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 community.
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 itselfa s 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.