Social Media Informer
    From the Pixlee Blog, "The Role of Community in Modern Branding"

    The Role of Community in Modern Branding

    March 8, 2018

    The idea of community has become a major focus of brands in many verticals. While
    traditional methods of marketing still have their place, community-building is now a
    critical part of any holistic branding strategy. This element is all about building an identity
    within existing networks of consumers, as modern brands are no longer simply about
    companies that create products and services. Instead, brands are defined by the people
    who are buying them. The change makes it essential for brands to build trust by creating a

    How are brands leveraging community?

    Without trust, consumers are less likely to purchase products or services from a company.
    The ones who do purchase are less likely to remain loyal customers over time. Humanizing
    strategies like content marketing and social media marketing are being implemented more
    often to build community and develop lasting, meaningful relationships with customers. Brands are adopting a more human voice, and searching for ways to have 1:1 interaction with people at scale.

    How does bolstering social communities generate revenue? 

    Building community on social media platforms helps to spread the word about a brand
    without trying to advertise a specific product or service. If companies want to remain
    relevant, they need an avenue to build visibility and trust. This is happening through
    personal interaction and relationship building.

    Personal exchanges help companies attract buyers, because they start to associate the
    organization with a human being or human experience – not a huge corporation. This is
    critical in the current marketplace, where many major corporations start at a disadvantage often being perceived as in-authentic. A recent Harris poll shows that fewer than 20 percent of consumers feel a sense of trust when it comes to companies in the financial, pharmaceutical, and health insurance industries.

    How do brands leverage technology as a way to grow communities?
    In order to develop a robust community, brands are increasing their reliance on
    technology. Individualized customer service is an important part of interacting with
    consumers and keeping them engaged. Many companies are using customer relationship
    management software to build personal connections with consumers. For example,
    companies like Amazon use software and AI technology to provide high-quality chat
    support and customized communication with their customers. Through the use of
    messaging apps and social media, brands can post frequently, respond quickly to
    comments and requests, and better engage their customers. It also makes it easy for like-
    minded consumers to communicate with each other.

    Which industries are already building communities?
    These three industries have particularly robust communities around their products.

    The travel industry is perfectly positioned for community building. In today’s world of
    remote workers, it’s especially appealing to jet off on month-long getaways to exotic places,
    and travelers love to be connected. Airbnb does a fantastic job of offering community-
    sourced housing to travelers, as well as setting up a network of travelers who leverage each
    other’s experiences for travel tips.

    The fashion industry is particularly well-suited to community building, because there is
    plenty of room for communication and collaboration. For example, LuLuLemon pegs itself
    as a brand that delivers fashion but doesn’t control it. Rather, it lets partners, editors,
    ambassadors, and fans to shape the story of the brand by interacting with each other and
    offering suggestions and feedback.

    In the world of fitness, no one is doing community building better than Under Armour. The
    brand has more than 200 million registered users for a number of fitness apps and is
    aiming to become the Facebook of the fitness community. It makes sense for fitness
    companies to build a strong community, because athletes and people focused on fitness
    goals enjoy the support they get from others with the same goals. Under Armour has also
    mastered the art of personalization and comes up with custom-tailored workouts, running
    trails, design-your- own-shoe contests and more.

    Getting more involved in community building is a sure way to launch your brand ahead in
    the years to come.

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