Not too long ago, it wasn’t uncommon to market your brand’s content in a generational manner, grouping your audience into categories based on when they were born – but here’s the catch. Individuals born within the same generation period are still moulded by the very different experiences and interests that make them who they are as they grow up. If you give it a thought, we’re sure you can think of someone you know from your generation who still happens to be vastly different from you in many ways.

In that sense, generational marketing isn’t always the most effective method of understanding and reaching out to your audience. So what else can you explore?

Enter tribal marketing! Tribal marketing looks at groups of consumers as individuals who are connected by the love and passion they share for different things, such as a hobby, interest or series. Think football fans, fans of a band, so on and so forth. These tribes are formed with the foundation of shared experiences and values. By looking at your audience this way, you acknowledge what makes them who they are, rather than vaguely grouping them into a melting pot of people who happened to be born within the same time period. By connecting with your audience via their interests and passions, you are directly addressing what makes them tick, and what makes life better for them, giving you the opportunity to add to their experiences with your products and services!

It’s worth noting that tribal marketing is most effectively used to reach out to communities that are well-fitted to your company and build meaningful relationships with them. So how can you use tribal marketing to enhance relationships between a tribe and your brand?


1.   Engage your whole audience

Tribal marketing involves a heavy sense of community. With that in mind, it is important to foster the camaraderie in a tribe by catering to your target audience effectively via a shared, original platform where everyone can interact and respond to each other. This undoubtedly brings members of the tribe together through your brand, directly associating the sense of friendship and belonging that members find within the tribe with your brand.

A platform that is well-suited to facilitating this is Discord, which has been used by brands such as Roblox, as well as famous YouTubers such as MrBeast to connect with their audience and allow for two-way interactions between themselves and the community.

Engaging your audience also allows for better relations and discussions that you can use to understand your consumers well and find ways to improve your brand, which is always a plus as it helps you to keep innovating to address the needs of your consumers!


2.   Act upon the interests of the tribe

Taking the effort to familiarise yourself with your audience’s interests is a great way to get a better sense of direction for your marketing efforts and how to go about reaching out to tribe members effectively. This helps you to get members actively involved in brand operations allowing you to make the most of your marketing resources!

For example, look at the yearly Singapore Comic Convention (SGCC). Pop culture enthusiasts attend SGCC to get their hands on merchandise, engage in cosplay, and essentially immerse themselves in their interests. Organised by ReedPop, who are also the organisers of New York Comic Con and other conventions, SGCC had 50k visitors in just 2 days at one point and earned $28 mil in PR revenue. By knowing that the tribe they were marketing the event towards would react well to the convention and the chance to be surrounded by their passions for a day or two, ReedPop made a good decision in hosting SGCC and catering to the tribe.

Source: Instagram

3.   Keep up with your tribe

Consumers’ beliefs will shift over time as they go through life, and new members are bound to enter the tribe with new inputs and opinions. With that in mind, your brand needs to pay attention to the changes experienced by the tribe so that it does not stagnate in providing for the members. After all, change is the only constant!

Some brands achieve this using second screen engagement. Take Netflix for example! The brand maintains an awareness of how audiences bring their favourite Netflix content to social media, in discussing shows with fellow fans, generally spazzing over their favourite characters, and much more. By following this behaviour exhibited by their audience, Netflix has been able to establish a relatable presence on social media that enables them to build meaningful relationships with their audience. Much of the brand’s social media content is presented in a relatable, current manner, taking notes from popular memes and trends going around on the Internet. This way, Netflix is able to keep up with their audience’s interests and engage them based on that!

Essentially, tribal marketing is a great way to understand your audience as the people that they are, and for the things they stand for. At the end of the day, we are all drawn to brands that emanate what we believe in, your brand will thrive and when you get to know your target audience on a deeper level through tribal marketing.


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Hero image: mentatdgt, Pexels