Building brand communities is a vital task in constructing a company online. A clear brand that resonates with consumers helps create a loyal community base that trusts and supports the company brand. This brand community then serves not only as the company’s constant, loyal buyer group, but as their free and unofficial spokespeople as well.
The consumers of a specific brand regularly return to purchase the company’s goods or services because they become part of the brand’s community building. The more time and energy the company invests into their brand’s community, the more loyalty the consumers reciprocate with. When consumer expectations are met through connections with other brand fans, interaction with brand experts and other fulfilled promises from the company, customers’ trust in the brand grows. This results in a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to their favorite brand and products.
When customers form a community around a brand that they love, they are often quite vocal about that brand. They may provide friends and relatives with glowing recommendations about the product, offering testimonies about the multiple benefits that can be had through the brand. As more people hear these testimonies, they get curious about the product and are likely to investigate the claims made. They are also more likely to purchase items recommended by someone they know. Studies indicate that simply following a company on Twitter, a form of a brand community, increases both the likelihood of recommending and buying that company’s goods and services by 50% or more.
MARKETING IDEAS AND RESEARCH
Some of the best new ideas come from a brand community. As members share stories, exchange ideas and recommend changes to a product, it creates a free flow of information and research without the use of a research team to coordinate it all. Smart business people take these comments and questions into consideration and implement frequent requests and innovative suggestions into new designs, which further satisfies the customers while enhancing the product itself. Brand communities are essential tools that help companies ascertain what their buyers truly desire and how their products measure up to those wants and needs.
As businesses become more and more viral, social networking and connection have become required elements of any successful business plan. It is no longer enough for companies to have expert testimonies or research that backs up their claims. Today, they must also engage with the consumer, providing buyers with a sense of real personal connection and caring service providers. Brand communities provide businesses with a simple way to answer their client’s questions, provide instant customer service and interact daily with their customers in a friendly, public manner.
Any businessperson would be wise to incorporate building brand communities into their business plan itself. These energizing and interactive brand hubs are much more than simple marketing strategies. They are becoming the backbone of the modern business, providing businesses with multiple cutting edge solutions and solid customer retention while ensuring that customers remain an active part of the businesses themselves.