by Eduard Schaepman, on 26 Sep 2019
We’re halfway through the Low Car Diet 2019 and in the context of Throwback Thursday, I would like to take you back in time… To the previous edition in 2014, when I wrote the following blog about my experiences (and yes, I was thinking about tribes then already!).
A well-known old English advertising man was once asked for the reason of his career dip that lasted five years. ‘My Rolls with driver' was his answer. Because of the successes in the beginning of his career, his star had risen so fast that he was no longer condemned to the London Underground, but was driven comfortably through the city. And from that moment on he didn't get in touch with the people that his work was intended for.
That's why I love that Low Car Diet. Of course, it's good for the environment and all that, but Dutch public transport keeps me, old marketer Schaepman, in touch with the target groups in the Netherlands once again. I call them 'Tribes'.
Tribe 1 consists of the mothers I met in front of the schoolyard when I took my kids (on my bike!) to school. Latin name 'Femina Gooijana'. Recognizable by the Volvo or Range Rover, plenty of jewelry (also called 'noise dampers' in Mokum) and very informative. Within five minutes I was updated on the financial situation of my neighbors, I knew which fathers rode a crooked skate and I could continue my way with peace of mind.
In the train to Amsterdam I bumped into the next Tribe, the Lullo's. A tribe of which I was once a member myself, but which has evolved since then. Brogues are now Vans, the 'hee lullo' has now become 'guest, serious' and the yearbook to search for dates has been replaced by Tinder. But the feeling is still the same. Thanks to my old Tribe the trip was over in no time.
When I arrived at Amsterdam Zuid, I needed a ride to the WTC and my colleague Suus of Chalet Group was the answer. Suus is a member of the third Tribe; the Scooter Babes. Tough girls in ditto outfits, moving around on a jaw-dropping scooter. And no; not such a futuristic one (that's another tribe) but such a beautiful classic Italian one. The territory of this Tribe stretches from the PC Hooftstraat to Ibiza. Scooter Babes feed on berries, seeds and juices and trigger all kinds of feelings among members of the fourth Tribe, which I met at the office shortly after.
The brokers. Real estate agents form a cozy Tribe, a noisy one too, and the general 'Tribal Token' is the clasp shoe. This Tribe is currently undergoing major transitions because they have a new medicine man (called 'Ed' in the corridors) who has decreed that they can no longer think in square metres. A new religion that is gaining more and more followers. One of them shared his car with me to the last appointment of the day.
Spinners' is the name of that Tribe. I'm a member myself. A group of people who are cycling and sweating together, while they don’t seem to realize that the bike, they are sitting on only has one wheel and doesn’t touch the ground. One hour of pedaling and then it’s time to go home, to the last Tribe of the day; the Schaepmannetjes.
There is not one environment; there are hundreds of them. And every marketer should know them all. The good news is that you don't need a Master at Nyenrode or Insead; the Low Car Diet teaches you everything you want to know.