumers to the brand creating loyalty.
…connects in a way that consumers internalize the brand as an expression of who they are or who they want to be.
So what can companies do to reach this holy grail of consumer evangelism?
The answer is a marketing strategy that creates Identity Loyalty:
The practice of positioning your brand so that consumers internalize it as a critical means of self-expression—the brand becomes a “symbol” that communicates their identity and they become devoted to the brand.
Successfully creating Identity Loyalty has tremendous benefits such as creating a self-energizing and organic community of brand ambassadors who promote and defend the brand out of their own desire to express themselves, increasing price elasticity and fending off competition.