It used to be you knew where your audience was when they interacted with your brand. And where they were probably led to a few assumptions about who they were.
How we live now, especially in the limbo between lockdown and no lockdown changes all that. From Tik Tok to Teams, niches are amplified, interests go viral, and where you live isn’t the same as where you spend your time.
Geography still has a place in understanding your audience, but we need to quickly move beyond that to build a picture of your audience as tribes. Tribes are tight groups that spill from one household to another, overlapping and interlocking, creating opportunities to spread messages throughout a tribe and from household to household.
According to Forbes, Tribes arise when consumers identify as a group based more on common collective behaviours than on demographics. Tribes are influenced by two factors – the people who create and lead them or the places they inhabit.
Tribes can be shaped by one of three groups – celebrities, officials, or peers.
In all cases, these are the passionate active voices of their community. It is possible to distinguish the key figures in any given tribe by measuring social reach and sentiment. Through targeted tools, such as direct appeals or mini-campaigns, it is possible to empower these leaders to communicate their messages to the wider tribe.
We recently put these ideas into practice to create and launch a regional brand, through engaging local celebrities and providing them with the tools to start a social conversation. This helped build a community of 10,000 people registered online as interested in the brand, double the original target.
Tribes can be targeted by geography, but they aren’t limited by it. They can live in social, digital, or physical spaces. Once you have identified the right space, they can become cost-effective containers for your message. Tribal marketing and tribal brand strategies can range from a paid search strategy and Google ads remarketing to reach tribes who share a digital space to Facebook filters and Twitter polls to reach across social spaces.
You could even target shared physical spaces, from shopping centres to parks. This creates entry points to the campaign with communications that reflect key local tribes encouraging them to amplify the message. In this case, increasing unprompted awareness by 9 percentage points and controlling the narrative, delivering unanimously positive media coverage.
Find your tribes and harness their power to influence, it could be transformative for your brand.