Fit the brand to the social identity

Guy Champniss
Meltwater Consulting

Social identities shift and reflect the situation a consumer is in at the time, so brands need to recognise this ebb and flow of behaviours, as well as look for opportunities to steer and exploit them.

To build a strong brand, it's fair to say that a lot of time and effort has to be committed to identifying, refining and articulating a distinctive and coherent positioning for that brand. And this positioning most likely emerges from yet more time spent finessing a bespoke segmentation model for the brand's users.

With all of this, the aim is to find, occupy and hang onto a prime piece of real estate in the consumer's mind, and for the brand – anchored to this mental premium turf – to embody a host of consistently positive associations for the consumer. To protect these associations, we often go further, trying to align the brand's essential qualities with those of the ideal user; a sort of identity matching process, where the brand understands, reflects and enhances aspects of the 'consumer self'. In this pursuit, data is pored over, concepts honed and campaigns developed with the elegance of a custom-build sports car. Once we've pinpointed our consumer, everything else follows.