Consumer self-perception influences behavior, which maintains social identities. Since social identities have a significant impact on people's behavior at any given time, marketers need to understand them. The group will continue to grow because of certain activities, but group-betraying behaviors are just as significant. Successful athletes or business leaders, for example, often purchase identical vehicles and read comparable magazines. This is not a coincidence. The group you identify with at the time of the purchase significantly impacts your decision.
However, the questions in surveys, whether given before or after a purchase, may make it difficult to determine a customer's social identification at that time. In response to minute changes in the social environment, we have the capacity to drastically modify the group we identify with at any one time. In reaction to a pleasant talk about lounge music with a neighbor, we decided to pick up a music magazine to enhance our status as rock fans.
Shifting of social identities
Our self-concept is the idea or opinion that each of us has about ourselves. Our social identity is the aspect of our self-concept that arises from how we see ourselves as a part of a certain group. This notion, however, ethereal, may be reduced to two parts. Initially, we see ourselves as being a part of certain groups but not others. Because of what we are doing and where we are, we are always thinking about one of our groups. The second is that each group should exhibit a specific set of behaviors.
A significant experiment demonstrates how several social identities and identity marketing may be produced quickly and easily. Researchers recruited several Manchester United followers from Lancaster University in the UK under the pretense of having a conversation with them about what it meant to be a soccer supporter. The preference for either Manchester United or soccer, in general, was questioned of the sample's other half.
The audience was then escorted away in smaller groups to another location, where they saw what they first believed to be an accident when a guy went down some steps but was really a stuntman's performance. The stuntman alternated between wearing the Manchester United and Liverpool shirts before donning a simple T-shirt. The goal of the research was to determine if the victim's membership in a particular group had an impact on his ability to get aid.
Managing social identities
The consequences for marketers regarding identity marketing are clear. If social identity influences behavior, then a company's marketing strategy should persuade consumers to adopt a persona that motivates behaviors like visiting a website, visiting a store, purchasing the good or service, receiving more value from it, recommending it to others, and contributing to the development of a better product.
1. Boosting Signal strength
Customers of identity marketing are more likely to choose things that most obviously demonstrate membership in a social group and that group's favorable, well-defined image when they identify with that group. The Toyota Prius hybrid car's marketing illustrates how to achieve this. By the end of September 2014, the Prius had sold more hybrids than any other vehicle in American history. It had outsold Honda's Civic, its major rival, in terms of total sales. The primary distinction between the two models is that the Prius is only offered as a hybrid and has an entirely different design from Toyota's standard gasoline-powered vehicles.
2. Customer tuning
Inadvertently suggesting that utilizing a product or identity marketing may violate social group standards might happen from time to time in a company's communications. Often, changing the message is all that is necessary to resolve the issue.
3. Protection of social identity
A company may utilize various strategies to learn about a person's social identity. This allows for the privacy of information on a customer's neighborhood, age, social media profiles, employment, etc. The organization must maintain the confidentiality of any private information they have collected. Customers are especially concerned about how their information is used and shared. People are willing to provide information in exchange for a better, more personalized experience, but they also want their data to be safe and private. It promotes customization and privacy by offering self-care controls that protect permission and privacy at various stages of operations. It benefits consumers and businesses alike.
Customers' engagement and loyalty may rise for businesses that provide a platform that protects the information they share with them. Customers are offered a private and secure experience, on the other hand. Every buyer in a market has a social identity, which affects their preferences and responses to various commodities. The community that a person belongs to has a significant impact on their social identity. Therefore, in order to market to clients and convince them to buy their goods, businesses need to have a solid understanding of the concept of consumer social identity. Businesses may attract both existing and potential clients by using a group's established social identity.