What We Believe
The wish to belong is a very strong instinct in people, stronger than the wish to stand out. The wish to be equal, respected, and loved drives consumers to buy, read, and watch the same brands and content as their family and close friends. The subliminal wish to be trusted and supported pushes consumers to choose the same labels as their wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
The consumer’s purchase cycle is a process of growing social intimacy. Consumers learn about a brand through mass media. They develop brand preference through their social network. They purchase and become loyal to the brands they share with close friends and relatives. For a brand to create loyal clients, its communication strategy needs to incorporate all these social layers.
We don’t just believe. With decades of research under our belt, we can prove how a brand’s success is defined by its ability to support social connections between its customers. Offline, a brand can connect people with labels, events, and stores. Online, it can use fan pages, community sites, and viral content. With social media, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to connect consumers. This opportunity is also rewarding financially. Our research shows that the ROI of social media can be four times as high as the ROI of mass media to the brands that empower friends to express themselves.