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Historically, tribes consisted of people who banded together for the good of their community, and shared duties so they could survive and raise the next generation of the tribe together. While tribes today are bonded more around social interests than survival, the people who are part of them still take them quite seriously—which creates opportunities for marketers who want to build a tribe around their brand. Organizations that have found their tribe and nurtured it create a community of loyalists who not only buy their products, but also become “brand ambassadors.” But in order to do this successfully, you need to build your tribe. The following tips can help.

Define your purpose. Another name for tribe marketing is purpose-driven marketing and there’s a good reason for that: A tribe needs something to rally around. To get this kind of support, your organization must present a strong purpose that people can identify with. Since tribes can be formed around any product as long as members feel deeply connected to it, companies are tasked with defining why they’re selling their products and the value proposition these products provide—namely how they will contribute to the passions of the tribe.

Find your members. Once you create a strong purpose that your targeted followers can identify with, you need to find these people. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for avid hikers, parents, or indie music enthusiasts, you must identify who your core audience is and where they congregate – on or offline in order to reach them.

Communicate with the tribe. The cornerstone of any good leadership is good communication, so it’s important to regularly reach out to your tribe and keep them engaged. Sending newsletters, announcing sales, responding to social media posts about your company, and blogging about what’s going on with your organization can increase engagement with your tribe and reinforce their love of your brand.

Provide a good experience. Your tribe members may or may not be actual customers, but all will have some influence in the tribe. And just because they’re with you now doesn’t mean they’ll continue to be if they’re not treated well. It’s important not to take tribe members for granted – always address their concerns respectfully and communicate how much you appreciate them. This way, they will continue to support you and enlist new members to join the tribe.

Create a place to congregate. Having a place for the tribe to “meet” and speak freely about your products (the good and the bad) and service is essential. To that end, you can encourage people to post about your company under a hashtag you create or provide places on your company’s website for them to write reviews and talk to each other – and most importantly, a place for you to communicate directly with each personally.

When companies take steps to create and nurture their tribes, it’s a win-win situation—with consumers getting a chance to gather around the brands they love and reading honest communication they need. Find your tribe! Your organization will benefit from the relationship for years to come.

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