Written by Sibusiso Buthelezi

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Last year at the height of the covid pandemic, a friend of mine bought a car whose brand was new in the market and purchased a bike of a very reputable brand. Curious about the reason behind these purchases, I asked why he bought the car/ motorbike. His answer to both purchases was fascinating.

When giving his reason for choosing that car, he mentions the price versus the specs it has and couldn’t stop about how much it was a good deal.

As to his reason for the bike, he mentioned how much he is a biker the purchase would establish him as a true biker within the community of bikers.

From those reasons, one can tell that he paid more for the bike(and he did) than he did for the SUV and this piqued my curiosity as to why consumers would consciously pay more when they could stretch their money and how is a brand responsible for that?

It’s all about Decisions and Justifications.

When you look at the justification for the car purchase, you can see that the deciding factors were price vs product, where the value of the transaction is determined by how much he can get for as little as possible. 

However, the deciding factors for the bike purchase were price vs identity, where the price is an investment for who he is and how he wants to be perceived. 

My friends’ response reveals how brands that have successfully integrated themselves into the lives of their consumers take the focus away from price and features and direct it to aspirations, values and identity.

The Brand hack

When your branding development efforts are successful, your customers will justify their purchase decisions based on who they are. To succeed in winning the hearts of your customers you have to do the following:  

1. Be part of a tribe.

Stand for something and serve the community of people who share the same values as your brand.

2. Know their aspirations and help them get there.

Build a brand that not only affirms your customers’ identity but helps them ascend to the next level through your offering.

3. Express your unique voice and style.

Speak in a way only you can. Having a unique identity humanizes your brand and help integrate your business into the community.

4. Be relevant.

Be active in your community, seek collaborations that enhance the well being or popularity of your community.

5. Give priority to your tribe.

Your tribe or community should be first to know of any new offering, changes, behind the scenes and exclusive news. Priority to your tribe fosters an intimate connection with the community beyond sales.

6. Remain consistent.

Consistency will give your brand integrity and help users navigate your business.

The goal of your marketing and brand building is to serve so well that your customers start to describe your product according to who they are, when that is achieved, brand loyalty increases and help build a tribe of people who see what you offer as an investment to their ultimate self.