Attracting the right people. How do you create a tribal brand which will attract the right sort of people in the first place?

Wealth Management and Private Banking

13 June 2019

Wealth Management and Private BankingWealth Management and Private BankingYour business

Key message

A Tribal Brand is a group of people who collectively identify themselves with the product or organisation and who share similar views and notions about the brand. They may not necessarily be consumers of the product, but do play a major role in its promotion.


  • The younger generation have grown up in a fast-paced, complex world with very different desires, behaviours and expectations from previous generations.
  • A tribal brand is the creation of a promise.
  • A tribe is powered by kinship.
  • Over 80% of the British workforce consider themselves to not be engaged with the work they are doing.

Key themes

  • Wealth Managers around the table discussed the notion of tribes and why they are important. They also realised that they are members of many tribes, as it is about connections and closely formed groups.
  • Tribes that delegates shared they belonged to included Golf Clubs, Family, A Meeting of Minds and even Whatsapp groups with school and uni friends.
  • Within the multiplicity of those tribes, what was the one thing that kept members in them? Loyalty and identity. Tribe behaviours are often emotionally driven.

 Questions were raised: 

  • How do tribes affect leadership?
  • Do they set a cultural tone for leadership?
  • Are they highly important for growth and success within an organisation?
  •  It was agreed that if you don’t look after people then you won’t have financials to go with it and if you were to treat internal staff as you do your clients, it would revolutionise the industry.
  • It is also to vital to invest time in staff as when employees leave, they take their knowledge with them and at what cost is that to the business? When resignation discussions arise, conversation is initially about numbers and the financial element, but it should be more about the tribal brand and the value of their knowledge.
  • The theme then moved onto the generation element and delved into the behavioural characteristics of Millennials and Gen Z.
  • One delegate raised the point that he felt that most graduates just want a job and then they learn how and what skills are required. How do we get them to think that it is a grander role? At this point are they even considering being part of a tribe?
  • Another delegate disagreed and thought graduates were focused and need to understand their purpose. That sub-tribes are as important to focus on as they form friendships at work and if one colleague leaves, sometimes others follow. So you have the master tribe but the secondary tribes need to be controlled.
  • More discussion focused on values and identity and that graduates are often more loyal to companies that share their views. That they see their personal tribes – sporting clubs, friends etc. as their permanent tribe but work as a temporary one. It was believed that it was hard for Financial Services to offer value-based leadership because of the cost/income ratio – how can they do that?
  • One participant shared that the quality of an individual and their values is as important as their wage as this industry encompasses people led businesses. Remember ‘on a Friday night that company’s assets walk out of the door, so it is important they return on Monday’.
  • This topic was then looked at and discussed in more detail. These generations move around a lot and can have multiple roles and work for more than one company and this industry is not prepared for that. Structures need to be managed. For example, should companies follow suit and introduce the ability for staff to set their own hours as PwC have done?
  • Employees will move jobs for more money, better culture and more meaningful work.
  • This steered one delegate to emphasise the importance of ‘timing’ and how as an industry we do not consider it enough. We need to ask employees if they are happy and what is driving them before it is too late and they are handing in their notice.
  • One delegate shared that they have employed many amazing graduates but then they resign. One employee informed them that they were advised at university to try different industries as they would be working until they are 75 – so with this advice, why should we invest in them and train them if they are then going to leave that tribe? Create a positive footprint so they return at a later date? But a show of hands demonstrated that it is a very low percentage of employees that would ever return or indeed have done so
  • One then questioned – ‘so should we only employ over 30 year olds? Forget the post graduate stage?’ However, the group agreed that you must invest in that generation as they may stay but for that you must build relationships and make them part of the tribe.
  • There is the challenge of running an organisation with a high turnover. Graduates have no benchmark to compare what is a good working environment or not, so how can we keep them? Through agile leadership and companionship.
  • A lot of organisations try to bring together a blend of people, but to encourage and create tribes is that the right approach?

 Conclusions/Top tips

  1. Define your brand clearly and how it is communicated
  2. Be clear about your audience and your message
  3. Choose aspirational language for the audience you seek to attract
  4. Communicate and build interest using the most appropriate methods for each audience: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
  5. Focus on the personality that will fit within your culture
  6. Research what motivates themes… it may not be what you think!
  7. Translate the legacy of the organisation in a way to attract the new audience
  8. Be agile in the way you think about and define your organisation
  9. Embrace the creative tension between the two worlds: historic and modern
  10. Identify your most enthusiastic advocates to share the love of the business
  • We need to look more deeply at an employee’s purpose, it needs a vision and we need to engage them in the overall process.
  • Companies do need to realise and accept that there will be a higher staff turnover and understand the mindset and behaviours of the new generations. To work with them, instead of against them. Create a better climate of psychological safety.

Expert: Keith Jones

Facilitator: Tessa Sharp