In the context of this article, it’s about connecting people (customer to customer) and connecting them to a leader of their choosing (influencers and brand advocates) and making sure everyone shares the same idea (the brand ethos).
Human beings have always been hard-wired to want that sense of belonging. The advancements of technology in recent years and the Pandemic this year hasn’t changed that. Instead, if anything, it’s highlighted how important that is to us all.
Being a part of a tight-knit community has always increased the likelihood of survival. In a world of uncertainty, it reduces our risk to be part of a group.
Having a sense of deeper belonging has been directly related to the safety and success of human beings for thousands of years, and nothing in recent times has changed that.
Now more than ever, brands need to make an effort to tap into that primal emotion. Brands need to connect with their customers in more in-depth, meaningful and impactful ways. Striving for this type of connection has always been the goal of experiential marketing in the physical world.
In 2020, the question isn’t ‘should’ we be trying to build a community; it’s ‘how’?
How can brands achieve this? All of the tools that were traditionally used, such as events, are no longer available.
In a digital-only world – what can I do to build a strong online community?
To answer that, let’s break it down.
Remember; a weak community could easily be defined as a large group of people who may or may not have things in common with each other. Whereas a strong community is a group of people who share common interests, behaviours and they also share a broader purpose.
They want to and do, share particular things.
As a business, how do you create this?
There are three stages of connection that you need to establish. And if you do it correctly, each of these stages will build upon the other. Do the first one correctly, and the other two will likely fall into place.
Customers to each other
Customers to leaders/brand advocates
Customers to the idea/brand ethos