In order to grow an idea or business and really climb the wall that millennials have built between the “in crowd” and the “out crowd,” it’s crucial to form a tribe.
What is a Tribe?
In this context, a tribe is a group of people who all share loyalties to a certain brand, product, or service. These are the people you can count on to be wearing, carrying, eating, drinking, or somehow otherwise representing a certain brand in their everyday life.
One of today’s largest and most loyal tribes is the tribe of Apple users. That Apple logo is an image known around the world, and there are certain people you can count on to be #teamApple or a part of Apple’s tribe.
A cornerstone of Apple’s strategy was building a culture around their products. These are people who keep up to date with the latest and greatest Apple products and knowledge. These people are the backbone of Apple’s brand. Think of any hardcore Apple fan you know and odds are you know what we’re talking about. Apple loyalists carry themselves with a distinctly “Apple” image, far greater than say, Microsoft users.
Create a following
So how do you get people to follow your brand so closely and talk about your brand so much that they’ll cause those around them to join in? Create an image.
Having an image is a crucial part of finding your tribe. When you think of Apple and their products, what do you think of? Simple, sleek, almost minimalistic? You and almost everyone else. That’s because they’ve built all their products with that same image in mind. Create something that people will connect with, something that people may be able to use in their day-to-day lives, something that will make people want to buy and tell everyone else about it.
Once you’ve got your image, find people you can count on to tell others about it. On social media, drum up as much of a wave as you can. Use creative hashtags, take videos showing your product in action, and then ask your fan base to do the same. Stirring up user generated content leads to more people talking about your product, and as we all know, word-of-mouth referrals are the best kind.
Keeping and growing your tribe
Once you have a solid tribe built, you might think you’ve accomplished your goal, right? Not quite. It’s not enough to have a fan base that is stagnant; make sure you are consistently building new relationships and bringing new people into your tribe. Product releases, look books, and sneak peeks are always a good way to stir up conversation among fans, and keeping those in your tribe happy is what keeps your business growing.
Like Apple, you should always be evolving and working on your brand. And always have something new in the pipeline for your loyalists to salivate over. Even if your next big thing isn’t a true game-changer, make sure it fits in with the tribe and you’ll stay on solid ground.
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