Seth Godin describes a tribe as, ‘a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.’ If what he says is true - and we like to believe it is - then brands today are perfectly equipped to connect with people in a tribal way.
The likelihood is that if you’re passionate about a vision, cause, or belief enough to build a business around it, there are other people out there who share that sentiment with you. As such, the first step to finding your tribe is figuring out specifically what it is about this sentiment that they’re likely to engage with, and of course, where you can find them. By really nailing down these points, you can start to define exactly what you need to offer them. The point of this is not to generate sales, but to generate conversation; usefulness, and utility. If you’ve done your research right, and you can genuinely offer these things, then the sales part’s easy.
The good thing about doing it this way is that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Put another way, old methods would force markets to either create products that were cheaper, or better - and, as is tradition, there comes a time when ‘better’ plateaus, and your only option is to go cheaper. By taking the tribe-based approach, it’s more about why your business exists; it’s about commonality; about unifying people that might otherwise not have been unified. Price wars can’t do that. Even products can’t do that, not directly. Think about it: you don’t hear about people being iPhone fanboys; they love their iPhones, sure, but they’re Apple fanboys to a fault. That’s their tribe, along with millions of others who share Apple’s vision.
People are stronger in numbers, which is why a tribe is a force to be reckoned with; they’re loyal, they buy at a greater value more often, and not only will they do a tonne of your marketing for you, they’ll want to do it. If you successfully build a tribe to its full potential, you’ll have created more than a demographic; you’ll have created a way of life.
We help brands discover their tribes every day. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.