The belonging deficit and three critical questions businesses should ask

In his latest Forbes byline, Andy Bateman, CEO of Sid Lee USA, discusses the increasing prevalence of a "belonging deficit" in America and what that means for society. He shares that as disconnected as we may have become, digital media isn’t helping. Far from providing the real connection and sense of belonging we crave — it instead offers “thin community” — a shallow and often temporary veneer of connection that’s transactional, fleeting, and lacks any real depth and meaning.

Community, real community, is much more meaningful. Real belonging through communities have four rich characteristics — communities help us shape our sense of identity; bring us social capital or a shared set of values; a degree of oneness — something we can bond to; and importantly mobilization — acting around their central purpose. They are out there; we are increasingly searching for them, the real communities, the naturally occurring ones, to help us fulfill our need to belong. They’re sports teams, workgroups, shared interest communities, activist groups or life stage and lifestyle groups, clubs, and gatherings.

As entrepreneurs and marketers look ahead to 2021 and ways to maximize their ROI, Andy advises that they should make filling the ‘belonging deficit’ through community-based marketing, a primary strategy for growth and brand health.


To learn about the three crucial questions they should consider, read the article in Forbes.