My current read of the week is Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect by Matthew D. Lieberman. I’m an insatiable reader always looking for new ideas and perspectives. It’s not uncommon for me to switch up the focus. There are a lot of case study or leadership books but every so often it’s nice to drop down into the sociology and psychology of what we do in our industry. So far, the most interesting statement in the book is on page 9:
In my research, I have found that the neural basis for our personal beliefs overlaps significantly with one of the regions of the brain primarily responsible for allowing other people’s beliefs to influence our own. The self is more of a superhighway for social influence than it is the impenetrable private fortress we believe it to be.
In other words, our personal beliefs are highly influenced by those around us we are closely connected to in the universe. More importantly I find it interesting this research points to the influence on our sense of self. Our perception of who we are and what we stand for can be heavily influenced by our circle of friends.
In marketing and from a brand perspective, we want to influence our customers and be supportive of their needs. Social engagement affords us the opportunity to activate that influence in mass. We can create wonderful brand experiences that not only resonate and connect with our customers but also help define a shared sense of self between brand and customer. After all, we are no longer able to clearly control or define our brands. Our brands are a reflection of our customer’s beliefs and quite possibly, their sense of self with us. It’s important to remember the human drivers behind our work and why we have this opportunity to develop deeper connections.