🤔 Did you know…
You’re more likely to help a stranger if they’re wearing the sports jersey of the team you support.
If that sounds far-fetched… then you’re massively underestimating the power of unity.
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You just got in line to check out at the grocery store.
Headphones are in. You’re fully engrossed in your podcast episode.
You feel a tap on your shoulder.
You turn around. It’s a stranger with a nervous smile.
You pause your podcast and take out your headphones.
The stranger lets you know they lost their wallet and they’re in a pinch. They ask if you’d be able to buy them a bottle of water and a bag of chips.
As they’re asking, you notice their sweatshirt. It has the name of the college you went to. This feels extra special because it’s a small school most people haven’t heard of.
Do you suddenly feel compelled to help out?
In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re taking a look at Unity — how our self-identity impacts our decisions and behavior.
Let’s get into it.
The Psychology of Unity 🧠
Research shows that if that stranger didn’t have that sweatshirt on… you’d be less likely to help them.
Studies have found that bystanders are more likely to help an injured person if they are wearing a football jersey of a team the bystander likes.
We feel drawn to people that share similar identities to us.
- They went to the same college
- They root for the same sports team
- They work in the same profession
- They’re in the same phase of life
- They’ve lived in the same city
The wild part? This trigger is so ingrained in us that even walking in lockstep with somebody will make us act more generously toward them.
(You didn’t just think the army thought it looked cool, did you?)
Shared identities make us feel unity with another person.
And it works for brands, too.
Inside Your Buyer’s Mind🧐
As potential customers scroll online, they’re not “accidentally” finding products to buy.
They’re unconsciously magnetized to the content, brands, products, and people that appeal to their identity.
And a big part of what draws them in is a shared identity.
When they feel the unity between themselves and the content, brand, or products:
⏸️ They pause.
😍 They feel.
💸 They take action.
As George Ten points out, your “favorite” creator isn’t your favorite for no reason.
You don’t love listening to your favorite podcast host because they’re so knowledgeable.
It’s deeper than that. You love listening to them because of their aligned values.
Unity is why branding is such a powerful part of a business.
How To Apply This 🤑
Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?
Make your identity loud
Black Rifle Coffee came into a hypercompetitive market (coffee). In 2022, they made $301 million. (Wow, this number surprised me too!)
How different can a coffee company really be?
The product itself isn’t anything overly special. It’s… just coffee.
It’s the belief behind the brand that’s driving these insane sales. Black Rifle Coffee says they, “serve coffee and culture to people who love America.”
As an ecommerce brand (most likely with a ton of similar competitors), you can’t compete on product quality alone.
Sharing your values loudly and proudly will create a sense of unity with your best-fit buyers.
Create a shared vision
Tech is more than just a tool for efficiency. It’s a vision of a brighter future. A change in the norm. A different way of living.
At least, that’s what Steve Jobs believed.
The infamous 1984 ad didn’t sell Mac computers. It sold a vision of the future. A future where ‘the crazy ones, the rebels, and the ones who think differently,’ excelled.
Use these two questions to follow in Jobs’ creative advertising footsteps:
1. How does your ideal customer see themself? Who do they want to be?
2. How can your product help them to realize their goals and become a better version of themselves?
Retail & Hospitality
Use familiar foods, music, and imagery to make people feel welcome
Did you know Magic Johnson was a key player in bringing Starbucks to urban communities?
Initially, Starbucks didn’t believe this was their target demographic. Johnson proved his business savvy by visiting urban cities and asking people, “Do you want a Starbucks here?”
They all said yes (ahhh, the power of customer research 😊).
But, Johnson knew that the regular Starbucks experience wouldn’t cut it. He strategically made sure that these locations played the music that these communities listened to. He also changed the menu.
Here’s a hilarious clip of him explaining his strategy (starts at 22:05).
Instead of this demographic coming into Starbucks and feeling out of place, Johnson created an experience where they felt right at home.
Their identity felt aligned with being inside of Starbucks.
The result? Johnson’s Starbucks locations had a higher per capita spend than the others.
Use storytelling to trigger a sense of unity
A fact is over 20X more memorable if it’s wrapped in a story.
You know what makes a great fact?
- How much you increased your client’s website conversions
- How your SEO strategies resulted in 12.8x growth
- How your client’s social media Reels garner an average of 150,000 impressions
Wrap your service business’s credibility in stories to make it more memorable.
But, it can’t just be any story.
It needs to be a story your buyers identify with.
One that pulls at their heartstrings, makes them feel the frustration of the experience, and makes them think, “Wow, they get it.”
Shaan Puri used storytelling to promote his overseas talent company, SupportShepherd.
Readers felt united with Shaan, thanks to the shared experience of also wanting to build a $100M+ empire. The story reminds readers that achieving this goal will take help…
And Shaan’s company is perfect for the job.
So. Damn. Good. 👏
The Short of It 💥
Your buyers identify with hundreds of beliefs.
And without realizing it, they pay attention to others who feel the same way.
Use unity to make your brand un-ignorable and magnetize your ideal buyers.
Until next time, happy selling.
🐦 Your Brainy Tweetable
Want to make your brand un-ignorable?
Create unity between your brand and your buyer’s identity.
🔮 What future do you both believe in?
🤝 What values are you both not willing to compromise on?
😅 What experiences have you both had?
Use your answers as your messaging.
Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?
There are a few ways we can help: