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People Like Us Do Stuff Like This


In recent decades, marketing has shifted from broadcast advertising to more subtle forms of communication. In this chapter, we apply the ideas of prominent people like Seth Godin and Kevin Kelly to our own marketing approach. In addition, we take into account the rhizome model established by Deleuze and Guattari, which postulates that authority spreads laterally via networks of ad hoc affinity. Furthermore, we examine the Supreme Court case and incorporate its findings into our startup’s launch and ongoing promotion.

Insights from Seth Godin and Kevin Kelly.

According to Seth Godin, the key to understanding human behaviour is looking at how it strengthens institutional, interpersonal, and cultural ties (Godin). His advice is that companies should think carefully about how the people for whom they exist and the causes for which they fight. Finding 1,000 real fans per day and enticing them to assist you in finding two or three more fans each is Godin’s advice for brand marketing teams of any size.

On the other side, Kevin Kelly claims that all one needs to succeed is a core audience of 1,000 people who are passionate about what they do. Kelly proposes that instead of trying to appeal to a massive audience, small firms should concentrate on attracting a loyal following of only 1,000 individuals (Kelly). These consumers will purchase everything the company makes and spread the word to their friends.

Ethnographic Research and Developing Audience-Specific Marketing Strategies

One can learn a lot about your target audience’s habits, worldviews, and what drives them by doing ethnographic research. If you study your target market closely, you may tailor your marketing to meet their wants and requirements better.

An individual may use Godin’s insight that “people like us do stuff like this” to their advantage by zeroing in on their audience’s commonalities in terms of values and interests (Godin). With this information in hand, you can tailor your messages and content to better reflect the preferences of your target demographic. If, for instance, you know that a large portion of your customer base is environmentally conscious, you may design unique offerings or goods to appeal to their beliefs.

Deleuze and Guattari’s Rhizome Model

As an alternative to the traditional tree-like hierarchy, the “rhizome theory” is proposed by Deleuze and Guattari. Their paradigm postulates that genuine liberatory power spreads laterally through networks of mutual desire. Language, perception, mimicry, gesture, and thought are intertwined in a semiotic chain (Gilman). According to the rhizome model, there are no universals in language but a wide variety of spoken forms.

The hierarchy of paid and news-driven earned media, including newscasters, celebrities, taste-makers, and professional social influencers, exerts a downward flow of arboreal influence (Kimbell 301). These sources can’t just ‘hop’ from one rhizome to another way we can. The broadcaster represents the arboreal paradigm, whereas the conspirator represents the rhizomatic form.

 Ice Bucket Challenge

In 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge became an extremely popular online fundraising initiative. Participants would raise money for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association by dumping a pail of cold water over their heads (Vargo et al. 8). Within weeks, millions of people worldwide had joined in and raised over $220 million. The movement spread rapidly through social media.

The Ice Bucket Challenge well shows Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizomatic concept. Paid media or celebrity endorsements were not used in the campaign. Instead, it gained traction due to people’s eagerness to join in and report their adventures to others. It spread laterally over social media, bridging gaps between individuals of different cultures.

Analyzing and Leveraging the Call to Desire

The Ice Bucket Challenge became viral because it appealed to people’s baser desires. The challenge attracted participants because it allowed them to participate in a global movement for good (Porter 66). The ad connected with individuals emotionally, giving them a feeling of belonging and helping them feel like they were a part of something greater than themselves.

Understanding the needs and goals of one’s target demographic is crucial for applying this knowledge to a new venture. Marketers may tailor their approaches to different demographics by drawing on the findings of ethnographic studies of consumer habits, perceptions, and values (Kelly). Businesses may appeal to their customers’ sense of community-building needs by using the call to want.

Examining the Supreme Court case

The case of the Supreme Court gives treasured insights into developing a valuable brand which could be so convincing and appealing to prospective and potential clients. The skateboarding and apparel brand Supreme have a near-religious devotion among fans of urban fashion. The company’s efforts to create a niche brand have paid off, as the brand now has a dedicated following within a relatively limited client base.

The Supreme Court’s decision emphasizes the significance of being consistent with your brand’s voice and principles. According to Jordan, another firm creator, “It doesn’t take a genius to know what’s good.” Supreme has distinguished itself from rivals and struck a chord with its core demographic because the company has honed down on its specific clientele.

The case presented to the Supreme Court further highlights the significance of scarcity and uniqueness. Supreme has created an extremely exclusive brand; their items sometimes sell out in only minutes after being made available to the public (Scott). Customers are compelled to make considerable efforts to acquire Supreme goods because of their limited availability. This is an excellent illustration of how businesses can use limited availability to boost product demand and value.

Applying Insights from the Supreme Case to Your Startup

As a new company, it’s crucial to realize that not everyone will be a good fit for your services and that this is not a reflection of superiority. Instead, exclusivity encourages the target market to form a community of enthusiastic supporters (Kim & Renee 84). Here are several takeaways from the Supreme Court decision that may be applied to the launch and maintenance of the startup’s marketing and advertising efforts.

Stay True to Your Brand Voice and Values.

Maintaining your brand’s tone and ethos is crucial, just like Supreme has done. It’s easy for a new company to become distracted by trying to meet the needs of every possible customer. But this strategy has a low chance of success, and instead, you should zero in on your niche and create a brand that speaks to your audience specifically. Developing a distinct brand identity that separates you from the competition depends on loyalty to your brand’s voice and values.

Create a Sense of Exclusivity

One effective strategy for increasing brand interest and loyalty is to make your product or service seem unique and desirable. Like Supreme, you may create a feeling of scarcity and restricted availability of your items by releasing them in small quantities. Doing so may generate a consumer base so passionate about your items that they will go to any lengths to get them.

Leverage Co-Creation with Fans

Supreme has been able to foster a feeling of community and brand connection by using co-creation with its devotees. Customers develop a strong attachment to the Supreme brand because they are involved in designing and producing the company’s goods. Startups may use co-creation with their followers to build a loyal following and increase sales (Kotler et al.). Customers vested in your company will more likely advocate on your behalf.


In conclusion, developing a recognizable brand takes insight into your intended market and the commitment always to maintain your brand’s identity. You can make your brand stand out from the competition and win over your target demographic using techniques like fan co-creation and limited availability. In the early stages of a company’s development, it’s crucial to realize that not everyone will be a good fit for your services or products. Instead, exclusivity is all about making your target audience feel like they’re part of a welcoming, self-selecting community.

Work Cited

Gilman, Sander L. “A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia.” (1989): 657-659.

Godin, Seth. Tribes: We need you to lead us. Penguin, 2008.

Kelly, Kevin. “1,000 True Fans. The Technium.” (2008).

Kim, W. Chan, and Renee Mauborgne. “Creating new market space.” Harvard business review 77.1 (1999): 83-93.

Kimbell, Lucy. “Rethinking design thinking: Part I.” Design and Culture 3.3 (2011): 285-306.

Kotler, Ph, H. Kartajaya, and I. Setiawan. “Marketing 3.0 From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.” (2010).

Porter, Michael E. “What is strategy?.” (1996): 61-78.

Scott, David Meerman. The new rules of marketing and PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

Vargo, Stephen L., and Robert F. Lusch. “Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 36 (2008): 1-10.


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