Imagine having a group of people who are incredibly loyal to your brand beyond the products and services you sell. You can test and collect feedback on your newly launched products; they are the advocates of your brand, defends your brand in a tough time, and refer your brand to their friends and family.
Isn’t it a dream for every business to have such a loyal community?
These communities are called Brand communities. It is a group of like-minded people with the same interest that aligns with the brand’s mission, vision, and purpose. The people of this community are emotionally invested in a brand. They only buy a particular brand’s products, advocate it, consume and share their content. Brands can get their feedback to improve products and services.
What stats say about Brand Communities?
According to a study conducted by Vanilla Forums in 2019. Here are the impact communities had on the brand –
- 90% of brands said the feedback from communities is used to improve products or services.
- 68% of brands said the community has helped them to create new leads.
- 57% of brands said the community has led to an increase in brand SEO.
To reap these benefits, you have to build a strong community. Today, businesses are thriving on building communities to build brand awareness, loyalty, and customer retention in this fast-moving world.
Many brands like Nike, Starbucks, Walt Disney have built a robust community and are leveraging them to grow their business.
Here is why you need a robust Brand Community to grow your business –
1. Derive new Customer Discovery
The last time when you discovered a fantastic product, be it candy, a new phone, or a tremendous productivity tool, what did you do just after using it?
You shared the fantastic discovery with your friends and relatives, and they eventually started using it. So, unknowingly, you become the brand ambassador for free marketing. That’s the power of Word of Mouth publicity.
64% of marketers agree that word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing. Even when a closed one referred any product or service, there are 84% more chances of using it. For the same reasons, most apps like Zerodha, Phonepay, Google pay, etc., use the referral strategy to grow the user base rapidly by incentivizing the recommendations.
Therefore having a robust community helps you provide a free word of mouth publicity and bring in new customers regularly. Even 68% of brands said communities have helped them to create new leads.
2. Act as Brand marketeers
Over the period, marketing has changed. Traditional routes of marketing don’t work today. Consumers have become smart with time. They don’t believe in false advertisements, but they believe in genuine people.
Having a loyal customer base isn’t less than a gold mine. These communities keep on creating positive content around the brand, it can be a product review, google review, or conversations around the product. This content works as an organic source of marketing for the new buyers.
Today, 97% of online buyers read reviews and engage in research before finalizing their purchase. The genuine and positive reviews, along with the ongoing conversation and content, convenience new buyers to make their decision. Therefore communities play a crucial role in providing free marketing to their brand.
3. Leads to Customer satisfaction –
The secret to customer satisfaction lies in making the perfect product that aligns with customer needs. Then, constant feedback and improvements in the product can lead to 100% customer satisfaction.
Communities help brands to make more customer-centric products. Brands are leveraging communities by constantly asking about their pain points, improvements in their existing products, and their expectations. The best part is that everything is free and genuine. It helps brands to develop products loved by their customers. 88% of brands said their communities had enabled them to improve customer experience.
Several brands first launch their new products exclusively for their communities. The community uses the products and provides valuable feedback to the brand. Based on the suggestions, brands make the improvised version of the product before mass-producing the products. This strategy ensures the success of new products. In addition, 78% of brands said they used communities to develop future products and services.
4. Nurture Brand Loyalty
Brand craves customer loyalty. Having a group of 100s of loyal customers is worth more than 1000s of one-time customers. The reasons being the cost of acquiring new customers. According to Harward business review, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times expensive than retaining an existing one.
Building communities are the best way to foster brand loyalty in your customers. Keeping them engaged with the new learnings, resources, and conversations helps to develop brand loyalty. Being around like-minded people in the brand community also helps spread brand loyalty from one customer to another by induction effect.
According to Accenture, two-thirds of customers are ready to spend more on the brands to which they are loyal. Therefore, having brand loyal customers are crucial for a brand’s success, and communities play an essential role in restoring loyalty in them.
5. Creating Brand Awareness
Brands pour millions of dollars into brand awareness campaigns every year. But if you have a loyal brand community, you don’t need to worry about brand awareness. Instead, the community will ensure your brand name reaches the maximum number of people.
Your community shares their personal stories of how a particular brand impacted their lives and changed things forever. They share the quality resourceful content of their favourite brand to make it reach more people. The likes, shares, reviews, comments, personal recommendations all together work like nothing less than a brand awareness campaign.
Building a loyal brand community isn’t easy. It is a slow process and takes time. But it’s worth it. Today, when there is cutthroat competition in the industry, your brand needs a group of people who always sticks to your brand, during all the up and lows. But, on the other hand, customers are looking for brands that care for them and have a community aligned to their goals and identity.