Herd Behavior

Herd, Tribe

Several weeks ago, I attended Planners United, a get-together of Toronto’s planning community. Kudos to Jason Oke for organizing this meeting. The keynote speaker was Mark Earls, author of the Herd book.   His talk was quite invigorating.   He turned the principles of push marketing onto its head.   Much too often marketing that is done today is accomplished through push marketing, where the marketer is the king and pushes the ideas and the product or service onto people.   During the talk, the old theory of pushing the ideas onto a few influencers and letting them spread the idea was an idea that was debunked by Mr. Earls.

One of the questions that was asked was: “If the idea is now pull marketing, how would we increase brand awareness and equity for our client’s product or service?”

Mr. Earls replied that through trends and herd mentality, we can influence behavior.   We as a species do not act and think independently.   We look at others’ and model their behavior whether it is done randomly or deliberately.   Take a trend such as weight-loss, and enhance the customers’ experience and make it easier for them to reach that goal.   Nike’s global 10 km run is an example of building a community, latching on a trend, and enhancing people’s end goals.

Today, on TED, there was an interesting talk by Seth Godin about Tribes. People exist in little communities, share, and learn together. In my previous post about Communities of Practice,  I had touched upon this.   Again, being able to locate, bring together like-minded people is very important.   Go ahead and become a leader of these tribes.  As a leader work in people’s interests to achieve their specific goal whether it is an individual one or as a community.   Practicing the application of Communities of Practice, Herd and Tribe theories all have this commonality.   Transformation Design can also be applied here too.   Any thoughts?


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