Tribal Marketing

Yesterday at the Business of Software conference, Seth Godin spoke about tribes. “Build a movement, not a campaign”, he said (in my jumbled memory of paraphrased quotes). “Find your tribe and lead it. Marketing is now about tribes, not market segments, not brands, not advertising.”

But what is a “tribe”? Is this just the new hip word for “community” or “market”? I don’t think so.

Markets are centered around needs and communication. People who share common needs and talk to one another about those needs.

Communities are centered around shared ownership and mutual benefit. Stewardship of common resources and mutual aid to each other for the benefit of its members.

Tribes are about identity and culture. They are like markets because their members often share similar needs and talk to one another. But not always. They are like communities because their members often work to help each other out, and sometimes share ownership of common resources. But not always.
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