Consumer Tribes

Front Cover
Bernard Cova, Robert V. Kozinets, Avi Shankar
Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007 - Business & Economics - 339 pages
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Marketing and consumer research has traditionally conceptualized consumers as individuals- who exercise choice in the marketplace as individuals not as a class or a group. However an important new perspective is now emerging that rejects the individualistic view and focuses on the reality that human life is essentially social, and that who we are is an inherently social phenomenon. It is the tribus, the many little groups we belong to, that are fundamental to our experience of life. Tribal Marketing shows that it is not individual consumption of products that defines our lives but rather that this activity actually facilitates meaningful social relationships. The social 'links' (social relationships) are more important than the things (brands etc.)

The aim of this book is therefore to offer a systematic overview of the area that has been defined as “cultures of consumption”- consumption microcultures, brand cultures, brand tribes, and brand communities. It is though these that students of marketing and marketing practitioners can begin to genuinely understand the real drivers of consumer behaviour. It will be essential to everyone who needs to understand the new paradigm in consumer research, brand management and communications management.

* The first comprehensive text to capture the diversity of research in the area and offer an authoritative and easily digestible overview.
*Challenges accepted marketing theory such as segmentation and sets the benchmark for contemporary thinking on topical issues.
* Internationally renowned team of editors and contributors.

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This is project for B.C

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I wrote a paper about the concept of Tribal Marketing in 1994 in response to an Economist advertisement seeking entrants for a new topic in marketing to be presented to the Quest AGM held in Florida that year. Mine was the only foreign paper to be accepted - along with one other from New York.
Tribal marketing is now a common topic but none of the papers on the web seem to acknowledge the original source.
Here it is.
Quest is a club of the marketing directors of top companies on the Fortune 500 list.
So it seems that many of them took to the idea.
The pdf version has a larger typeface but the word version on the web page is easier to cut and paste etc.

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About the author (2007)

Bernard Cova is Professor of Marketing at Euromed Marseilles - School of Management, France and Visiting Professor at UniversitÓ Bocconi, Milan, Italy. A pioneer in the Consumer Tribes field since the early nineties, his internationally-influential research has emphasized what he calls "the Latin approach" of tribal marketing. His work on this topic has been published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing, the European Journal of Marketing, Marketing Theory and the Journal of Business Research.

A member of many tribes, Robert V. Kozinets is Associate Professor of Marketing at York University's Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada. His tribal affiliations include consumer researchers, anthropologists, media scholars, Trekkers, Burners, coffee connoisseurs, modern primitives, Star Woids, X-Philes, greens, gamers, activists, technophiles, videophiles, technopagans, netnographers, and bloggers-and he has written about most of them in his research. That research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of Retailing. His blog and much more detail is available on his website at

Avi Shankar is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Consumer Research in one of the UK's premier schools of management at the University of Bath. His research applies social theory to the analysis of marketing and marketing related phenomenon, studies of tribal forms of consumption and most recently investigations into the management of pleasure in consumer culture. His work has been published in a variety of journals including: European Journal of Marketing; Consumption, Markets and Culture; Marketing Theory and the Journal of Marketing Management.

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