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The Seven Doors

by Jean-Claude Saade


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4 – Shared Interests/Benefits
(Wealth, power, information, notoriety …)

Shared Interests and Benefits being wealth, power or notoriety can also bring people together. People need to put collective efforts to achieve more wealth or to gain power. Certain brands can share the same interest of these groups of people and even help them in realizing their common objectives and consequently benefit from their support.

Special Interests and benefits can lead people to form certain groups that can be physically present or could be internet-based communities of members who are interested in sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences in certain fields. These groups offer opportunities to interact with peers for idea sharing, learning, and networking.

Brands who share the same interests or who can help in realizing the interests and benefits of these groups can establish a solid and continuous connection with them. People who want to stay connected with family and friends online will show very strong connections with the msn and Skype brands and may accept offers and opportunities to do business with these brands or eventually with third parties introduced by these brands.

People who want to constantly stay in touch with the latest stock market updated through their mobiles will strongly rely on handset manufacturers and service providers offering them the opportunity to stay connected with their business and money through the right mobile device and the right service. The door for more business and connection will be also open.

5 – Shared Lifestyle
(Fashion, housing, restaurants, vacations …)

Similar lifestyle patterns would create natural synergies between people and between people and brands. People who share a certain lifestyle with a certain socio-economic belonging would easily identify with each other and present very similar patterns in terms of behavior and consumption.

People who share a certain taste for fashion, for travel destinations, for vacations, will directly or indirectly discover that they share certain lifestyle patterns that make them similar at different levels. Many lifestyle aspects are driven by aspiration or some copycat practices but this will not affect much the end result.

Successful brands would become the symbols of a certain lifestyles. Apple is a lifestyle brand; BMW is also a lifestyle brand; Harley Davidson, Starbucks, Nike, Boss, Adidas and much others.

All these brands have earned the status of lifestyle symbol which goes far beyond the functionality and the delivery of the product or service they are selling. People have always used their relationship with iconic brands to project certain lifestyle messages to the outside world (owning a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW would send different messages about the owner and his lifestyle even within the same price range).

When Apple offers the combination of iPod, iTunes and PowerBooks with the possibilities of buying, downloading, synchronizing and experiencing music, Apple is contributing to the shaping of a certain lifestyle embraced by its target customers. This will lead to a stronger relationship with the brand and prepare the consumers’ scene for its next offering.


6 – Shared hobbies
(Sports, arts, music, travel …)

Shared hobbies of different natures can also bring people closer and connect them to brands that share those same hobbies or contribute to a better experience of these hobbies.

Brands like Quick Silver and Billabong have been invented from within the hobby of wave surfing which represents their cradle and natural environment even after becoming global brands with a wide appeal. The essence of these brands is still anchored in the surfing culture and their key reason-to-be is making the surfing hobby more enjoyable. Regardless if these brands have become over-extended nowadays, actual and aspiring surfers will continue to connect strongly with these brands as an intrinsic part of the surfing hobby as an expressive hobby and a way of life.

Lovers of music, especially youth, would naturally connect more with brands like Nokia offering them many options to listen to their personal favorite music on their mobile phones. Although, music on the mobile phone is an addition to its role as mobility tool, the connection with the mobile phone brand that nurtures this hobby will become stronger and last longer.

In another example, Sony PlayStation can consider adopting auto-racing as a hobby and be present in motoring events where it can be closer to consumer groups who share the same passion. This is one of the doors to consumer connection that can reinforce the relationship and possibly result in higher sales of the PlayStation consoles and its auto-racing computer games.

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Status: 18. Januar 2008