Building a brand is not a matter of simply selling your product or service. An effective and long-lasting strategy is to build a loyal following for your brand. Or to put it another way, a community.
Brand community means reaching out and interacting with customers to keep your message at the front of their mind. It’s not an entirely new concept; you probably know someone with a loyalty to a certain carmaker, a certain food or drink, or a certain technology producer. However, it’s possible for any industry player to build an audience.
Loyalty programs can give customers incentive to promote your brand. Incentivize your existing community with rewards for bringing in new members. Or create a promotion where newsletter or social media subscribers get an insider deal. For example, if a member of the community brings in a certain number of users or followers, they get a reward or next-level privilege.
Another way to press the flesh. Meeting and communicating in the physical realm can go a long way to increase and improve the face of your brand, and improve brand awareness and community. Holding promotional events can get your name out, and give you the opportunity to meet and greet with people on the edge of your professional network. Invite existing customers and relationships to bring a guest or client. Making a good impression in person will convince members of your community to share your name through word of mouth.
Your brand can even become part of a person’s identity. In the real world, the first thing you notice about a person is what you see them wearing. It’s a part of their identity that they like that brand, or whatever their clothing advertises (be it a person, organization, artist, or sports team). In the digital realm, things like backgrounds, wallpapers, or other social media elements provide the same opportunity. By producing effects in both the physical and digital spaces, your brand can be a part of their identity, and them part of your brand community.
Every possible tool at your disposal can not only extend your brand’s reach, but also build a brand community of loyal customers. This will, in turn, expand your brand’s reach even further through word-of-mouth. Let’s develop a strategy to help your brand create just such a community.