What I noticed most was the passion behind what people put on their cars:
I knew just by driving behind someone what their stance on abortion was, or where they sent their kids to summer camp or their less-than-stellar opinions on mean people.
Cars are an expensive purchase – even a used one will cost a few thousand dollars, and a new one, even a modest one, costs five figures. But people “customized” them with their opinions, instantly lowering the value of their purchase of the name of free speech.
This is the vehicle they take to work, drive to the store, transport their family in. People use bumper stickers to literally put their platform in the face of strangers sitting in traffic.
How passionate must you be about a cause, politician, place or brand that it goes with you for the life of the car? How deep are your roots to something that you don’t hide a potentially controversial belief?
As marketers, shouldn’t our daily mission to be to build a brand people want to put on the bumper of their car?
Don’t you want your customers to have an emotional investment in your brand/cause (hat tip to Mack Collier for his recent post on the difference between emotional investment and transactional relationships) so powerful that they unabashedly glue your message to their automobile?
I call this the Bumper Sticker Factor.
Brand advocacy and evangelism are words that thrown around a lot – for a reason.
I can list the brands I am “Bumper Sticker” loyal to – the ones I proactively tell people about because I love them so much that I 1) swear off their competitors, 2) pay a premium price for and 3) still feel GREAT about making those purchases.
Brands like Chobani, Popchips, Perky Jerky and others made that personal connection with me and have turned me into an advocate by creative social media marketing and community management. I can also list brands that make products I like, but if their competitor has a good sale, I’d only be loyal to a point.
For your brand, you need to find out what motivates your target audience to be more than just loyal.
It’s more than just making sure you are at the top of their consideration set when it comes time to make a purchase or donation.
It’s making your brand or cause the ONLY item in the consideration set.
What are some of your best tips for reaching the Bumper Sticker Factor?