Entrepreneurial business development through building tribes
Journal of Strategic Marketing
School of Business and Law / Centre for Innovative Practice
Understanding tribe development can be critical to the survival of entrepreneurial e-service ventures. This article presents findings on how a Swedish start-up industrial design company termed BETTER-DESIGN attempted to build a global presence by creating a tribe of followers on the web. From this single in-depth case study and a comprehensive literature review, a model is developed comprising the necessary components to succeed in tribe building efforts in social media. These components include social cohesion of the inner tribe (founders) in terms of vision, the creation of an icon (a loudspeaker concept) that is able to generate strong customer response, and shape the brand or e-brand, which in turn can create a market and a sustainable business. We suggest entrepreneurial success is highly dependent on how the inner-tribe can create an ‘icon’ to shape an outer-tribe by means of electronic word of mouth in social network environments.