2019 Trends Report: The Rise of Long Tail Tribes and how to leverage data to discover microsegments
Expressions of our individuality are colliding with our tribal nature, creating new micro segments in every sector.
In his 2004 book The Long Tail, Wired’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson discussed a modern paradigm shift fueled by the internet: a movement from scarcity to virtually unlimited choice. Whereas the 20th century was defined by mass hits, he argued that the 21st century is about selling less of more.
Interestingly enough, another phenomenon has recently emerged on the heels of the long tail. Driven by our innate human desire for social connection, we are beginning to cluster around our unique preferences, giving rise to the “long tail tribe”.
Whether united by genetics, shared beliefs, locations, interests, or desires, these conditions have given rise to the “long tail tribe” along with new technologies to serve these new microsegments.
In the B2B world, Long Tail Tribes are forming around shared and often temporary needs.
Local Long Tail Tribes
In July of 2018, Nike leveraged years’ worth of Nike+ Run Club member data to launch a new retail concept powered by the local long tail tribe: Nike by Melrose.
The brick and mortar location tailors its inventory to match local Nike+ app users’ preferences, with exclusive apparel that’s cultivated based on “digital commerce data and a deep understanding of the neighborhood,” according to Nike.
Micro-Influencers Lead Tight-Knit Tribes
As Twitter and Facebook rose in popularity, brands leveraged “influencers” to make their digital presence felt, often paying as much as a million dollars for a single celebrity-sponsored tweet.
But recently, marketers have begun turning to micro-influencers as a more cost-effective means of connecting with long tail tribes. One study pegged sponsorship of micro-influencers as having 6.7 times more cost effectiveness than their large-scale counterparts.
Genetic Tribes and the Future of Healthcare
Genetic testing company 23andMe initially marketed its service as a way for consumers to understand their ancestry, but eventually, the company’s Genetic Health Risk and Carrier Status reports gave rise to online long tail communities centered around shared genetic conditions.
Case in point: women who discovered that they possessed a genetic anomaly linked to breast cancer formed online support groups. Meanwhile, the company launched a new service in response to researchers’ growing interest in 23andMe’s genetic data.
As long tail tribes continue to proliferate, so too will the opportunities — and because human beings are nothing if not complex, those opportunities are poised to be near-limitless. Brands that consistently deliver value around both a consumer’s individual preferences and shared identity will lead the way in 2019.
Tap into existing consumer tribes or leverage data in your CRM and other data sources to create tribes within your existing products. There is power in numbers.
Deliver personalized experiences by creating avenues for customers to curate their own branded experiences.
Drive better ROI by embracing the collective values of tribes in lieu of one-to-one customization.