Reflecting on the Psycho-Social Overtones of Muffin-tops, Green M&Ms & Brownie Edges


We define ourselves by our preferences.

Are you a brownie edge lover, or does a brownie from the middle of pan taste better? Do you feel special when you get the rare double peanut M&M or are you happier picking out and eating only one-color?

Many brands have capitalized on this prevalent trend of micro-personalization, from adding more edges to a pan for crispy lovers to packaging all green candies. The early days of muffin tops and donut holes have gone into overdrive with the ability for marketers to socially listen to consumers more carefully.

But where does this all come from? One place – it is the paradox of feeling individual while belonging to a distinctive group. Like people who only eat pink Starbursts, purchase Apple-only tech products or who join in the chase of Pokémon Go.

In social psychology, the idea of peak distinctiveness gives us a strong emotional feeling of pride and satisfaction when we can share it with others who have the same interests. When that happens, a joyful emotional connection has been made.

Just look around, it’s happening in restaurants, fashion, home goods, technology, healthcare, finance and more. People want to use products and services that permit them to feel unique while still being part of a special group. We’re talking about the sweet spot where social identity and buying choices synchronize. It is a magical, enigmatic place every brand marketer can capitalize on only if truly involved with their audience and their brand. Avidly watching, seriously listening and quickly responding are key components.

All of this begs the question, “How emotionally connected are your customers to your brand?”

Find out how well your organization, products or services connect by taking a brand Emotional Connection Index assessment. In about five minutes, you can see how your brand rates. Visit the Emotional Connection Index.

About Sagon-Phior: A Brand Consultancy that helps brands become better by developing strategies, communications and marketing using emotion as a critical driver for business performance. 

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