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Randolph Garcia
July 07, 2016

The Importance of Building your Tribe (and 3 Ways to do it)


The Importance of Building your Tribe (and 3 Ways to do it)

This post comes from the desk of our Account Manager Randy Garcia. Randy (and all our Account Managers) have a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective from a wide variety of events across the country and industry. Which means their know-how is incredibly valuable when it comes to giving pointers on how to grow your brand, grow your revenue, and reduce your workload. Without further ado... Randy.


A couple of years back the trending brand marketing emphasis was on building your tribe. A tribe in the modern sense is a group of people that are linked via their passion for a particular brand. The concept wasn’t anything particularly groundbreaking but the emergence of social media allowed consumers to easily connect with their interests in a variety of ways. Fast-forward to today and this cannot be more true. Just think about the types of posts you see on your Facebook or Instagram feeds every day -- brands are constantly posting content to stay engaged with followers.


Your Tribe Carries your Message 

Your Tribe Carries Your MessageWhile “tribe” doesn’t seem to surface that often in the endurance industry, the idea behind building your tribe is something that event organizers should strive to achieve. Building a group of people that not only participate but also engage and promote your brand on a daily basis is paramount in this digital age. Half- or quarter-page ads in national running magazines, while nice, cannot carry a conversation.

There are different approaches to building a tribe, but in the endurance industry the end goal is usually the same -- to drive registrations. In order to do this, event organizers need to aggregate their biggest fans and manage race participants to promote their brand and message. More importantly, the event needs to act as a leader by empowering its athletes to feel they have a vested interest in the brand. Cultivating this relationship within the tribe is the key to changing a passive voice into a vocal but positive one.  And after all, what is a tribe without its leader!  


3 Ways to Build your Tribe

Wondering what to consider when building your tribe? Here are three things that I’ve found are important foundational pieces to having the most success: 

  • Overdeliver on the event experience: the event experience begins at the point of race registration and it’s important to exceed expectations at this initial touchpoint. Make sure you personalize your event page with our Custom Registration Builder and keep your questions to only what’s truly necessary. If you aren’t going to actually use the data from the marketing or demographic questions you ask, don’t ask them! At the event, throw in a fun surprise like chocolate milk at the Finish Line or chocolates on course. Little touches like these can go a long way with building brand loyalty.
  • Don’t overlook the most loyal of the bunch: consistently rewarding those that have been your most loyal supporters only helps to underlie why they fell in love with your brand in the first place. From experience, I know it is easy to slip into a mindset where you take these folks for granted while at the same time counting on them to sign up. Peek into your Repeat Participants Report to see how many people have signed up for multiple events of yours and reach out to them with some swag or a discount code for a future event. People tend to shout from the rooftop when they get something free so give them a reason to put your brand on blast!  
  • Create word-of-mouth culture: give people a reason to actively use their platforms to spread the word about your event. Create a referral program using our Participant Referral Report where you reward participants that are recruiting friends and give them an incentive to continue to share on their social media. Fun prizes that cannot be bought like front-of-the-line passes or private porta-potties are always crowd favorites. At the event, be sure to create an Instagram-worthy moment that your athletes will want to share on social media. If your athletes’ friends see how much fun they are having they are likely to want to participate in the future. There’s a reason the Color Run became so popular so quickly!

Create word-of-mouth culture

Now that you have the keys to building your tribe you’re sure to amass more followers than Selena Gomez! Just remember, you’re the leader so give them a reason to follow!  

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