Tribal Behaviour, Generation C And Your Small Business
When you say Tribe…
Tribal Behaviour governs the way people interact, form groups and share ideas. Sounds philosophical, right? But it’s more important to your business than you know. Tribes can form around almost any concept. That means they can also form around businesses, brands and products.
What is Generation C?
In brief: The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the avalanche of consumer generated ‘content’ that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an on-going basis. Full explanation from TrendWatching.com
Like many youths, Gen C form their identities by belonging and expressing themselves within “tribes” reflecting the desire to “connect” around interesting ideas, cultural objects, causes and movements. Brands need to get into conversations that are happening within and across tribes. This will give their messages more credibility and attention when compared to external sources.
Sharing for social status
Philosophically: Gen C gains credibility in their friends’ worlds by expressing opinions, sharing ideas, observations and thoughts. Their influence depends on what they share and how often they share it.
What that means for you: Gen C derives their social status from sharing your message, so your message need to pack a punch. It needs to be unique and it needs to be re-skinned regularly. The more sharable your message, the more social status is derived from it. Think outside the box, create branding and content that in genuinely different for maximum effect. Worry more about how sharable your message is than the process of sharing it.
Bee-like swarm behaviour
Philosophically: Powered by social media platforms, Gen C members mobilize as one with their tribes like bees around topics that interest them. When it comes to buying decisions, 85 percent of youths rely on peer approvals. Everything is reviewed and rated, making decision-making a team sport.
What that means for you: Small Businesses must talk to “we”, not “me”. Marketing successfully becomes all about “talking to the community, not the individual”, and creating a conversation for the swarm to run with. Address the world with your message.
Philosophically: Gen C thrives on constant connectivity via social media platforms. Mobile devices have become “social oxygen”, enabling them to connect, create and share opinions and thoughts with their tribes. The mobile phone acts as a lifeline to the world, connecting not only with people they want to talk with, but also shielding them from those they do not.
What that means for you: Mobile matters. As consumers spend greater connected time on mobile devices your business needs to adapt. That means mobile visibility. It could be a mobile website, google place or location-based social media platform. Ideally, it will mean a presence on all of them, but it needs to be something!
Continuous partial attention
Philosophically: Teens today consume 13 hours of content daily and have constant exposure to new ‘news’. As experts at managing content and information, they engage in never-ending conversations, constantly “livestreaming” their experiences to the world.
What that means for you: You’re probably never going to have the full attention of your audience, MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT!
Reptiles. Wait…I should explain that.
Philosophically: Gen C consumers are “chameleons”, constantly changing and morphing their identities to simultaneously belong to as many different tribes as possible. One-dimensionality is not an option for Gen C.
What that means for you: Just because they like Coke doesn’t mean they don’t like Pepsi. With so many choices available, Gen C can change their minds on a dime. Focus on maintaining relationships with your customer base. New ones are around the corner, but it’s crucial that you still be the next hip thing to previous customers.
Philosophically: The social web has brought out Gen C’s creativity, leading to what Mr. Pankraz calls the “democratization of creativity”. They no longer consume ideas, but actively participate, play and collaborate. They demand to be part of the brand story.
What that means for you: This is going to be tough for small business owners, but the fact is, you don’t have 100% control of your brand identity. To really engage with your Gen C customers, you’ll need to show some flex. It’s about you, but it’s also about them.
Crowd-sourcing can be a good way to involve Gen C. Contests that create community, co-authored promotions and all manner of group activities around your brand allow them to shape your brand and become more involved in your business processes.