Aarti Shah 25 Oct 2016 // 7:21PM GMT
MIAMI — Brands that segment consumers around microtribes — or sets of people who self-identify around a topic, hobby or interest — can reap the benefits of brand loyalty, discussed experts during a panel at today’s PRovoke conference.
The session’s moderator, M Booth’s Bonnie Ulman, pointed out that Covergirl’s selection of James Charles as its first “cover boy” touched a cross-section of tribes: art, fashion, style, LGBT, anti-bullying, among others. According to research M Booth conducted, 59% of tribe members are likely to support a brand or buy products that reflect the values of their communities or groups.
“Tribe members want brands to promote or support their interests and their communities because brands can deliver certain experiences,” Ulman said. “But as a brand, you can’t dominate the content stream. If you provide resources and guidance, the tribe will reward you.”
“Brands exist to alleviate pain or elevate pleasure,” said consultant Todd Wasserman. For instance, going to the supermarket was considered a chore until Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s changed the experience; Virgin America and Jet Blue make flying fun again; and companies like Blue Apron take the drudgery out of cooking, he added.
There are two ways that brands can engage with micro-tribes: build their own or tap into an existing group. Michelle Chin, SVP of marketing for Starbucks’ Teavana category, noted an overlap across the microtribes of coffee-drinkers and tea lovers. Meanwhile, Basil Street Media president/CEO Lee Gaither (pictured) added that microtribes allow marketers to go beyond race gender and 18-34 when thinking about launching entertainment.
“Use microtribes as a focus group,” Ulman said. “Lean into the cadence of the group, so you’re not making generalizations.”