These days we purchase from brands that we believe in and through our purchases we create our own identities. We buy to fit in groups with likeminded individuals.
Marty Neumeier, the author of ZAG suggests that unique buying tribe (UBT) is about pulling people into a tribe they can trust. In a marketplace of me-too offerings, people don’t seek features and benefits as much as tribal identity.
When we buy a new product we think of what it will say about us. If i buy an Apple computer do I come off as more creative? In most cases if you consider yourself a creative individual you MUST have a MacBook to show the world ur identity. Just walk around any arts university and you will see only MacBooks and that is no coincidence.
How do companies do this? They create their brand around emotions and a story instead of focusing on their product. This way a brand will portray a belief system and a set of values that the brand holds dear. And when we go out and buy things we look for brands that have similar belief systems and values to ours.
We can look at Harley – Davidson as an example. Men buy these bikes because they represent freedom and makes them feel more macho. It is very common for men going through a mid-life crisis to get one because they want to feel young, free and manly. A costly breakdown but probably effective for at least a little while. There are men out there making tattoos of the logo just because of what it represents.
If we like how a brand behaves we will buy from them to portray how we wish to be seen and that is how branding behaviours define us as individuals. You can tell a lot about a person just by the brands they buy items from.