How and why to build a community around a brand
The community is a well-forgotten old story about bringing people together with similar values. Closed clubs, subcultural groups, fans – communities existed long before marketers and PR specialists adopted this tool.
It turns out that a close-knit community is perhaps the fastest scalable way to disseminate information about a company. The runner community has done just as much as promoting these products to promote Nike apps and bracelets. And if you are not Nike, and your budget is also not Nike, working with the community may be, if not the only, then the main point of audience growth.
Turn on the radio
We talked with several companies that are actively written about on Flamp, and found out: their publicity is often formed by customers and is based on the quality of services, and not on press releases or relations with the media.
The Prosto Vino wine bar did not use any traditional PR means: the owners simply invited friends and acquaintances to visit the institution a week before work began. By the time of the official opening, the bar was so full that it was no longer possible to get into it without a weekly reservation (but this did not stop those who wanted it). The excellent service and recommendations of visitors (including in reviews on the Internet) allowed the bar to find new customers far beyond the circle of friends and acquaintances.
Wheely’s personal driver service, upon launch, gave several active Flamp authors a bonus on their first trip. This included word of mouth – the reviews of those who tested the company attracted the attention of readers who wanted to check the quality of the service on themselves and wrote new reviews.
An attractive prospect is to find loyal customers from scratch and make them bring new ones, right?
There are two main approaches to creating a loyal community.
You can build a community around your company or brand (long and hard, give long-term results), or collaborate with those who already have a community with the values you need (relatively quickly, gives a surge of interest).
We regularly conduct partnership events: companies invite authors active on Flamp to visit us and show the backstage: for example, roasting, a dairy plant, a test drive of a rope park. For other authors, this is a first-hand report, and for the company, loyal opinion leaders and future customers.
It is quite possible that a certain circle of people has already formed around your brand who are ready to become the core of the community. These may be table buffs who regularly come to your anticafe; fans of quest rooms, the first to comment on your news about locations; or customers who do not have a single visit to your place without a photo on Instagram with the resume “I recommend” or “I love this place”.
Think about how you can combine them? Introduce each other and give the opportunity to communicate with each other on the subject of your values. For buyers of multicookers Redmond there is a site with recipes. Pampers made a website for moms. On the basis of the school “SEKTA” a club of a healthy lifestyle arose. All these are excellent examples when brand values made it possible to gather an audience at a convenient company site.
The right to lawyers
Not all clients are ready to get involved in the community, recommend you or somehow help – and this is normal.
The community around the brand looks something like a section of the Earth in a geology textbook: on the far periphery there is a large audience that you care about. They follow your news, but are not yet ready to actively participate in the life of the company (even if they make purchases). The closer to the core, the greater the degree of involvement. A little closer to you is the audience, ready for small actions. Chekin, review, comment – a small contribution to your relationship and a modest way to show that they are with you. The closer to the core – the smaller the size of the group and the warmer the attitude towards you. At the core of the audience, among the people who empathize with you, are the lawyers of your brand.
Brand advocates are not born. No loyalty factory will supply you with ready-made, sparkling and perfect brand advocates who are ready to selflessly and sincerely protect you and help others connect with you.
Brand lawyers can be earned by honest work (like all honest work, hard work). The usual way from a stranger to a lawyer looks something like this: I don’t know anything about the company – I first encountered and was satisfied – I tried again, they exceeded expectations – I asked for help and received it – loyal and ready to recommend – friends took advantage of my advice and thanked me – the lawyer brand.
With small variations in this story, there is usually always a place for a problem, its solution, and impeccable service, which has exceeded the expectations of the client himself more than once. We ourselves often see stories when loyal authors respond to criticism and defend Flamp. Sincerely, honestly, openly and reasonably – so much so that the information from the comments sometimes overrides any negative even before our official reaction.