THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Seth Godin and Ancient Egypt

Yesterday I took my youngest daughter Ellie over to Liverpool to see the Ancient Egyptian collection at the World Museum. Before I get to that and, as an aside, I was astonished at the miles of cars queueing on the M60 to get into Manchester’s Trafford Centre Mall – I have never seen traffic as heavy in that area and suspect that the bargain hunters are out in force before the darkness falls on the economy. If we are all “consumed out” by the 5th January, does that mean that the wallets will disappear from the High Street? Hmmmm…. Back to Liverpool and the Egyptians. Not the most exciting display for kids I have to say – largely due to the absence of dead bodies (always a winner – look at the success of Bodyworlds) but interesting for adults because of over 1,000 day to day artifacts and trinkets that gave an insight into everyday life along the Nile. Those Egyptians loved:

  1. Their Gods (in the way that we love our soccer teams);

  2. Their Pharaohs (in the way that we “love” our politicians – my favourite exhibit was a papyrus letter from an elderly general to a court official more or less stating “who the hell does this Pharaoh think he is anyway?”);

  3. Their symbols, badges, icons and mementos – in the way that we love our brands.

It really dawned on me that those people would wander around with necklaces, medallions, arm bands, rings and brooches that declared their allegiance to a particular social, religious, economic or class TRIBE.

In just the same way that people would have spewed out of the Trafford Centre at the end of the day with branded carrier bags containing clothes. electronics, entertainment, cosmetics and food that made exactly the same declaration.

In just the same way that I intend to fall out of an Apple Store shortly with a new “aluminum” Macbook – after years of patient frustration, I’m about to leave the Windows TRIBE and join the Mac TRIBE.

“This is how I want to be measured. This is who I am. This is the TRIBE I belong to.”

Nothing much has changed. Seth Godin has it nailed in his latest book – I’m going to read it again in the next few days.

When you understand TRIBES you can build a prosperous business selling any product or service.

Just like an Egyptian.

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