Erika Brewington’s Blog

Where’s Your Tribe?

In this video, Seth Godin discusses his book, “Tribes,” and explains what is meant by this term and how tribes are impacting society today.  Here are a few things that I learned, and what surprised me from this video.

Tribes are groups of people who share something in common, whether it is a movement, a connection, or a message. People choose to participate in tribes because they want to belong and this simply makes them feel good. The Internet has made finding tribes extremely easy. A few examples of tribes in today’s world include:

  1. Sports Fans
  2. Shriner’s
  3. Red Hat Ladies
  4. Country Music Fans
  5. Gangs

Although TV and mass media have tried to minimized the need for tribes in today’s culture, it is the nature of human beings to enjoy doing what other humans do. Godin explained this by asking his audience to clap, then to clap slowly in unison and in rhythm. Giving only those directions, his audience was clapping together in a matter of seconds, even though no specific instructions were given.

The feeling of needing to belong to an organization is part of human nature because it makes a person feel better about themselves. Godin gives the example of a sports fan to illustrate this. He says that people aren’tfans of the players, because they change every year, so does the management of a team and everything else. It is obvious the fan is not passionate about the stadium the team plays in, so it becomes apparent that in actuality, the fans are rooting for themselves and using the team and organization as means to do so. The uniforms are a prime example of connecting people that want to belong.

Throughout history, the have been three major tribes that people were able to identify themselves with. These include church, work, and community. Godin explains that work is not just a job, but work defines who a person is and what they stand for.

Money can buy a crowd, which Godin defines as just a group of people, but tribes are much bigger and although they are more difficult to form, they are much more effective than a crowd of people with nothing in common. This is effective in marketing because as the quality of tribe connection increases, so does brand power. Tribes should be the focus of marketing because they are a powerful community of people that want to make things happen. Godin also explains that being affiliated with a tribe is an expense because it is a time commitment and a huge effort, but the result is that tribes are much faster, longer lasting, and more powerful than any crowd of people. Leadership is marketing, and elements that leaders should have when working with a tribe include:

  1. Challenge
  2. Culture
  3. Curiosity
  4. Charisma
  5. Communication
  6. Connection
  7. Commitment

These elements are essential because tribe members want to:

  1. Connect
  2. Create Meaning
  3. Make a Difference
  4. Be Noticed
  5. Matter
  6. Be Missed

The purpose of Godin’s book, “Tribes,” is to inspire people to be inspiring. People can make a difference for their tribe, or to their tribe. Everyone must understands  the obligation they have to finding their tribe and making a difference in their tribe. When this obligation is met, your world and your life will be better.

This video was very insightful, as I was unaware of the impacts my affiliations have on my life and the world I live in. I would like to know more about tribes among college students, and how they play a role in the lives of young adults. This is a topic that I have found very interesting and feel it is worth more research and exploration.


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