What Sonex Aircraft gets right about building a tribe

I was browsing last night for avionics options for my Zenith 750 build. The project is stalled because Zenith has a long lead time right now and the remainder of my kit which was ordered in February doesn’t ship until June. This does afford me some time to plan engines and avionics. Silver lining and all that…

I ended up on Sonex Aircraft’s website in my avionics search. The site is a reasonably new relaunch, and many things about it impressed me.

One of my favorite books is by Seth Godin titled “Tribes: What you need to lead us.” It’s more than 10 years old now, but it left a lasting impact on me (his book Linchpin is the one I give away to people most often). As someone new to homebuilding, I often see products and services through the lens of the concepts in that book. The main idea is that brands should build a following where people feel like they belong. Seth says, ““Human beings can’t help it: we need to belong.”

So with that lens in mind, while I was browsing the Sonex website, I was attracted to a few things.

The first is obvious. There is a blog. It’s well written, relevant and updated regularly. This is not easy to do but is essential to a community.  As Earl Nightengale says “You become what you think about.” So Sonex customers have a resource that brings them back into the fold every week or so and keeps them thinking about how Sonex is relevant in the Aviation industry.

Second, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is that the site is a modern design. I don’t feel like I am browsing the internet in 1998. And it’s mobile responsive. It’s just as usable on my phone as it is on my computer.


Third, is the builder database. In 2 seconds I found out that someone is building a Onex 10 minutes from me.

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Fourth is the builder organizations and events listing. Most of the kit companies have these sorts of organizations built up around them, but kudos to Sonex for maintaining a directory and highlighting them on their own site.

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Fifth is the VAST amount of work they put into being an informational resource for Sonex builders and potential customers. From building resources to avionics and engine resources, to licensing and insurance, the Sonex website serves as an anchor for the community.



And last but not least is their Facebook group. I love love love to see stories of actual people doing great things in the community.

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I’m not a Sonex customer, but their tribe makes me want to be one of them.

What are they missing you ask? Their Instagram only has 6 posts. Easy to fix. They could just put their tribe to work on that.




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