• Finding the lost tribe is about finding a customer segment left untapped by others. 
  • It can be a great marketing strategy with multi-pronged benefits. 

The core of the “Find the Lost Tribe” marketing strategy is about uncovering and catering to a niche market overlooked by mainstream businesses. It’s more like finding a hidden community with specific needs and desires that the existing range of products and services fails to hit the mark.

It involves extensive research to identify and focus on a unique group of customers with shared interests. This group of people could be passionate about a particular hobby, face some common challenges and belong to a specific subculture. After identifying the niche, the key here is to truly understand their struggles and aspirations and work towards bringing them into the fold. 

How did Jeep Successfully Use the “Find the Lost Tribe” Marketing Strategy? 

Jeep is a well-known car brand owned by Willys, which was then acquired by Chrysler and is now owned by Stellantis. Their lineup consists of a wide range of SUVs, some aimed at providing a mix of luxury and offroading, while others are out-right offroad models.

By intelligently using the “Find the Lost Tribe,” Jeep managed to tap and cater to off-road enthusiasts after World War II. They’ve effectively cultivated an ever-growing community of adventurous off-road enthusiasts, which aligns well with the strategy’s core principles. 

Identifying the Tribe and Building Emotional Connection

Jeep targets people who crave adventures and exploration, like targeting a tribe. These individuals appreciate and value freedom, self-reliance, and the ability to conquer any terrain. These individuals see the Jeep as more than any ordinary vehicle; they see it as a partner in their off-road journeys. 

The car brand’s marketing campaign goes beyond just showcasing technical specifications. It showcases breathtaking landscapes, challenging trails, and the joy of venturing off the beaten path. These ads evoke a sense of wanderlust and freedom, appealing to the tribe’s desire for adventure. 

Fostering a Community

Jeep actively cultivates a sense of community among enthusiasts using various channels, as discussed below. 

They sponsor multiple off-road races, rallies, and camping events to provide various opportunities for the tribe to connect, grow, and share their experiences. Their strong social media presence on multiple platforms skillfully cultivates User-Generated-Content (UGC), which users use with hashtags like #JeepLife, #Jeep, #jeeplove, #jeepnation, etc. 

This allows the tribe to showcase their adventures with their capable off-roaders to the tribe and others who share similar interests. Jeep also has a program called the Jeep Badge of Honor, allowing owners to conquer challenging off-road trails and earn badges. It gamifies the experience while fostering a sense of accomplishment and community. 

Heritage & Authenticity

Jeep intelligently leverages its rich history of military vehicles. In the early days of World War II, the United States Army needed lightweight, maneuverable, four-wheel-drive cars for reconnaissance and scouting. They issued a call to automakers of the time, and after a rapid development process, Willys-Overland emerged with a winning design in 1941. With its open-top design, powerful engine, and folding windshield, this iconic vehicle became the blueprint for Jeep. 

This connection with history creates a sense of heritage and authenticity among the tribe. Their rugged design reinforces the brand’s association with capability and exploration and resonates with the tribe’s desire for a vehicle built for adventure. However, recent models are sleeker and are amalgamating luxury with off-road capabilities, further enticing the tribe. 

The intense emotional connection helps foster a sense of belonging and makes Jeep owners loyal brand advocates. The tribe organically promoted the brand through positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Through its association with adventure and exploration, the brand evolved from selling a car to selling a lifestyle, which attracts new members to the tribe. 

Focusing on a specific tribe allowed Jeep to tailor their marketing strategy and events so they resonate deeply with the target audience. They have identified their tribe, built an emotional connection and fostered a sense of community. Eventually, this approach fostered a loyal customer base and fueled Jeep’s continued success as the iconic off-road vehicle brand. 

What is the “Find the Lost Tribe” Marketing Strategy? 

The term “Find the Lost Tribe” in marketing is more than a specific strategy; it is a concept that is applied in various ways. It identifies a niche market that existing businesses have overlooked or underserved. In simpler terms, it is like targeting an open area left by other marketers.

Unearthing the Lost Tribe

Before targeting the tribe, it’s important to find one. Marketers should use their resources in researching and pinpointing a specific group of customers with unique needs, interests, and demographics. These are individuals with a particular hobby or interest, facing a specific challenge, or belonging to a certain subculture. 

After identifying the niche, marketers should focus on identifying and understanding their unmet needs, desires, and pain points. It helps promote the narrative that a particular product or service can address these issues. While the niche feels unique, brands must estimate the market size and understand that there are enough people to make the targeting campaign commercially viable.

How to Reach this Lost Tribe? 

Marketers should focus on developing messaging and narratives that resonate with the “Lost Tribe.” The message should speak their language, and the product or service should be designed to address their specific concerns and showcase how the solution they’ve been waiting for is the solution they’ve been waiting for. 

Understand the fact that traditional marketing might not be effective in reaching the lost tribe. Hence, marketers should explore niche-specific channels like online forums, social media groups, industry publications, etc., frequented by the target audience. The focus should be beyond selling and evolving to cultivate a community around the brand.

Finding and focusing on lost tribes has multiple benefits. Understanding and offering solutions for their needs helps build strong brand loyalty. Eventually, they’ll see you as a brand as a go-to solution for their needs, making you enthusiastic advocates.  

Targeting a less-saturated niche market significantly reduces competition, making it easier for the brand to stand out and establish brand dominance. Since the brand caters to the target audience’s needs, it tends to be more receptive to marketing efforts. 

Pros and Cons of “Find the Lost Tribe” Marketing Strategy

Like every other marketing strategy, this “Find the Lost Tribe” strategy comes with its pros and cons, as discussed below. 


Understanding the niche’s needs and offering compelling solutions helps build stronger brand loyalty. Eventually, the target audience starts looking at the brand that “gets them” and becomes enthusiastic brand advocates. Targeting the less-saturated niche market significantly reduces the competition.

It helps the brand stand out and establish brand dominance. Since the brand is targeting specific needs, it tends to generate higher engagement and make customers receptive to future marketing efforts. 


Finding the right niche can be challenging and will require deep and thorough market research to identify a group large enough to be profitable in the long run yet specific enough to have unique needs. This difficulty is just the first step, and marketers must consider the cost of this research.

The “Lost Tribe” might be a bit smaller than anticipated, which makes it difficult to achieve significant sales volume due to the limited market size. Moreover, reaching the niche audience can be expensive and might require unconventional marketing strategies, adding costs. In conclusion, the “Find the Lost Tribe” marketing strategy can be a powerful tool with the potential to capitalize on a segment of the market left untapped by other businesses. It helps enhance brand loyalty, significantly reduces competition, and fosters higher brand awareness and engagement.