Baby Vervet Monkey

I’ve been obsessed with Dunbar’s Number lately and its relationship to marketing.

Robin Dunbar is a genius professor of anthropology at Oxford. He studied the social behaviors of groups of primates for years and came to some pretty cool conclusions.

He discovered that in primates and humans, the maximum number of relationships an individual can maintain is directly proportional to the average size of that species’ neocortex.

In other words, there’s an finite limit to how many people we can be friends with. And that number is based on the size of our brain.

What’s that magic number?

150.

You can only maintain a healthy social relationship with a maximum of 150 people. But most of the time it’s less than 150.

If you don’t need to be friends with 150 people you probably won’t be. And the only time you’d need that many friends is when your survival depends on it.

Think desert nomads in Arabia. Or mountain gorillas foraging for food.

Your customer’s survival isn’t dependent on maintaining social relationships, so her circle is smaller. Which makes reaching her harder.

You need to be provide enough value as a PERSON that your customer won’t bump you off her radar.

So project a human vibe through your social media channels.  Use a real person that talks about their life, current events, and mistakes. A memorable, remarkable, and relatable person.

Because the only way to be part of your customer’s 150 is to act human.

Sorry, no brands allowed.