self looking glass

I have been pondering about the “Self-Looking Glass” concept; we learnt this in the first year of our Sociology classes.

Charles Horton Cooley, an American Sociologist, developed this exciting theory about perception in his paper – “Human Nature and Order.”

Interestingly, this glass talks about how we perceive the reality of self through a social lens.

Our concept of self is developed as a response to our perception of what we imagine as the perception of others is about us.

In simpler words, the Self-Looking Glass is the imaginary “Log kya kahenge” (“What will people say?” voice within ourselves.

And this internalized perception which we believe is coming from our social groups becomes our self of reality true.

I believe the “Self-Looking Glass” is genuine for brands, too, because many times, the people working with the brand or the audience engaging with the brand develops a perception of the brand based on their understanding and experience of what this brand represents.

This is why it becomes essential to create a list of the brand’s core values.

Imagine if X brand is human – what would they be like?

• What kinds of clothes will they wear? (Packaging)
• What would they like to talk about? (Brand Voice)
• Who would they like to talk to? (Brand’s TG)
• What would be their profession? (Offerings – Products/Services)

This would be an internal brand image; the external appearance is formed by signalling around status. What does X influencer think about this brand? Do they like it?

Compared to 2017-18, the external image factor has started to diminish in value because of the sheer number of brands the influencers are talking about. This passes on a message to the audience “Ah! These brands are not so important to the creator. It’s just the way they earn money.”

Compared to before, when Social Media Creators had a higher trust signal
“Wow! They never endorse any brand and offer valuable content. If they are talking about X brand today, it must be good”.

How influence has diluted in the last four to six years, the trust-building signals for brands will now have to change, and a lot of it has already started happening too, where brands are strengthening their internal voice to craft messages around what they stand for and why should the audience relate to them.

A lot that goes into brand building is about perception and social image – which ultimately build goodwill for the consumer story.

Are you strengthening the internal voice for your brand, or are you relying on 3P influence to work on this?

What are your thoughts?


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