I recently finished Primalbranding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future by Patrick Hanlon, a book about marketing and tribe building. What makes apple users a fanatical tribe, and Dell users just customers? How does one create tribe?
Hanlon is looking at tribe building through the lens of marketing and business, but the language he draws from comes from social movements, belief systems, and actual tribal living.
To have a tribe, there are seven requirements:
- The Creation Story
- The Creed
- The Icons
- The Rituals
- The Pagans (Nonbelievers)
- The Sacred Words
- The Leader
Since I’m currently working on a film that features a social movement, I went through the current edit to see if they fit these seven traits. Sure enough, they did. However, some groups were stronger on some traits more than others. Using the seven aspects of tribe, I could see how they could improve.
Can you see how you’d strengthen your brand or tribe?
The story behind the making of my film fits all seven of these aspects. I’d been reluctant to talk about why I made this film publicly because it’s almost too wild to be believed. Now I see it as an aspect tribe – the Creation Story. When I’m ready, closer to release, I may tell the full tale.
I recommend Hanoln’s book, but not for selling sugar water. There are more important communities to build. If I have one criticism of the book, it’s that he didn’t take his ideas far enough, out of the marketing world into the real tribes whose language he is borrowing.
I know some tribes. Not brands. Real tribes. One thing I notice about all of them:
The stronger the story, and the stronger these seven traits – the stronger the tribe.
If you’re interested in hearing the story of one of the most fascinating social movements of the past century, sign up for my film list here.
Read more: Persuasion Lessons from Veritasium