Creating a shared purpose: The promise of a better tomorrow
In 1968, Gene Roddenberry transported American viewers to new worlds and new civilizations with Star Trek. It inspired fans around the world to dress up as Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, and Humans, and come together to support the ideals of Star Trek. In the words of one fan, “When I go to conventions, I can just be the person I really am.”
What it takes a brand to create a mass movement is true for all movements. In his seminal work on mass movements, The True Believer, Eric Hoffer describes what it takes: “Those who would transform a nation or the world cannot do so by breeding and captaining discontent … or by coercing people into a new way of life. They must kindle an extravagant hope.”
That “extravagant hope” translates into brands promising a better tomorrow. But, that better tomorrow that ignites a passion in its followers is different for every movement.
Star Trek offers its fans the promise of a more peaceful future. Apple offers the promise of being more creative and creating a beautiful world. Harley offers the promise of breaking loose from cages and experiencing true freedom.
All movements tap into their customers’ specific human needs and archetypes and turn that into the promise of the better tomorrow that they believe in.