How often do you hear the words “Community Building for Brands”? Far too many times, right? Everyone is treating it like a new and visionary technique to retain customers and build a brand. But in fact, it has been here for ages. People didn’t just recognize it. Let’s start by the definition. A community in simpler words is a group of people who have the same opinion. They are from the same culture and follow the same trends. People have been living in communities since the dawn of mankind. It is vital for any race to survive.
In today’s technological world, people want to be part of something more than their neighbourhood. They don’t want to limit their experience to the geography of their home. For brands, this makes a recipe for higher engagement and loyalty. That being said, it has to be noted that building a community isn’t just gathering people in high numbers on your website or app. It is more than that. You want to build a strong and meaningful community through your actions which helps build a successful brand.
Let’s see why visionary marketers nowadays focus more on community building.
Higher Brand Awareness
One of the most effective ways of awareness is a positive word-of-mouth. Chances of using a brand increase exponentially when it is referred by someone you know. This means a community steps in when a new person is looking to buy from your brand. Amazon bought Goodreads which has more than 20 million members. They all add independent book reviews which help Amazon drive book sales.
Communities promote feedback from the customers even if it is negative. It is one of the most valuable and honest sources of feedback for brands. Communities help brands understand the needs and problems of customers with user-generated content like reviews and comments. Online customers tend to read reviews before purchasing anything so it is important that communities engage and create content around the company’s product. Playstation Community provides an online space for gamers to connect and talk about their interests or ask for support. It is a useful platform for feedback and support. Apple Community also offers a platform for feedback, support, and information-sharing. It has one of the most active communities around the world.
Together we rise
No one rises to success all by himself. Successful brands have people in their community who are supportive of their actions. They add value to the brand when they support it. They provide a sense of camaraderie. They help make strategic decisions. Starbucks offers a forum, My Starbucks Idea which helps people share and discuss their ideas for the brand. This makes them feel validated and valued.
Increases Brand Loyalty
It’s more important and cost effective to keep the current customers engaged than acquiring new customers. Giving your customers a sense of belonging makes them realize they are part of something. This essentially encourages them to be with you than leaving you for some other brand. Samsung Mobile, with Samsung Fun Club offers users a wide range of exclusive ringtones, games and videos.
Technology makes it easy
It was never easier than today’s time to build a community. The whole world is connected by social media which makes up for a huge part in building a community. People spend more time than ever on their mobile phones, checking their social media and trying to stay updated. It is so convenient and cost effective to build a community that even the brands which sell products offline are jumping on the bandwagon. Harley Davidson has created Harley Owner Group where bikers interact with each other and share their travel stories.
It doesn’t matter how you build a community. It can be periodic events with large crowds or a social media community. Do it how it suits you. The outcome never changes. Community building increases brand awareness and brand loyalty. You can never underestimate the power of an engaged community. It always leads to improvement in products, innovation, and overall growth of the company. However, it goes without saying that you have to build and maintain a community that is beneficial to the brand. It has to go beyond sales. It has to provide value and support for members. Contact Socialee.in for building a sustainable and engaged community for your brand.