Chapter 7. Movements Have Powerful Identities

Fill in the blank: "I am a ________."

A mac? A PC? Card-carrying member of the NRA? Buddhist? Vegetarian? Skinhead? What would you fill in that bank with? Whatever it is, it's part of your identity. It's a label. It's something with which you identify and something you support. And, most important, it's a part of you.

As humans, we are fundamentally hardwired to desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, more important than we are alone. Because we all want to be bigger than we are. Religion, sports teams—even brands. We're always on the lookout for things that we can incorporate into our personalities—because it creates a sense of belonging. And we all want to belong.

One of our favorite books is The Element by Sir Ken Robinson, PhD. Here is what he has to say on this subject: "Connecting with people who share the same passions affirms that you are not alone; that there are others like you and that, while many might not understand your passions, some do."

Movements Have Powerful Identities

Powerful identities help draw kindred spirits to you and give them a badge of honor to wear. It allows you to recognize others in the movement, be able to share their stories, and bond with like-minded people. It's an extremely powerful tool, considering that we spend so much of our lives being identified by what people call us. Getting a chance to say, "This is who I am in ...

Get Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.