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?

Storytelling done right

Marketers understand how difficult it is to ensure – with confidence – you get a highly personalized message to the right person, on the right channel, at the right time.

Typically, you need some kind of centralized data driver.

Traditionally, this would be your CRM (customer relationship management system).

Which, the name makes sense. You’re trying to build a relationship.

But, there are a lot of reasons why this isn’t the best solution for every business.

Now, I’m not going to get into all those reasons.

What I want to get into is the company who took this pain – getting a highly personalized message to the right person, on the right channel, at the right time – and turned it into a story.


They kicked off, with a collection of other businesses, a campaign called “CRM is not enough”.

They did exactly what marketing storytellers need to do.

They picked up on a pain point.

They crafted a story around that pain.

Then, let that story lead to a solution.


Rarely do we see such beautiful storytelling in B2B marketing.

Storytelling and branding matter in B2B marketing.

Segment, and the CRM is not enough campaign, are living proof it can be done.

Is my strategy working?

Have you tried to launch a blog?

It’s a great lesson in continuous execution.

You plan the blog. Launch your website. Develop your content strategy.

Then, you hit publish on your first post.

Crickets. Nothing happens.

But, that’s to be expected.

Now, you might be able to buy traffic, but organically, nothing is going to happen.

After you publish a few posts and webpages, and you continue to have zero traffic, you might think, is my strategy working?

It’s likely your strategy is just fine.

What needs to happen, is continuing to execute for a long period.

I’d say 12-18 months.

Come up with your idea. Build your strategy. Then, hunker down and write your blog posts for 12-18 months.

And just like that, it took 18 months for your blog to become an overnight success.

This might true for more than just a blog.

Eat dessert first

“Life is uncertain…Eat dessert first.”

That’s the Tucker’s Ice Cream motto.

Since the 1940s, Tucker’s is an ice cream shop serving Alameda, CA.

If you head over on a Friday or Saturday night, the line loops out the back door.

It’s the ice cream you eat in Alameda.

It helps that they serve – probably – the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had.

Everything else is great too.

While the ice cream shop has changed owners, they’ve stayed true to their ice cream.

Old fashioned. Creamy. The way ice cream should be.

They’re located on the main downtown street in an old brick building. The smell of buttermilk waffle cones when you walk in. The aesthetic tells you old fashioned ice cream is served here.

With pictures throughout of the local youth sports teams they support, you can tell they’re active in the Alameda community.

Maintaining a great product. Being involved with the community you serve. It’s the Tucker’s way.

And that’s why Alameda lines up every Friday and Saturday night.

Now, more than ever, we know life is uncertain.

So, let’s do like Tucker’s. Support your community. Eat dessert first.

How do you book a sales meeting?

I got a cold email from a sales rep Friday afternoon.

It was the first cold email and I booked a meeting.

I didn’t book the meeting because the email was particularly well written.

Subject line was generic. Content was generic.

But, it was effective, because I booked the meeting.

Why did I?

I booked the meeting because my colleagues have been speaking about them internally.

Mostly just, “it would be nice to give company x a try”. Really, the comments have been in passing.

Then, the sales reps email lands in my inbox.

I said yes. Off the 1st email.

This is a great example of outbound sales efforts complimenting marketing.

I’ve seen this company’s advertising. I’ve read their blog content. My colleagues spoke about them. Then, I get hit with the cold email.

That’s how B2B deals get started.

Multiple people are involved.

It’s about creating a swell within a company. Getting colleagues to talk. Then, they’re interested enough to chat.

There is nothing creative in this example. It is just building a sales and marketing system, that works together to consistently book meetings and close sales.

It’s as simple as that.

I won’t be the end decision maker, but I will have a use case for the product.