Alo Yoga focuses its tribal marketing on the elite yogi.

How to Defeat Industry Giants in the Digital Era: Micro-tribal marketing

Micro-tribal marketing builds loyalty by offering users experiences. This is especially true since the digital disruption. What we now see are digitally native brands turning entire industries on their heads by offering hyper-tailored customer experiences.

Alo Yoga is a great example: Through micro-tribal marketing, Alo Yoga is able to compete with established ‘top dog’ Lululemon.

In this article, we offer three key tips for successful micro-tribal marketing. Encourage user-generated content, facilitate your micro-tribe and create a sense of community.

Emerging brands once had a hard time going head-to-head with existing giants. With micro-tribal marketing, that no longer has to be true.

Encourage User-Generated Content

One of Alo’s most prominent methods of tribal marketing is encouraging user-generated content. They enhance consumers’ experience with things like a weekly ​Alo Challenge.​ ​

Interactive challenges, however, do more than gain exposure for a brand; they create a shared experience between customers. Brands can create spaces for users to find other users, and to bond with the brand, creating a community.

Alo Challenges inspire customers to interact with the brand on social media.
Alo Challenges inspire customers to interact with the brand on social media.

The results of an interactive challenge can be incredible. For Alo, they often generate more than 1,300 pieces of user-generated content. This exchange between brand and consumer reinforces their connection and further builds loyalty.

In contrast, brands like Lululemon rely on paid ​ambassadors. While ambassadors help to achieve reach, they can compromise a brand’s ability to develop sincere bonds with its tribe.

Alo Yoga has fully welcomed their micro-tribe into the brand.

Through sacrificing control of their image, they acquire something​ ​much more worthwhile: consumers feeling deeply invested in the brand.

Incorporating interactive activities with your products offers an intrinsic reward for engaging with the brand. To succeed at micro-tribal marketing, you must give users a platform to interact with each other, and with your brand.

Helping Your Customer Reach Their Goals

Alo customers have another opportunity to interact with the brand through its ​YouTube Channel. ​YouTube can enhance a brand’s offering, with complementary material beyond the product itself.

Alo caters perfectly to the elite yogi micro-tribe, offering valuable experiences in exchange for subscribers.

To penetrate an already competitive market, you must focus on depth before breadth. Successful micro-tribal marketing focuses on the most specific communities possible. This allows you in the door, to start earning advocacy and user-generated content.

Below is an example of a free class offered on Alo Yoga’s YouTube account.

Alo Yoga has 174,000 YouTube subscribers, more than double Lululemon’s.

Creating Community

An even stronger way to differentiate oneself is through a paid subscription package. Alo Moves is a more in-depth version of their YouTube channel.

The small financial investment required ensures continual engagement.

Alo offers a subscription to enhance user experience and increase engagement.
Alo offers a subscription to enhance user experience and increase engagement.

In this way, they have created a paid social media platform. This use of tribal marketing empowers customers to connect with one another. It can take you beyond a brand, so customers view you as an outlet for expression.

Successful tribal marketing can take your brand and product far beyond functional benefits. Offerings like apps, supplemental materials, and community platforms enhance the value of a product.

These add-ons deepen a customers’ connection with you, helping you to stay relevant in the digital age.


Micro-Tribal Marketing and Your Brand

When it comes to micro-tribal marketing, Alo Yoga is at the forefront of the movement.

The disruption of industry giants is likely to continue due to digital and new media marketing. Alo Yoga and others are creating invaluable shared experiences that cannot be replicated.

If your brand can do the same, you’ll find it is possible to survive​—​and thrive​—​against the “top dog” in your industry.

This post was written by Carly Auerbach, Eunice Lee, Clare McCarthy,and Olivia Nelson. The authors thank Archie Mitchell and Dr. Joachim Scholz for their help in editing this article. Please follow the authors on Twitter for more information on this topic.

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