The way of the brand tribe

We all belong to something.

With this sentence, Tim introduced us to a new interesting concept: the brand tribes. We all are part of a tribe, a community, a city, a borough, a family and even a political party. Tribes are groups of people who are linked and share the same values. We could think of brand tribes as tribes 2.0: people are linked through things they consume. If “classic” tribes are made by the people for the people, brand tribes are made by brands for the people.

We live in a society where traditions that bound us together are breaking down, slowly taking us to alienating ourselves from others, Putnam says. Another view on the same subject by M. Maffesoli, a french sociologist claims that consumers respond to these potentially alienating and isolating conditions by forming ‘collective identifications’ or as we call them brand tribes. With the evergrowing competition bewteen brands (competitive branding, see last blog post) brands need to rely more than ever on their customer! Therefore, brands need to create a shared belief that helps people to relate to their brand and smash the competition: brand tribes are basically the product born by those brands succeding in this task of relating their customers to the brand.

But how brands succed? Let’s think about the creation of a shared belief as a journey, made of three different steps (do something, become someone, belong to something) that helps customers to understand the brand and fully embrace the brand belief. A striking example is Harley Davidson, a brand that embrace freedom as their shared belief; When thinking of this brand, people always picture themselves in this perfect american dream, riding their chopper all across US on a sunny day. Even if nowadays this is one of the most massive shared belief on earth, this brand (as every other famous brand) put a lot of effort in the creation of a shared belief and became what it is TODAY. 

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