Marketing and Identity – Why do you desire?

Marketing and Identity, man undecided choosing shoes.Have you ever considered why you are drawn to purchase the products you do? It’s not always as simple as price or quality. Our desires to want and need items are influenced not just by marketing but the people around us, the world we live in, the messages that inform our current identity ‘who we want to be’.

This blog will give you a bite-size dive into the psychology of purchasing and will give you some food for thought before you embark on your next media campaign to promote your product.

Influence and Persuasion

Marketing and Identity, woman getting out of a car. Business Identity

Let’s use a car as an example. What makes you decide you need to buy a car? To get from A to B, obviously, but why that particular car? And what are your dreams and aspirations? What car would you like to see yourself driving? You will first think of what you stand to gain by the purchase. Most of us will already have a car, not our perfect car but we can still get from A to B so buyers need to be persuaded to get a ‘better car’.

The buyer has to see themselves in a better place by owning the new car. This concept that your product will make the purchasers life better is central to the majority of advertisements and campaigns to promote products. It’s not just about what the product does, it’s about what the product can do for you. There is a difference, the ‘you’ is what makes you happy, satisfied, relaxed, comforted, complete.

This YOU is important. The person you think you are and who you want to be are a complex mix of influences from family, friends, popular culture, advertising, personal history, life experience, social norms, there is an infinite list. The logical side of the purchase, the fact, the figures, the technical specifications, are not usually the key focus of a media campaign. Advertisers use lifestyle marketing, carefully positioning the product within a story that shows how you can ‘be’ if you own that product.

Lifestyle Marketing

Marketing and Identity, Desire image.Back to the car. A family rushing around planning for a family trip, leaving their beautiful detached family house in a rural village, piling in the SUV, sunglasses on, kids in the back – spacious, attractive. A business woman, neat suit, leaving a large city office, obviously successful, elegantly gets into her shiny leather seated car. I made all this up but you get my drift. Car advertisements may list the tech spec and mention the cost at the end, but they are selling a lifestyle. Purchasers will justify buying decisions by looking up technical specifications (safety record, horsepower, aerodynamic design) but advertisers understand that the ‘want to have’ is wrapped up in our personal desires about what we think we ‘want’ and this need and desire is more persuasive than a cars safety record.

This is a very simplified description of how personal identity informs our choices. Identity is not fixed it is a moving feast and we are not simply discussing gender. What we like and want, what we admire and desire is not a constant, neither is it dictated from advertisers or external influences, we are active participants in adopting styles from trends and influences around us, and we consume products that fit with our view of ourselves within our particular network and culture.

Consider why social media ‘influencers’ are a successful way advertisers sell products to consumers. Popular icons and people with a large following integrate brands into their content, immersing products into their appealing lifestyle. Followers/(consumers) desire the lifestyle and positioning products in this way suggests ‘if you purchase this, you too can be like me’ (successful/radical/cool/business like/young/fit..etc).

If you sell a product and are considering a marketing campaign, think how you can sell it within a ‘lifestyle’. Research your ideal customer, what do they dream of being? Who are they? What are their wants, likes desires? What films will they watch? Books do they read? ‘Who’ do they desire to be? If you can figure this out and create a campaign that positions your product within their desired lifestyle, there is a very good chance consumers will desire your product.

It’s a productive exercise to write a fictional bio of your ideal consumer, this is a ‘buyer persona’. From this you can start to think how to create media that not just tells your consumers what it ‘does’, but will suggest your customer ‘desire’ it, fall in love with it and want it, as it will satisfy their wish to ‘be’ like those who own it.

Further reading:

Good blog on Lifestyle Marketing Here.

Good blog on Identity Marketing Here.

I hope you found that interesting. If you need engaging and relevant media production to support your marketing strategy get in touch:

Get in touch with Firetree Here. – Business Media Production

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