Building Belonging Brings Value

Most marketers are into building belonging.  Many talk about building a tribe.  But there is a distinction between marketing to a tribe and actively and openly building one.

What is it?

A tribe is people like us.  You sell to them because people like us buy things like this.  If someone belongs to such a tribe, they value what you offer because they believe it is right for them.  Their sense of belonging increases but they might equally be unaware of the tribe they belong to.

So, one choice is to show how your offer enhances their sense of belonging.

Value for the Client

So, what is it about belonging, your client finds valuable?

Status plays an important role but status alone is unlikely to make the deal happen.  Online activities, for example, have an initial status appeal but in time the name of the teacher and course seems less attractive. Most people don’t know these names and why should they trust you recycling what you learned from others?

Being a member of a group that provides genuine support may be really attractive.  Here you are not sitting at the feet of a teacher so much as discussing and working on problems together.  This experience has status appeal.  Being part of an inner circle can be very attractive.

How to Get There

It is difficult to move from nothing to an inner circle in one bound.  To build a group requires trust.  Your tribe does not belong to you.  They exist mostly in isolation unaware of other members or that they belong to that tribe.

So, your task is to raise awareness for members of the problem they share.  Some listen and take up your offer and so you begin to build trust.  You find yourself able to introduce members of the tribe.

Your Offer

You could offer membership of a club where you teach or discuss issues of common interest to meet in-person or online.  There are numerous closed groups online, where people choose to gather.

Meetings can be social or educational and more usually both.  They can be for learning, networking, support, consultancy on some situation, case, project or problem.

This is the seventh of 31 posts about elements of value.  Make sure you don’t miss any by signing up for the offer below.  The posts in this sequence can be accessed below:

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.