Like-Minded Brand Together: How Social Identity and Trust Can Help Brokers Build Stronger Brands (Part 1) –

Consumer-Enterprise Identification → Trust/Commitment → Loyalty Behavior

by Steve Pieroway, Founder, Benevolent Marketing

“All other things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to the people they know, like and trust.”
– Bobburg

That’s the Shangri-La of every service provider, right? We want customers and prospects who know us, like us, and think we do such a good job that they would risk their reputation with friends and family to recommend us.

It’s easy to understand. And much more difficult to implement. But that doesn’t mean we can’t point ourselves in the right direction.

As a broker, how do you tip the odds in your favor? How do you increase the likelihood that someone will know, like, and trust you?

Years ago, I conducted a research study that attempted to answer this question. The Hypothesis: The more we identify positively with a company (brand), the more likely we are to trust and commit to the brand, which increases our desire to buy again AND draws others’ attention to it.

Or expressed in equation form:

Consumer-Business (Brand) Identification + Trust/Commitment = Repeat Business and Referrals

For context, this study was conducted in the Canadian airline industry with WestJet and Air Canada as the target companies.

The results?

Before we get to the proof, let’s look at the pudding and dig into the model.

Consumer Brand Identification

Coined by scholars Bhattacharya and Sen, Consumer-Company Identification, based on social identity theory, argues that some of the deepest and most meaningful relationships are based on identity similarity, identity distinctiveness, and identity prestige.

See also  Things You Should Know When Thinking About Buying Car Insurance | King Price Insurance

identity similarity

“People of the same kind stick together.”
—William Turner

We humans are social beings. Therefore, we are motivated to be with people who share similar interests, values ​​and beliefs.

Identity similarity is the perceived similarity between a consumer’s own identity and a company’s perceived organizational identity. The more convinced a person is that a company shares the same values ​​and beliefs, the more likely they are to find the company’s identity attractive. That is, “like” the company.

The consumer-business dynamic creates an “in-group” of shared beliefs and values. Check out cross fitters. There’s a whole culture to being a CrossFit enthusiast. They train hard with HIIT workouts, eat keto or high-protein diets, and even hold a contest to determine the fittest person. This community even has its own vocabulary. WOD. Helen. Fran. cindy Murph.


identity uniqueness

Paradoxically, as much as people want to ‘fit in’ with certain social groups, they also need to ‘stand out’. An important tenet of social identity theory is that people attempt to distinguish themselves from relevant “outgroups” in social settings.

Ingroup loyalty and survival correlate with the degree of perceived distinctiveness among relevant outgroups. And having an outgroup brings ingroup differences to light and helps reassure the person of their status in the ingroup.

Let’s go back to crossfitters and compare them to long-distance runners. Both groups are athletes. But everything about them is different. your training methods. where they train. The vocabulary they use. Both groups have similar ingroup norms but differ from the relevant outgroup.

identity prestige

At its core, identity prestige is the desire to bask in the “reflected glow” of the company. It is a customer’s perception of how successful and important others consider the company that the person identifies with.

See also  How much does car insurance cost? | King Price Insurance

Well, that might seem a bit superficial at first glance. But if you look, it’s all around us. Societies. associations. memberships. We align ourselves with the brand image of these things, and being accepted into the group gives us a boost. We feel included and maybe even a little special.

If you knew the WestJet of the 2000s, it would be easy to see this idea of ​​”glory reflected” in action. WestJet’s success was everyone’s success. And for these followers, it felt good to be part of the WestJet party because they knew that others, their in-group, valued WestJet so much.

identity in the brand

As Bob Burg said, all else being equal, we will do business with those we know, like and trust. How much we “know” and “like” a company or brand depends on the strength of identity similarity, distinctiveness and prestige.

In the next article, we will see how trust and engagement affect brand relationship and how this impacts loyalty behaviors like recommendations and repeat purchases.

To be continued… (Read Part 2)

About the author

Let’s face it: marketing and sales are hard enough. Marketing and selling a service like insurance? Even harder.

It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd when you’re selling the same product and have the same credentials as everyone else. But it is necessary. With a unique relationship marketing framework he developed, Steve helps brokers do just that: stand out from the crowd.

Prior to starting Benevolent Marketing, Steve was at Policy Works where he led the Marketing, Sales and Customer Service teams (though not all at the same time). Luckily he was never allowed to program, although it was his only secret wish.

See also  Is pet insurance worth it in 2021? (Plus Prices & Tips)

While at Policy Works, he led an effort to double monthly recurring revenue, created the Commercial Management System (CMS) category, the Policy Works Ninja campaign, and the Broker Appreciation Week t-shirt giveaway.

Now he’s bringing his talents to the brokerage community (IYKYK, right basketball fans?). And he couldn’t be happier.

About benevolent marketing

Benevolent Marketing is brand positioning and strategy for insurance brokers. Why benevolent? Because, alongside performance and reliability, it is one of the three pillars of trust. And with credible services, trust is king.

We help insurance brokers build a unique brand so you will attract an insured who is willing to switch providers. Visit for more information.

SOURCE: Benevolent Marketing

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *