Here are some examples of how we act consistently with an identity:
- If you’re an honest law-abiding person, you won’t break the law.
- If you’re environmentally conscious, you act against climate change.
- If you hold left-leaning political views, you’ll probably vote for a left-leaning political party.
- If you’re a caring parent, you’ll want to keep your children safe from cyber-bullying.
Here are four ways to use this principle on your Web site, to help persuade the right sort of Web site visitor to buy your products or services.
1. Tap into their values
When we consider somebody's identity, we're really talking about their core values - in other words, the guiding principles and rules for their life. If you can link your product to their core values, they are more likely to buy and use it.
What values are most important to your customers? One way to discover a suitable link is to ask this question: "Why would this site visitor beproud to use this service?"
Here are some examples of marketing based on values:
- The car company Volvo has a reputation for safety, so its marketing is aimed at people who value safety
- A funeral company can target people who don't want their children to pay for an expensive funeral by encouraging them to buy their funeral package in advance
- A car company selling hybrid cars can target people who value the environment
2. Build status
Identity doesn't only have to be about deep-seated beliefs. It can also be about prestige, status and "belonging to a club". For example:
- You don’t buy a Rolex just to tell the time.
- You don’t buy a Mercedes-Benz purely to get from A to B.
- You don’t go to Harvard Business School only because of its curriculum.
If your product or service has some status or prestige, emphasize this on your Web site.
3. Let them personalise it
People are also attracted to things that identify them - such as a coffee mug with their photograph on it, or a diary with their name in gold embossing on the cover.
If you can let your customers personalise your products and services by adding their identity, explain this clearly on your Web site - and make it easy for them to do it. For thought leaders and infopreneurs, this can include things like:
- Adding their logo to your books, which you give to everybody in the audience
- Interviewing their key people and using these as case studies or examples in your programs
4. Let them customise it
It might not be possible (or appropriate) for the customer to personalise your product, but they might be able to customize it to suit their needs. For example, this is obvious when selling clothes, where the customer needs to be able to pick sizes, colors and perhaps even different styles.
For other products, it's not so obvious, but you might still be able to allow some customisation. For example, even allowing for optional extras - such as an extended warranty, express shipping, or a training video - gives the customer some level of customisation. For those of us who sell services, this is obvious because we can offer the client a range of options, from which they can pick and choose.