Tribe Mentality: The Secret Sauce of Any Successful Membership Website

By Adaire Smithwick
5 Min Read

Learn More about Video Monetization

How to Use Tribe Mentality to Boost Your Membership Site

What gathers 20,000 women, posting over 50x per day?

It’s not a concert or political rally…

It’s a Facebook group for Rothy’s, a brand of machine washable shoes made from plastic bottles.

In Rothy’s Addicts, members go beyond the usual buy/sell/trade. It’s not about shoes — it’s about sisterhood. If you wear Rothy’s, you’re a member of an exclusive tribe.

The truth is: We all look for tribes like this. Why?

Because we want to belong.

Tribe mentality is a powerful force for businesses. When you cultivate a tribe around your business, you tap into something deeper than traditional marketing. 

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • What tribe mentality is.
  • Why it’s important for business owners.
  • How it can empower your customers.

What is Tribe Mentality and Why is it Important?

Tribe mentality is the human tendency to seek out and connect with like-minded people who share common interests, beliefs or habits. 

According to Seth Godin, a tribe is a group of people who are connected to:

  1. One another.
  2. A leader.
  3. An idea.

“For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. 

A group needs only 2 things to be a tribe: 

a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

 Seth Godin

When effectively leveraged, tribe mentality can be a powerful tool for growing your business around a loyal fanbase.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why is Tribe Mentality Important for a Business Owner?

Business owners now have the opportunity to form loyal, profitable tribes

Social media and other platforms have made it easier than ever for you to create an online area where you can support and interact with relevant communities. 

Combining a streaming service and an online community is a winning combination for any video-focused business. 

If you’re a video business owner, curating a tribe around your content has a lot of benefits:

  • Increased sales: especially word-of-mouth marketing and reviews.
  • Increased retention: your customers feel they belong.
  • Better engagement: customers leave comments and discuss with likeminded people.
  • Better content ideas: because you have more interactions with your customers.
  • Create better products: based on real-time customer feedback.

For these reasons, a devoted community can be an invaluable asset to your business. Without a community, some companies may find it harder to keep up with their digitized competition. 

Your customers also benefit from being part of your tribe. Why?

It empowers them.

How Does Tribe Mentality Empower Your Customers?

Your customers now have access to millions of like-minded people outside of their physical location or language.

The result is a massive wave of niche interest membership sites forming around any topic you can imagine:

  • Kitesurfing.
  • Vintage sewing machines.
  • Japanese temples.
  • Non-edible uses of cheese. 
  • Victorian ghost stories.
  • Miniature succulents.

These communities empower a part of who your customer thinks they are. It’s an extension of self. And, if your content helps confirm that part of them, they will live and breathe your brand.

Then, they spread the word to other people they know in their tribe who would benefit from knowing about what you created. And, the nicher, the better. Why?

When an interest is niche, people feel a tighter bond. Many people enjoy puzzles but when 2 lockpicking hobbyists meet, there’s a deeper connection. 

They belong to their tribe.

And, there are stats to back this up. In fact, 63% of people say they are empowered by being part of a community through:

  • Asking questions (76%)
  • Providing solutions (68%)
  • Connecting (65%)
  • Being heard (61%)
  • Feeling seen (60%)
  • Leading (35%)

By fulfilling these deep human needs, you tap into something priceless: real connection with and between your customers.  

For these reasons, creating a tribe around your business is as valuable to your customers as it is for your business.

How Does Tribe Mentality Look in Action? 

You’ve already seen tribe mentality and are likely a tribe member yourself. Think about businesses that have a cult-like following

Let’s take Red Bull as an example.

Early on, Red Bull realized that their product was very popular among extreme sporting fans, who lived for adrenaline, energy and excitement. 

Today, they focus all of their marketing efforts into supporting their niche tribe. 

Red Bull YouTube signature series

Tribe members identify themselves as extreme sports fans and Red Bull fans. For them, these are one and the same.

With their audience at the heart of content like…

  • cinematic action sports clips 
  • original TV series 
  • live events and competitions 

Red Bull always caters directly to their tribe.

They also create content for the sub-tribes within their niche:

Red Bull YouTube channels

This allows every Red Bull fan to find their own personal subgroup. So, if you’re a surfer, you can connect with the brand through videos like these:

We’ve had successful clients who built their streaming service around a variety of topics, like…

  • magicians
  • recreational divers
  • vibrational yoga practices

… have some of the most loyal communities. 

Final Thoughts

We all just want to belong. Tribe mentality is the desire to seek out one’s own community.

As a video business owner, creating a tribe around your content means:

  • More sales.
  • Increased retention.
  • Better engagement.
  • Content inspiration.
  • Better feedback.

When it comes to community building, nicher is better. Take a cue from bigger brands and nurture your sub-tribes.

When you build a lasting connection to your tribe, your customers benefit and so does your business. It’s a win-win.