Launched in 2018 and headquartered in Canada, Tribe Technologies offers a customizable and web-based platform that enables organizations to drive discussions and collaboration among its customers, partners, and other audiences. Participants can engage in real-time discussions, share resources, and connect to collaborate within an organization’s online space.
Co-founder Mo Malayeri says that he has always been a community builder. “I launched two startups before coming to Canada in 2015 and was part of hosting start-up weekends where those launching projects could connect because that was how you could actually make an impact,” he says.
Malayeri wanted to replicate this dynamic with Tribe by providing a digital space that was about more than marketing a product, but where ideas could be born and where communities could form. Additionally, Mo and his team were looking to create a tool where businesses could control the experience and the data.
In 2020, Tribe was integrated into the Future Skills Centre’s Community of Practice, providing a forum where individuals and organizations across Canada could share questions, resources, and information with the common goal of understanding and addressing challenges related to the future of work.
Discussion forums are one of the oldest tools on the web, but over time major trends have shaped user expectations and the ways with which individuals connect and share. These changes inspired Malayeri and his co-founders to build a new kind of community software.
Malayeri explains, “Since the birth of platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, discussions migrated to where people spent most of their time. So even as the internet got bigger, we saw a trend toward centralization and with that came the challenge of privacy and data ownership.”
Secondly, social media platforms provided a largely uniform experience for all users. For Malayeri, the question became how businesses could engage customers within their own community rather than taking them to a separate platform.
Under the consideration of these changes, Malayeri and his team sought to create a platform that could still give users a personalized experience but allow businesses to have control over data and the ability to build it into their operations.
Despite the privacy and data protection challenges of major social media platforms, their ability to understand the interests and habits of users increased expectations that the experience would be tailored to the individual user. According to Malayeri, “We wanted to deliver the same level of experience where we have a sense of your interest and needs and those would be reflected in your experience.”
What makes Tribe unique, Malayeri emphasizes, is that users maintain a certain segmentation. Users who are onboarded to a particular community still receive recommendations supported by machine learning for discussions, resources, and sub-groups within that broader community, but aren’t pushed content from any community that they don’t join on their own. Information is also never shared across communities. This approach means all Tribe clients own their community without information being shared across instances of Tribe.
For businesses, Tribe also removed the barrier of having to move community engagement to a separate platform, instead building it into their existing digital presence. “We also made it possible for businesses to connect this tool to their existing stack. Businesses are using so many tools for marketing, support, customer success, analytics, etc. Tribe is fully connected to other tools and part of an end-to-end customer journey,” Malayeri explains. That means Tribe syncs with other apps including Google Analytics and HubSpot, allowing businesses to track relevant analytics from within their community. Custom coding also allows businesses to integrate additional apps into their Tribe community, providing a seamless experience for users.
Malayeri considers Tribe’s greatest successes to be those cases when a forum becomes a community of practice, rather than just a sales tool, and where companies could further a mission and not just a product.
As an example, Malayeri cites Pipedrive, a CRM tool that integrated Tribe. “Their community doesn’t just host content about their product, but how to succeed as a salesperson. The community really became a community of practice,” Malayeri says.
Malayeri argues that this type of engagement is still of great value for businesses.“Businesses always need to calculate ROI and that shows in engagement and retention. If a user comes back more often, that’s a valuable return. There’s also an opportunity for people to have a positive experience with the brand and the added value of the community so they might recommend it,” Malayeri says.
In some cases, Tribe communities have acted as repositories of knowledge, strategies, and troubleshooting guides for customer support in a way that has allowed businesses to reduce support operations costs as users find support from peers.
Ultimately, future developments will be informed by Malayeri’s goal of building connections that give birth to ideas. Malayeri says, “We’re excited to open our API and our developer toolkit so others can build apps and functionalities on top of Tribe.”
Summarizing Tribe’s vision of success, Malayeri says, “I think what really excites us is how we deliver this experience of connecting people and celebrating that. We get excited when users can actually start collaborating through using our platform. Magnet and the Future Skills Centre is one of our success stories because you can start engaging by asking questions and getting answers and connecting with like-minded people.”