Too many marketers are not aware that every decision that a customer makes consists of complex emotions.

One such emotion, that of belonging, is the very reason your brand needs to develop its "why statement."

To understand the complex psychology of belonging, or purpose, let's look at a simple example of that idea in practice. Here's one from the sporting world.

Every four years, the FIFA World Cup is played. Fans from across the globe pack stadiums, pubs, living rooms, and city streets to watch matches. World Cup fans, like those from other sports, adorn themselves in the colors of their country, a ritual that has its roots in medieval tradition, in which people's sense of self and loyalty was tightly associated with their lords' colors and symbols.

Today's fans, while not dressing for battle, are the same—driven by an emotional connection to their team through deep-seated personal motivators. That connection (whether you call it a "desire to belong" or even "purpose") is equal parts a reflection of self and team. Such connections have even been shown to enhance someone's meaning of life.

So, why do we care about how emotionally connected someone can get to a soccer team?

The Psyche of Fans

Fans, by definition, are fanatics about the team or brand. Those brands have developed a very strong sense of being—the why statement. That statement, less of a formal mission statement and more of a sense of purpose, roots the brand into the psyche of fans and motivates them through emotion to take action.

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image of Peter Herrnreiter

Peter Herrnreiter is director of Digital at Motion PR.

LinkedIn: Peter Herrnreiter