Know Your Tribe

June 27, 2016

Brand is a promise and it’s also how an audience “feels” about that promise. Think of it in terms of your familial relationships. When a family member lies to you or you feel uncertain about their actions, how does that make you feel? Does it impact your trust in them short or long term? Will you question what they say or do for a period of time—or possibly indefinitely? If they hurt you in some way, will you be inclined to say, “Thank you. I’d like another, please”? No. You will retreat to a safer place—a place of certainty. A place where you can trust and where there will be truth. If your family member is a “brand,” you want to feel assured she does what she says and that her response aligns with your values and that contributes to the family in a positive way. It’s what we expect from brands: that they become a part of our family.

You’ve heard the term “tribe” before, I’m sure? I am borrowing the term “tribe” from Seth Godin, who really captured something. In his book, Tribes, he argues that now, for the first time, everyone has an opportunity to start a movement—to bring together a tribe of like-minded people and do amazing things. There are tribes everywhere, all of them hungry for connection, meaning and change.

When we align with a tribe, we induct ourselves into the tribal family. We believe their beliefs; we are perceived by how they are perceived. This is the power of brand. With a strong resonating brand, you build a tribe of believers: believers in your product or service; believers in your business mission. And these believers will become raving fans and speak the good word about your wonderful brand. That’s why brand is a big deal. Because if they—your potential customers—don’t love you, they’re probably indifferent or possibly worse: they may dislike you and share their feelings with others.

So you need to ensure you have a brand that will set you apart while speaking to your consumer market. In order to lead your dream client to do business with YOU, there needs to be an emotional connection made. It’s not about what we have. It’s about WHY we do it.  There is “a sea of the same” that offer the same kind of products and services that you do. Why should they do business with YOU?

When you can find those touch points with your tribe in a way that speaks to their soul while conveying the problems that you can solve for them you have set yourself apart – and in most cases have found commonality with your audience. Consumers spend money when they are inspired, valued and feel supported. You not only need to “connect the dots” for them but leave them wanting to come back for more of your awesome sauce.