Great Brands Build Tribes. Is Yours Worth Joining?

Everyone craves to be part of something greater than themselves, to belong to a tribe we identify with, are passionate about, and to which we feel a deep connection. What is a tribe? I’m not talking about Native Americans; I’m talking about the group of people your business attracts; your staff, your loyal patrons, your investors, and even you. Is your business cultivating a tribal connection?

We wear the symbols of tribal membership – like the BMW emblem on our cars, the image printed on the side of our coffee mugs, the iPods in our pockets, and the T-shirt imprinted with the logos and messages of the movements we support. These all reflect the beliefs and allegiances of the tribes to which we belong.

The Internet is transforming us from Brand Managers to Tribal Managers as marketers have less control over what is said about their brands and we have to build a connected community with shared values and beliefs that identify with your company’s values. Loyal tribe member are adamantly supporting and defending those businesses they identify with; at the same time those in opposing tribes may be advocating against your business. Brand managers have less control or influence over what is said about them and cannot as easily leverage or control media as they once did.

This shift from brand management into tribal management requires managing an increasing level of communication between parties, not just between you and the members, but amongst the members themselves. Your members or guests are speaking to one another online, in the grocery store, on yelp, etc… How does your business connect with its tribe? How are you enabling tribe members to connect with each other through your business? Do they talk about your business on food websites or through your own website? Are you up front about your tribe’s beliefs? Are you facilitating the connection between people (staff and guests)?

Can you identify a tribe of people (guests, staff, and investors) that….

· Identify themselves with the beliefs and vision of your business?

People are drawn to a tribe because of share beliefs, lifestyle, and affiliations. Brand choices are mirror reflections to how individuals see themselves. What do people want to see in the mirror? What do the people who identify with your tribe think about themselves? Does your business stand for or represent something that people will want to be a part of? Does your staff feel proud to identify with your brand’s values?

· Crave to be part of it?

Member of your brand or tribe crave more than simply your product; they crave to be part of something. Tribal members want to connect with others who share their interests be it organic food and BMWs or gourmet burgers and Harley Davidson’s.

· Do people feel like they belong?

People are constantly seeking to belong. Is your brand in its entirety (experience, passion, mission, and way of doing business) worth belonging to? Does your business represent something you can get passionate about? Do patrons and employees feel like they are an essential part of this tribe? Do your patrons act like they own the place? Does your staff stay for a long time? Do they brag to their friends that they work there or pretend they work somewhere else? Do they have a compelling story to tell about the company they work for?

· Passionate about it?

Are you still passionate about your business? Do the people around you identifying with the same passion? Is there something so compelling about it that others get passionate about it as well? Are people excited and engaged? Do staff and patrons care enough that they speak about it, defend it, and even evangelize membership? Impassioned tribe members will fight for the reputation of the tribe, trying to convince others that their tribe is better than others.

· Are they finding a connection through your business?

People connect with people, not organizations. They connect through shared beliefs, common interests, and by sharing ideas and experiences. Does your business express a point of view? Does it have a reason for being beyond simply making money? What does your Brand stand for and how does that help people connect with each other through your business?

Are your customers haphazardly frequenting your business or are they drawn there because they feel it is a place they belong, a place at which they feel a connection with the tribe that your business is designed to cultivate? I would love to hear how you’re not simply building a brand but fostering a tribal community through the process.

The Cultivation Corps helps restaurants and hotels build their brands to the next level by planning and designing their vision of the future, making well-informed decisions, and brining strategy to life through the people and operations.

Views: 2

Tags: branding, concept, consulting, development, marketing, restaurant

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Michael Biesemeyer on August 2, 2010 at 1:04pm
Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.


Comment by Chef Len Elias CEC on August 1, 2010 at 11:09am
Great blog David. I cannot agree with you more on all concepts.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

The Sip

The Sip: Stay up-to-date on the beer, wine and spirits category with original content from SmartBrief -More

New food offerings helped Starbucks boost sales

Baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and the first price increases in nearly four years helped lead Starbucks to a 7% same-store -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

Restaurants, Inc. announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to expand its presence throughout the Lone Star State, naming El Paso and Houston as target markets for future franchise development.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

Takeout Orders to Hotels Jumped 125% in Popularity in Last Three Years

For many Americans, hotel room service is considered a travel luxury; however, data from PFK Hospitality Research1 suggests that room service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, with some hotels shuttering unprofitable operations altogether.

National Restaurant Association Praises House and Senate Commerce Committee Passage of Travel Promotion Act

Yesterday the National Restaurant Association (NRA) praised the House passage and Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes Brand USA, the nation’s first global marketing campaign, to promote the United States as a destination for international travelers.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service