A successful brand community strategy focuses on a brand’s relationship with its customers to provide consumers genuine experiences.
“Our ability to harness the power of our customers as growth drivers, I think that’s going to be the future of social as it intersects with commerce.” — Alicianne Rand, VP of Growth Marketing, Rent the Runway
What do brands like Rent The Runway, Outdoor Voices, and Benefit Cosmetics all have in common? A dedicated community of “super fan” ambassadors that help bring their brand to life — in the real world and online.
But where did the idea of building a brand community strategy to reach a brand’s marketing goals come from?
It came from the fact that it’s difficult to stand out when your potential customers are constantly bombarded with the same content and being marketed to non-stop.
Those traditional marketing methods have lost effectiveness, especially to young generations.
Brands have an important role for consumers and now they hold brands up to higher standards. They now have a better radar for disingenuous content because they are used to so much false advertising.
As a result, consumers are gravitating towards brands that allow them to be part of a genuine community or at least contribute to their communities. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends. Much more than traditional ads.
Or that 88% of community professionals believe that community is critical to the company’s mission.
Community marketing is changing the way marketers think about selling for these and many other reasons.
What are the benefits of a brand community strategy?
We have talked about this way of marketing through genuine interactions as a great way to grow your brand.
But what are the specific benefits? Let’s take a look at some of them.
Having a brand community allows brands to have better communication with their customers.
To any company, having valuable insights into their customer’s wants and needs creates valuable opportunities.
A good community encourages communication and feedback to gain these insights in hopes of improving current products and processes.
Being open to hearing consumer feedback also lets people know that you are listening to them and that you care.
Many brands believe that having a good product is enough to have loyal customers who will support their brand until the end.
And while having an amazing product goes a long way, a community and great user experience can make the difference between liking a brand and loving it.
Just consider the fact that 53% of Americans who follow a brand on social media are more loyal to the brand.
People want to connect with brands on a deeper level than just being in a seller-buyer relationship.
Brand loyalty in itself has a lot of benefits for a brand, especially considering that 65% of a brand’s business comes from existing customers.
Loyal customers also like to talk about the brand they like. Actually, everyone likes to talk about brands.
Consumers talk about brands casually 90 times per week.
Brands are regular topics of conversation for the big role they have in our lives.
And you know who has a lot of positive things to say about your brand? Your loyal customers.
By improving your community and incentivizing loyalty you are increasing your brand awareness and the number of referrals you get.
When customers are loyal to a brand they can potentially become advocates.
This is in your best interest because advocates are people who love recommending products and services to others.
You can consider them as super fans of your brand.
Increasing the number of advocates for a brand is one of the most important benefits of a brand community because they increase awareness and sales through a genuine love for your brand.
As we mentioned before, people seek these honest opinions when making purchasing decisions.
A great thing about advocate referrals is that they have a higher probability of converting thanks to the trust there is behind recommendations.
It all sounds good, but now what? If you have customers, you have a community. Now it’s time to build those relationships.
Brand community strategy
One of the best ways to connect with your customers and new audiences is through an ambassador community.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this concept.
Recommended: How To Build A Brand Community
Brand ambassador community
People tend to talk about their purchases and experiences, whether it’s on social media or social gatherings.
And these opinions have a lot of influence on other people.
We all just want honest opinions based on experiences to know what purchase will be more beneficial.
This fact led marketers to focus on the power of their own loyal customers.
Naturally, they are already talking about the brands they like. So inviting them to be ambassadors is a way to make them a bigger part of the brand, growing the community.
What is a brand ambassador?
An ambassador is usually defined as a person who is hired to represent a brand in a positive light, boosting brand awareness and sales.
For some brands, an ambassador may be an influencer, but for others, it can be an everyday customer who truly loves the product or even an employee.
No matter how you define it, ambassadors are here to advocate for brands, online or offline.
Brand ambassadors for community building
Cultivating a community of like-minded people who are eager to share your message with the world will help your brand create an effective, low-cost organic marketing channel that you own entirely.
Building a community of brand ambassadors is an opportunity to establish a real and trustworthy connection with fans of your brand.
Unlike mainstream social media influencers and celebrities, ambassadors are not only focusing on building a brand through their persona but more so to establish genuine relationships with their followers.
This, in turn, makes the conversations they have about your brand more authentic and relatable. Earning their audience’s trust is critical for them.
By building an ambassador community for your brand, you will be able to:
- Create a scalable & low-cost CAC channel
- Enhance your content strategy
- Harness the power of Word of Mouth
- Get valuable feedback
- Give your passionate customers a home
Final thoughts on brand community strategies
Establishing a brand community allows you to market through your customers, rather than to them.
By doing so, you will not only be able to create a stronger and more meaningful relationship with your fans but also achieve your growth goals organically. Ready to build your own brand ambassador community? Check out SocialLadder’s eBook Building a Successful Ambassador Program For Your Brand.