Social groups set

Brands that are managed will grow faster and last longer.

But most businesses don’t bother.

Here’s how to manage your brand so it lasts.


Every brand is a network of different groups of people.

Douglas Holt’s theory calls this a brand’s social network.

This is how it works and how you can utilize it to grow your business and community.


Brand as a social network

Each brand has 3 key groups.

1. Insiders (Hardcore fans competing with the brand)

2. Followers (Fans)

3. Feeders (Casual Mass market)

Each group has different views and needs.


1) Insiders

These are the guys at the very forefront of your industry.

The group pushing things forward.

This group are the innovators. Every industry has them.

They are influential and powerful.

Working with insiders

Insiders compete with the brand for the status.

This means that insiders are inconsistent.

If there is another brand with a newer product or service they will align themselves with the new brand.


Use the insiders to test out your new offering.

Get their feedback.

Develop your offering with them.


Example: ESPN

Athletes who play sport.

They will use the brand to follow the stats and analytics for the game.


2) Followers

This is the group below insiders.

They have a strong connection with your brand but are not directly involved.

This group of people is larger than the insiders but heavily influenced by them.


Working with followers

If insiders are your innovators your followers are your early majority.

These guys are your brand champions.


They will interact with the brand and use the brand as a valuable source of information.

They won’t challenge the brand like insiders.

Your brand to them is a welcomed addition to their life.


Example: ESPN

Serious sports fans who don’t play sport but probably used to.

They enjoy watching the game and are loyal fans.

See ESPN as a mentor and watch to learn more about the game.


3) Feeders

These guys are the casuals.

The people who say they are interested because their mates are.

They will know the brand but it won’t be valued in their life.


This is a casual mass market.

The people who only watch the world cup or the UFC when Conor McGregor is fighting because that is all they know.


Working with Feeders

This is where your simple offering should sit.

The easy offering.

Nothing too complicated for these guys. They won’t get it.

Keep everything super simple.

Simple offering. Simple messaging.

Then they will come.


Example: ESPN

They don’t watch the game.

They only catch the highlights on ESPN.

Attracted by status and social ties.


As you can see each group brings something different to the table.

They require different treatment.

Different messages and offerings will appeal to the different groups.


The Insiders will always want the newest best thing. They will give you insights into how to be better.


The Followers will interact with your brand and be active members of your community.

Use this group to grow.


Your feeders will only know what’s going on when it’s big news.

Make your messaging simple for them.

Make the offering simple for them.


In Summary

• Insiders – use this group to innovate

• Followers – use this group to grow

• Feeders – use this group for revenue