Customer communities are pivotal to the growth and success of brands across the world. Numerous studies over the past few years have highlighted the many ways in which brand communities are reshaping marketing and ensuring brand loyalty in ways that conventional marketing never could.
Recent data included in the bestselling book Belonging to the Brand by marketing consultant Mark Schaefer reveals some interesting insights about why community building is an excellent marketing strategy:
- Over 65% of memberswho belonged to a brand community said they were loyal to the brand.
- 27% of customersadmitted that belonging to a brand community influenced their decisions to engage with the brand.
- 66% of companiesacknowledged that their community had a direct impact on customer retention.
By building a community for your brand, you too can tap into the power of community marketing and drive your brand to success. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why building a strong community matters today.
5 Reasons to build a strong community for your brand
Before you get started with learning how to build a community, you need to know why it is important. So, let’s take a closer look at # reasons to build a strong community centered around your brand.
1. You can connect with your customers directly
Traditional marketing channels may also foster direct connections with your customers, but they often involve only one-way communication. However, when you learn how to build a community for your brand and create an online network for your target users, you set up a direct line of communication with your customers.
This direct connection allows you to engage with your customers on a more personal level and makes it easier to understand their needs. As a result, you can build stronger relationships with the members of your community and gain valuable insights about their preferences through online conversations, feedback and interactions within the community.
2. You promote brand loyalty and brand advocacy
Studies show that customers who belong to a brand community are more likely to recommend your brand to other people. This is because when they are a part of your online community, your target users feel more connected with your brand. This emotional connection is often enhanced by the privilege of having a safe space to engage with like-minded customers.
As a result, your customers may make repeat purchases and offer positive word-of-mouth recommendations to their peers, thus becoming brand advocates. So, if you play your cards right and build a thriving online community, your brand’s users will eventually transform into your brand’s loyalists and organic advocates.
3. You generate social proof
Social proof is a concept that relies on the psychological phenomenon where people take societal cues from other people, and rely on others to understand what is socially acceptable behavior. In the context of marketing, it simply means that when some people advocate organically for a product or service, others will gravitate towards it too.
When you build an online brand community, you build strong social proof that your product or service is trustworthy and reliable. When people see a thriving community discussing and endorsing your brand, they are encouraged to try it too. This kind of social proof is augmented by organic positive reviews, testimonials and user-generated content.
4. You get the advantage of customer discovery
An online brand community also serves as a platform for customer discovery. When you understand how to build a community for your users and successfully create an online platform, it allows you to gather valuable insights about your target audience. You can also identify emerging trends and spot market opportunities easily.
The discussions and conversations in your brand’s online community can help you understand your customers’ pain points, preferences and requirements. This information can then be crucial in creating marketing strategies, managing product development and tackling overall business decisions, thereby helping you stay ahead of the curve.
5. You can involve your customers in product development
Your brand’s online community can also be an ideal environment to involve your existing customers in the product development process. You can co-create new products and refine existing offerings by seeking opinions, suggestions and feedback from the members of your community.
Involving your customers in this manner not only enhances the quality and relevance of your products or services, but also fosters a sense of ownership and belongingness among the members of your online community. All in all, this inclusive approach strengthens the relationship between your brand and its customers.
Now that you know why it is important to have a strong brand community, you can take the measures required to achieve this goal. You can begin by learning how to build a community, identify your target audience and get started with the process. Keep in mind that the process of building a community may vary slightly from one brand to another, so ensure that you customize your community building efforts according to the requirements of your target audience.