Belonging to a tribe

In the Bay Area, Patagonia is everywhere.

If you’ve been hiking in the Marin Headlands, the Oakland Hills, or down in the Santa Cruz mountains, you would think it’s a uniform.

Before COVID, if you walked the streets of San Francisco or Oakland on a workday, you might wonder where they’re handing out Patagonia jackets.

It’s likely we’ve all seen the videos of the Tech and Finance Bro’s wearing Patagonia. In the Bay, it’s even more widespread than that.

It’s the Patagonia Tribe.

It’s the one Patagonia built. They tell a story that resonates with their target audience.

An interesting piece to the Patagonia Tribe is they didn’t have to change behavior.

Naturally, we want to be part of a tribe. We want to belong.

Seth Godin wrote a book about this, aptly called Tribes.

In Debbie Millman’s book, Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits, she and Daniel Pink discuss this.

There is an entire marketing specialty – that comes from Anthropologie – dedicated to studying this tribe phenomenon as it relates to brands.

We want to be in a Tribe. And, we’re ok with that Tribe being driven by a brand.

It’s our natural desire.

Brands should build Tribes.

Just like Patagonia.

Maybe I should finally get a Patagonia jacket?

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