Lecture 6 Tribal Marketing

Populist world
The hardcore consumers that live out a myth, that cultural branding can draw on. E.g Harley Davidson American west/Cowboy Gunslinger populist world=Hells Angels. Communities very important for marketing strategies
Consumption Communities
– Circulate Meaning of products/services by word of mouth networks
• Determine success/failure of marketing (Seth Godin)
– Communities offer marketing managers the “holy grail” of brand loyalty (Godin)
3 different Consumption Communities
-Subcultures of Consumption
-Brand communities
-Consumer Tribes
Subcultures of consumption
– Deviant/resistance groups generally associated with youth culture
Shared commitment to a particular
product class, brand or consumption
• Enduring social structures
• Strong interpersonal bonds
• Ritualised modes of expression
• Unique sets of beliefs that can preclude
other social affiliations
may be of central value to brand BUT criticism is that they are, tricky/unpredictable. e.g Harley & Biker gangs
Ethical issues of subcultures of consumption
– these groups have less power in society (marketing with these people may not be a good idea)
– Brand is parasite on the back of these groups
Brand Communities
– people congregate socially around specific brands
Uphold brand values
• Enhance dialogue with loyal consumers
• Enhance the co-creation of value by consumers and firms
– moral responsibility towards brands/enhance dialogue between customers and company
– assumes brand is centre of socialisation
Adv: More predictable
Predictable Characteristics of Brand Communities (4 categories)
-social networking
-impression management
-community engagement
-brand use
Can be leveraged through “seeding”
Consumer Tribes
– Concerned with the activities/passions of consumers and how a brand can fit in to facilitate activities – “linking value”
-don’t dominate the everyday life of the consumer
e.g Billabong didn’t exist. Surfing would carry on, not the same with Harley Davidson
-unlimited set of opportunities for entrepreneurs to facilitate ways consumers consume board sports
Characteristics of Consumer Tribes
– Multiple, consumers often members of more than one tribe
– Playful, unlike brand communities (conservative), change brands in unexpected ways
– Transient (pop up and then fade) e.g UK rave scene
– Entrepreneurial, provide networks where multiple business can fit together
– nobody in charge
Even though we know Tribes cannot be controlled. How to “seed” Consumer Tribes?
-Providing the platform.
-Hybrid culture.
-Network Opportunities.
-Identity in flux..
-Communities of Affect
Providing the platform
– tribes are huge “boss-less” teams
– tribal consumers looking for a stage to improvise performances and assemble culture/be creative
e.g’s of platforms are eBay/Facebook
Hybrid culture
– The process of connecting networks (products/services and their interdependent associations) together and establishing meaningful opportunities for linking value is key to fostering a tribal approach
e.g BBC used to be top-down, now uses diff approach
Communities of affect
– Tribes congregate based on passion (because it feels good)
– e.g Redbull constructed symbiotic relationships with any adrenalin based sports athletes, a platform for communities
Network opportunities
– Tribal marketer must remain attentive to all the elements that make up these networks.
E.g street architecture and skaters/ skater shops/ cafe’s
Identity in flux
Tribes are multiple and transient – identity and community changes fast…
– tribal marketer must remain close to network, monitoring elements that may change E.g council’s decision to alter street architecture
– Place Entrepreneurs
– provide platform for artists/athletes/musicians
– Volcom’s belief that the “only constant is change”

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