The Only Stories that
Matter are the Ones Your
Audience Tells Itself


Metro Tribal is a next-generation social research and advisory firm that helps organizations acquire and retain customers, employees, and admirers, and then activate their loyal support, the competitive advantage of any business. We help you build a brand that customers will value and fully integrate into their group rituals. A brand that stays culturally relevant and valuable.

Using 25 years of ethnographic field research experience and advanced data science techniques, we've developed a way to identify and understand the primary motivation of individual customers and employees, as well as how they filter and interpret what you say to them. Out of this insight we develop a custom, personal approach to communication and storytelling that you, or your agency, can immediately and easily integrate into your current workflow organization-wide.

Connect with customers and employees in this new, enlightened and highly effective manner, and you'll more rapidly earn their ongoing trust, loyalty, and affection, bringing clarity and direction to marketing, sales, CRM and HR. You'll develop an internal organizational narrative that is customer and employee aligned and, as a result, will build an admired brand.


Brand Storytelling


Brand Storytelling is rapidly becoming the most important technique any individual or organization must master in the digital age. Brands are cultural symbols — they get their meaning from stories you tell, and the stories others tell, about you or your organization.  Brand storytelling involves more than content; it encompasses the actions you take and the gestures you make, how you package your product or services, how you run your company, how you treat your employees and customers. They all tell a story.


But as you embark on content marketing, web copy, conference presentations, sales pitches — even conversation at networking events — how do you know you’re telling the right stories about your brand, to the right audiences? When you decide on product design, service policies, and your stance on issues in public life, how do you know that you are communicating in a way that has meaning and impact?


Metro Tribal solves that problem by discovering the blueprint all individuals and organizations should be using to segment and tell stories to their audiences. Using proprietary ethnographic research techniques, we reverse engineer the story your audience tells itself internally about how the world works, and how to survive and succeed in it.


We call this internal story a Guiding Narrative®, and it determines how the story you are telling will be heard and repeated in the marketplace. It is also the key to activating your audience to promote your brand organically in the flow of daily life.


Because the audience's Guiding Narrative tells them what to trust and value, it becomes a blueprint you can use to determine not only what stories to tell, but to whom, how, and where to tell them. Individual reality is socially-constructed — connecting with their Guiding Narrative is the direct path to building authentic brand loyalty with your audiences.

Ultimately, we enable you to read the room™. To know the social code that can tell you how seamlessly to join your target audience in their rituals. To be on the inside within your marketplace.

We're doing something different: we're disrupting brand communication by positioning the audience's internal narrative as the template for both your segmentation and your brand storytelling.

The Company

Metro consultants include experts in the area of ethnographic fieldwork and data science, including the latest techniques in machine learning and predictive analytics.

We’ve been working over the two decades on cracking the code of how to build brand loyalty though data-based brand storytelling, and think we have it!







meet the team



Craig is an applied ethnographer and veteran marketing and organizational change consultant. For more than 20 years he has surfaced and reconstructed the narratives that individuals and groups use to guide their daily choices. With this insight, he has helped corporations, non-profits, and government agencies successfully position their brands, products, and services to customers as well as their own employees.

Early in his career, while a UCLA-based researcher, Craig gained unique access to conduct an ethnographic study which helped the Los Angeles Police Department interpret the narratives of patrol officers and the public as it attempted to shift from a “command and control” to a “community policing” brand. He introduced several innovations to this project and through two decades of consulting practice has honed those innovations tocreate the foundation for Metro Tribal’s Guiding Narrative approach to audience insight.

Craig also has a special interest in higher education and career development. He completed doctoral training in the Division of Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. While there, Craig co-taught a popular course, “The Social Psychology of Higher Education” and authored one of the only historical accounts of for-profit education in the United States.

His recent ethnographic work includes group narrative insight projects for Microsoft, Pearson, FINRA Foundation, the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and multiple consumer brand companies.

Alex Struminger


Alex is a digital media strategist with experience in organizational development and digital storytelling. He was Senior Advisor for Strategic Internet Projects at United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), where he worked with a successful Webby award-winning team on content strategy and technology platforms for nearly a decade. His experience includes digital media and content management technologies.

Alex has been a speaker and guest lecturer at several United Nations agencies, the Createasphere DAM conference, Henry Stewart DAM NY conference, the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, the Asian Development Bank in Manila, the City University of New York and the Rhode Island School of Design.

He has worked with diverse clients including AARP, UNICEF, Pfizer, AT&T, the US Department of Commerce, Accenture, the RAND Corporation and the CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development.




Jim is an applied statistician, psychometrician, researcher, and evaluator with 20 years of experience designing, implementing and analyzing social and clinical science studies.  Jim’s methodological interests include multivariate statistical modeling, construct development, permutation statistics, analysis of very small and very large data sets, and non-traditional approaches to statistical interpretation.


Jim is Associate Professor of Medical Education and Test Development at the University of Virginal Medical School.

How is the marketplace hearing and repeating the stories you tell?

Find out how you could be telling the right stories.