This entry was originally posted on 12/23/2013 on http://www.ulliappelbaum.com
Our lives are filled with rituals that all represent a potential opportunity to position a brand. These rituals can be big or small, performed daily or specific to life stages, individual or collective. Preparing oneself in the morning to get ready for the day, or grooming yourself before going out at night, preparing a regularly occurring meal or an annual get together, shutting down the house before going to bed or getting married are all important rituals in peoples’ lives.
Rituals are a universal feature of human social existence and can be defined as an act or series of acts done in a particular situation and in the same way each time. They usually involve artifacts and symbolism and usually include a transformation or evolution from one mental or emotional state to another (from wound up to relaxed, from lonely to connected, from single to married, etc.).
Rituals can be a great starting point and provide a rich territory for positioning a brand. It might be presumptuous for a brand to assume that it will get consumers to start a new ritual but understanding the rituals consumers already perform will enable a brand to explore and identify new ways to position itself.
So ask yourself:
– What rituals does the consumer perform and which one would be the most relevant for your brand?
– What transformation is the consumer going through by performing this ritual (the consumer’s emotional state is transforming from state A to state B) and what benefit can your brand help deliver in that context?
– What specific steps or acts does a consumer go through when performing this specific ritual and in what sequence? What meaning is associated with the various objects used during those various acts? What is the most relevant and meaningful role your brand can play based on that understanding?
– What meaning and values does your brand need to be associated with to be able to play this role?
What do you think? Have you used consumer rituals to position a brand? What was your experience?