Today’s brands do more than just delivering a product or a service. They form connections with customers. If you want the consumer to have an everlasting love for your business or product, then think of BUILDING CUSTOMER COMMUNITIES!
With businesses having less and less money post the Corona crisis to acquire customers, building communities can be the best way to attain customer loyalty and new buyers.New-age customers and social media together have fueled this shift to community-conscious brand buildingHere are some tips to build communities around your brand:1. Take the Customer-first Approach
Before you invest in building customer communities around your brand, make sure your product meets customer expectations. Even if the customer base is small, they should be happy customers. If the product is likeable then brand building becomes easier.2. Give it Time to Build
Building customer communities takes time. If you are in a rush, the consumer will sense that and the connection will be lostFor e.g. In 1983, Harley-Davidson was facing a financial collapse. The demand for their products had gone down and a lot of overheads were eating into their profits. By 2009, 25 years later the company had completely turned their fortunes around, becoming a top-50 global brand. How’d they do it? They invested in building a customer community and working to improve the loyalty of their buyers. They created an aspiration around the brand and that was enjoyed by all bikers, which in turn was used to spread the word. So have patience to develop and grow a brand community as in the long run you will see tangible benefits 3. Think of a Larger Mission For building customer communities you need to think of a larger purpose for doing it. Just loving the brand is not enough; it has to trigger a passion or an emotion.Brands that have a social impact that helps the larger community are especially effectiveFor e.g. If you see the journey of a brand called 1469, it is known for T-shirts & merchandise that have fun Punjabi slogans written on them. The idea for them was to connect the youngsters with the roots of Punjab. From one shop in Janpath, they now have 5 exclusive stores across Delhi & Chandigarh. How did they do it?They connected the Punjabi community through an annual fest that saw Punjabi singers come together with the people and celebrate the love for their culture. To make the language fashionable, the owners started by manufacturing good-quality T-shirts with catchy Punjabi slogans which extended to other merchandise as well.The idea of building communities for their marketing helped this brand scale significantly
4. Involve your Customers through video testimonialsEncourage your customers to make videos of themselves using your product so that it can become viral and organically reach many more potential customersWhen you use a video testimonial it becomes even more authentic than just plain advertisingFor e.g. Fitness Company Kettlebell Kings featured its customers via videos and those videos were reshared by the company tagging the customerThis helped them build a community around their brand of fitness enthusiasts and also encouraged more people to buy their product and get featured on social media5. Use the Customer as an Asset
A successful community is when it’s a matter of pride for people to be a part of a particular groupReward members for doing tasks that have been set by you to engage them Don’t underestimate the power of your consumer to make your brand viral and credible For e.g. The Salesforce Trailblazer Community is another great example of a company using its customers as assets to grow its brand. It’s a huge community of millions of members now. By rewarding members for answering questions and providing help to other members, the community was bombarded with people in no span of time. The certification provided by Salesforce started being considered as an asset when any of their community members joined a company as an employee.It’s is the perfect example of what a B2B community could potentially become for your business. With competition on the rise and imitators everywhere, brand love counts for a lot in today’s economy & building customer communities can have solid benefits in the long run. Cash in on the customer enthusiasm; let them make your brand the talk of the town. What you need to build and make sure is that your product is worthy of a community that will always be evergreen!