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Better Together... Building Brand Communities

“Brand communities” is one of the buzz words within the marketing world at the moment, especially when it comes to growing - and maintaining - a loyal and engaged customer base and boosting brand advocacy.

 

These communities create a sense of… well… COMMUNITY! This feeling of “belonging” provides a unique, cost-effective forum for brands - often through social platforms and/or micro-influencers - to share niche content and cultivate close relationships with their followers, fostering trust and authenticity and ensuring excellent engagement.




 

Bringing it all together…

 

Strong communities are built around shared passions, beliefs, or experiences. They provide platforms for meaningful engagement - interaction, support, and collaboration.

However, they demand authenticity and transparency - it’s vital for messaging to feel genuine and responsive to community needs. Content needs to add value - exclusive content, experiences, or rewards to incentivise participation are key.

 

Once engaged, it’s important to keep fostering connections and interactions to maintain a thriving community and loyal relationships. Building a successful brand community requires dedication, strategic planning, and ongoing effort. By understanding your target audience and their needs, you can create a space that fosters lasting connections and brand loyalty.

 

Who has done it REALLY well…

 

Most of us have experienced the value of some of the larger brand communities like Air BnB (where hosts and guests connect through the platform, sharing travel stories, tips, and recommendations), PlayStation (where gaming platforms enable players to connect, compete, and collaborate), Boots Health Hub (the pharmacy chain forum for health discussions, Q&A sessions with pharmacists - building trust, answering questions and delivering health information) and Mumsnet (the UK’s biggest network for parents, with around 8 million unique visitors per month clocking up around 100 million page views.

 

However, the real power of brand communities are the smaller – more niche – groups.


Here are some UK examples of how this collaborative activity can benefit the community members as well as the brands…


Freenature - sells sustainable outdoor clothing. Their online community is a forum where members can discuss outdoor activities, share tips, and connect with other nature lovers. The FREENATURE community helps to promote the brand's values of sustainability and environmental consciousness.


Butternut Box - delivers fresh, healthy meals for dogs. Their online community is a Facebook group where dog owners can share photos of their pets, discuss dog training tips, and get advice from veterinarians. The Butternut Box community helps to create a sense of brand loyalty among dog owners.


Me and You - retailer of maternity, baby, and children's clothing. Their online community is a forum where parents can connect, share experiences, and get advice on all things related to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. The Me and You community fosters a sense of community and belonging for parents, and it has helped Me and You to build a loyal following.


By creating space where customers can connect with each other and with the brand, businesses are able to build loyalty, trust and advocacy.







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