Why Brand Communities are Everything
Posted on November 21, 2017
It’s no secret that the world has gotten a lot noisier. With the rise of social media outlets, everyone now has a platform for their message. Because of this, traditional disruptive awareness campaigns are no longer as effective in the long term. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for brands to stay relevant in the press and in conversation when everyone is constantly trying to capture attention. Instead of relying so heavily on disruption and publicity, brands need to transition into a new strategy of marketing that will be critical for success into the future: building brand communities.
What are brand communities? Essentially, brand communities are your fan base. They are formed around the attachment to a product or a brand through a melding of individual consumer identity, community, experience, culture, and brand. The concept of “brand communities” is a bit complex, so for the purpose of this short article, let’s focus on a few key principles that make this strategy the ultimate winner.
Firstly, building brand communities establishes a relationship between the consumer and the brand which ultimately leads to the invaluable phenomenon of brand loyalty. When someone develops a relationship with or around a brand, they are unlikely to transition their business to competitors. This is especially true among Millennials, who according to Elite Daily, are the most loyal generation to their favorite brands.
Furthermore, and perhaps even more importantly, fans of your brand will always be your strongest marketing asset. According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report in 2015, eighty-three percent (83%) of online respondents in 60 countries say that they trust the recommendations of friends and family. We know that people are far more likely to listen to brand messages that come from their personal network than any other form of marketing or advertising. This is why we believe public relations is becoming more and more a relationship game between the consumer and the brand. Building these brand relationships is the single best marketing investment a brand can make.
Fostering relationships is much more consequential than simply running awareness campaigns and disrupting the marketing space. While disruption and awareness certainly play an important role in the marketing process, relationships should always be the end goal- because they last. Disruption is a short-term gain that will certainly create buzz and foster conversation, but the attention is ephemeral- brands need to go further. If a brand wishes to disrupt and capture consumer attention, it should always have a relationship-building strategy attached. Instead of focusing solely on making noise, brands must learn how to build relationships that persevere long after the hype settles down. Take a look at your organization’s communications and marketing strategy- does it put an emphasis on relationships and building communities around your brand? If not, it’s time to reevaluate.