Brand Belonging

By Teamspirit on Monday, 20 January 2020

With the well-documented collapse of trust in large institutions, media and political leaders, society is experiencing a "belonging deficit". There is a lack of community, as we move around more, switch jobs and work remotely.

Add to that the effect that technological development has had, with greater screen life, FaceTime and the obsession with selfies. Our connection with others may have increased, but only superficially.

Social media doesn't provide an authentic connection. Feelings of anxiety, loneliness and increasing disengagement, especially among younger generations, have skyrocketed.

This "belonging deficit" has created a gap for someone to fill. Step up forward-thinking brands.

Airbnb and Starbucks have explicitly made "belonging" central to their brand purpose. Harley-Davidson lives by it, encouraging consumers to join through experiences. Capital One in the US has built a series of cafés with free wifi, coffees and coaching. More and more brands are looking to offer connective experiences, not just social media following. Think person-to-person engagement such as branded festivals, park runs, farmers' markets – experiences built on connections with other people and face to face. Connecting though community and with purpose.

We all want to belong. Now is the time for brands to step up, step in and make it happen.


Implications

• With the collapse of trust in large institutions, media and political leaders, society is experiencing a belonging deficit.

• Brands should be looking to offer connective experiences, not just social media following.

• Brands will increasingly offer more person-to-person interaction, instead of brand-to-person.



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