Seth Godin took to the TED podium recently to explain his theory behind “Tribes”. He argues that the internet has fundamentally changed the way brands need to market themselves. Gone are the days where mass marketing rules the roost and big media budgets dictate market share. Individuals now hold the power and can enact change by connecting with other people who share the same tribal instincts.
Whilst not explicitly relating this back to brands, he implies the challenge for all marketers is to figure out how to become tribal leaders. He concludes the talk by suggesting anyone wishing to become a tribal leader should adopt the following behaviour:
1. challenge the status quo – if you don’t upset someone or disrupt the status quo you’re unlikely to start a movement. It’s less about pushing products and more about appealing to a shared sense of values and any latent desires which have yet to be realised.
2. build a culture or ‘secret handshake’ which connects with individuals, adds cohesion and ignites their passion, stimulating them into action.
3. Become charismatic. You don’t need to have charisma to begin with necessarily but all leaders eventually acquire it if they lead from the front.
4. Commit to the tribe. Don’t do this in half measures. If you’re going to lead, commit yourself to the cause and throw some weight behind it.
Tribes are crying out for leaders so if you manage to adhere to these principles, people will naturally follow.
Well that’s the plan anyway!