The success of Jeremy Lin as a brand cannot be understated. We are introduced to a man who was released by two NBA rosters, only to be given a chance by the New York Knicks. His instant rise-to-fame as the starting point guard of the Knicks proves more to consumers than simply a lesson in professional sports.
As much as Lin serves as an example of how a brand can reach a “tipping point” and develop a vast follower-base, his story also shows marketers and advertisers that “pathos,” or emotional appeal still has an effect on consumers and their buying-behavior.
Lin’s brand reinforces an age-old marketing tactic –emotional attachment.
This notion is supported by Lin’s quick rise to fame in the NBA and the result of which has been a trending sensation on social media and traditional media alike. In addition, consumers attaching themselves to Lin’s story include those who do not typically follow the NBA, evidence that trending phenomenon can develop new target audiences.
One of the most important lessons that can be learned includes the principle that when consumers establish an emotional attachment to a brand, they follow and invest in it. This is evidenced by the fact that even consumers that do not typically follow the NBA now do, evidence that trending brands can catapult and capture new audiences.
Communications experts would refer to this as an appeal based on “pathos,” or emotion. Marketers can leverage this notion to reflect on their own marketing strategies and perhaps reintroduce products that would have a similar appeal to consumers.
Furthermore, it is true that specific industries can reflect on Lin’s story to reestablish “pathos” with products that captured audiences in the past, including those products that have experienced up and downs in their product life-cycles (i.e. automobiles, fashion, etc.). This example is also a demonstration of how consumer-buying behavior can suddenly shift to a specific brand or trend, establishing new target audiences at any given point.