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  • Vanessa Rowley-Matthew

Using Group Dynamics and Community Identities to Grow Your Business



"Ain't nobody messing with my clique," according to Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Big Sean (clean quote). And like any clique, there are standards and a general way people in a group operate.


Playing Into the Collective


Your ideal consumer is also likely in a group or two. For many, their group affiliations come from a sense of who they are. Group affiliations give people their social and community identity. It helps many to feel socially accepted. Socially accepted group behaviors often shape the behaviors of individuals in the group. And the more defined the group image, the more likely people are to tout being in it.


Understanding this will help you create messaging that supports your ideal consumer's chosen identity. You can then tailor your marketing to the habits and hobbies of the group. Attitudes and values can also be tailored to drive decision-making.


Setting and Reinforcing Consumer Expectations


On the flip side, you can also promote your services to give people new identities. You can then find ways to reinforce these new identities by setting expectations. Essentially, you can encourage people to behave or act in a particular manner for their desired outcome. But a better way to go about this would be to meet instead of set expectations.


The best way to meet expectations would be through asking. I am talking about surveys, individual interviews, or focus groups. You want to ask the members of your target audience what they expect from your business, let's say, after hiring you. From their answers, you want to analyze the gap between what you think and what they think. This insight will help you bridge the gap to helping more people. Know that the more you can meet expectations, the happier your consumers will be. They will also be more likely to speak positively about your company.


Accelerating Word-of-Mouth Marketing


You can also get people talking about your business by focusing on a social "object." A social "object" is something people collectively speak about. So really, it can be a person, place, or thing like they say on Wheel of Fortune.


The concept is that people don't engage, spend time, or socialize randomly. Instead, people must have a topic of conversation. To think about it, not having a topic of conversation would be boring in any respect.


If you can create a topic of conversation that is important and relevant to your target audience, you can get some more traction for your business. You can also find out what is most important to your target audience by asking people who belong to it for answers. Market research is the key to so many marketing problems, so invest in it.

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