Tuesday, September 20, 2011

From Niches To Communities To Tribes




Being a producer of a niche product to a niche market I am constantly seeking out new ways to capitalize on opportunities.  

Between "how can I gain an advantage?" to "there has to be a better way?" that pretty much encompasses the totality of my mind set.  

I realize that one of my current key problems is that while I am using terms such as "community," "social media," and or "consumer centric," the reality is that my concept of these terms is totally different than what is considered popular at the moment and I am missing the mark in the confusion.

I am gambling on the fact that the future belongs to those who go from creating a community to creating a tribe.  While a community is about sharing a tribe is about belonging and it involves participation and loyalty.

The reality is that the social network comes first and the sale of product is secondary.  Which involves totaling changing the way one thinks.  You create a platform that is attractive to your niche market, someplace where those that belong to the niche market feel comfortable and share; and you reward the sharing with discounts to products.

Tribes are about exclusion and exclusivity and brands that cater to niche markets have to create a sense of pride with their brand.  Ecommerce is becoming too much like traditional retail with endless promotions and advertising. The reality is that the internet has created an opportunity to create platforms where people congregate, socialize, hang out, and then you advertise and promote within the platform.      

Tribes are about belonging, and belonging should instill a sense of pride among the members of the tribe.  When your niche is big and tall and plus size then the pride has to come from exclusivity.  Thus, you promote the social, the music, the games, the interaction and you promote products that cater to the interests captured in the social and size availability becomes the gatekeeper.

Tribalism thus creates a pride of participation and belonging which in turn creates increased product sales.  Its not the brand that is promoted but rather the social that promotes the brand.


You have then created a sense of belonging with the statement "A Shirt For US!" A positive sentiment from a negative attribute; you have created a tribe from a shared physical attribute.  

1 comment:

Carl said...

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/09/social_medias_impending_flood.html