I am a firm believer in the advantages of building a tribe. An powerful tribe will bring down the cost of marketing and help you maximise initial sales, repeat sales, and referral. Tribes facilitate permission marketing.
A tribe is a group of people who identify as being part of a community with which they share values. Tribes also tend to share a view of the world and the vision of those leading the tribe.
Building a tribe will take time, but it is not rocket science:
- Identify the members you want
A tribe needs to be exclusive. That is, it needs to be clear and evident who can be ‘in’ and who must be ‘out’. A tribe is as much about who cannot join, as it is about who can and should join.
- Establish leadership
Tribes tend to have a leader. Building a tribe almost always requires that you become that leader and provide guidance to those you want to join the tribe.
- Establish a vision
Tribes tend to gather around a vision or, at the very least, engage with a common vision. This will generally inspire them to act by joining the tribe and being active in it.
- Look beyond membership
Having a tribe offers real benefits in terms of driving sales upwards and costs down. That said, membership is of little value in itself. Members need to be engaged and encourage others.
- Establish clear values
Tribes tend to build when the members have a common view of the world and believe in the same things. Members buy into a tribe and buy from a business when values are aligned.
- Demonstrate ahead of articulate
It is naff to publish your values. No one believes you anyway. Values and a commitment to a common vision need to be demonstrated by behaviour and driven by culture.
- Reward membership
In addition to demonstrating a commitment to the values and the vision, it is important to offer more tangible rewards for membership and tribe engagement.
- Communicate consistently
To maintain and fully leverage a tribe, it is important to communicate with members in a way that they relate to and to which they are likely to respond. Communication inspires connection.
- Encourage congregation
It is important to communicate with members. It is also helpful if members can communicate with each other. This encourages connection and enhances the quality of the experience.