Find you Tribe. Love Them Hard. Market to Them Even Harder.
Humans are social animals. A long time ago, we lived in groups - or tribes - small packs of up to fifty individuals that looked after each other and looked after the group as a whole. Your survival depended upon being helpful and staying part of the group - being ostracized from the group for any reason meant probably, if not certain death. There’s a reason why conformity and cooperation run so deep within us - it’s meant to be in place for our survival.
In the modern day, we can actually successfully survive on our own for the most part, but we still very much are social creatures that like, want, and need social interaction. And just as we used to, we like to form tribes of people that are like us.
With the advent of the internet, the tribal mentality has gotten even more intense, with even the smallest, most fringe groups finding solidarity and community with people like themselves.
Take for example, flower farmers - people who not only like to grow flowers, but also are interested in them to the extent that they make their living off growing and selling flowers. There are many dynamics that are present in the group of flower farmers as a whole that seem to run almost universally - an appreciation for learning about growing, a desire to be successful, a desire to make the world more beautiful and improve upon it with our work.
Everybody has a tribe. The saying “Find your tribe” is not just a pithy saying - it’s about finding people who are just like you, that get you, that understand you and will support you every step of the way. What does this have to do with marketing? Everything. You don’t necessarily have to reinvent your sales every time that you encounter a customer, simply because people are already separated up into groups. By understanding the group, you can understand a lot of people all at the same time and be able to connect with them on many levels.
Take for instance, people who are interested in local food and supporting local farmers. Although not exactly our target demographic (and there will certainly be some that are only interested in vegetables and will never buy flowers from us, so just be aware of that) they are a very common and very easy demographic to market to for flower farmers - which is why you’ll find a lot of flower farmers finding success at growers markets and co-ops and Whole Foods.
As opposed to being completely clueless with the aspects of supporting local businesses and organizations, the benefits of organic and sustainable growing practices and the benefits of buying from a person in your community - all this learning and education and resetting of their worldview has occurred already. They’re primed already for you to present your product to them, since they already understand a lot of major concepts that you would otherwise have to tackle with them. Because they already get these concepts, they are an easier sell than someone fresh off the street.
The beautiful part as I mentioned is that you already know what these people are like. They go to the farmer’s market, they enjoy supporting local businesses and vendors, and they see the value of paying for a quality product grown in the area. They dislike big box stores, Monsanto, chain restaurants and conventional produce. They probably shop at stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s, and are more likely to garden and be interested in the flowers that flower farmers have available.
You might even be these type of people. Nosce te ipsum, right?
When you are in a tribe, it’s important that you display yourself as part of the tribe to be included. It’s the reason why teenage boys and girls start acting like their friends - wearing the same type of makeup and clothes, listening to the same music and saying the same things, it’s all about fitting in and signaling to each other “Yes, we are a group.”
In the same way, you should signal to your customers that you are one of them to be accepted into the herd. Dress like them, talk like them, shop like them, drive a car like them, eat at the same restaurants as them, and inevitably they will take notice. And when they realize that you share their values, they will be inclined to see the flowers you offer as one of the values the tribe should be promoting - and they will spread that idea to the rest of the pack.
So remember: find your tribe. Make sure they’re you’re tribe. Signal to them that you’re part of the tribe. And share your flowers with them.