If you want to build a brand that lasts, start by creating a community of like-minded consumers and advocates of your product or service.
Community is critical to our overall well-being and the decline of our connectedness is coming at the same time mental health issues are on the rise. We are social animals and our instinct is to find strength in numbers. We appreciate a small circle of people but need larger circles as well. Our health and happiness are inextricably linked to our connections.
Health and well-being aside, the value of building a community behind a brand cannot be ignored. This brings about and promotes powerful word-of-mouth testimonials, stronger customer retention, and better organic growth.
Unfortunately, so many corporate or personal brands (especially small ones) aren’t quite sure how to foster real communities or don’t believe they can if they don’t have the money to really do it successfully.
It’s time to turn a new leaf and grow meaningful communities with these tips;
Find ways to support and celebrate your organic ambassadors.
Every brand already has a community of champions. These are people who love what you’re doing and want to tell the world about it, even if it’s just a small one. The easiest community to build is the one you already have. So, look for ways to help your current advocates help you, and thank them when they do. They stay for longer, spread the message and welcome other champions.
Bring your followers into the business-building process.
Traditional marketing is a one-way conversation that the era of the internet and digital media has rendered obsolete. So, to build a strong community, you should create opportunities for your customers to feel like they have a voice, too.
Activities like responding to every customer’s email or chat will make them know they are being heard. Keeping an ear to the ground and making product decisions based on what your customers want works more than half the time. Even a simple Instagram poll can be engaging and insightful.
Encourage connections within your community
The real magic of a brand community starts happening when you help users build connections with each other. The best way to make this work is to look at your local community and think of ways to bring your community together, and then step back and watch the real connections start to happen.
Stay guided by your purpose (your why).
Ultimately, none of this works if you don’t have a deeper why behind your brand. People want to be part of communities because they want to be around like-minded people. It’s not just about stating your values. It is about living them out in your branding, your copy, and even your business decisions. When you understand and stick to your ‘why’, people whose why align with yours will find you even without you reaching out to them.
Communities don’t rally behind a product but rather behind the values that matter to them or a lifestyle they identify with. Figure yours out, live it out in the brand, and make sure you really care about your customers along the way, and you’ll be amazed at the dedicated following you can build.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.