For those who do not know yet, we speak once more: people today do not consume products and services just for their attributes, such as good quality or a pleasant design. In addition to seeking a solution that makes sense to them (at the best possible price) they seek an identification with the values and purpose of the brand.
Therefore, a strategy that has been used by companies in order to establish these connections with consumers is the creation of a brand community. Not yet familiar with the term or want to know more about it? So keep reading the article, because this is one of the most relevant branding trends for 2020!
But, what is a brand community?
The concept of community is no mystery to anyone. Basically, the term means a group of people who come together in a defined time and space, usually linked by common interests. Thus, in a brand community, the reason for this association is the company itself or some interesting experience provided by it.
And, if we think about it, it already happened spontaneously in the 2000s, with Orkut. In this social network, which has become very popular in Brazil, communities were created, usually humorous, in which participants debated a predefined theme. And in some cases, the jokes involved brands.
A great example of this is the “We want Coca-Cola 20 liters!!” community, which had more than one million members. It was created in 2005 by consumers of the brand. And it was only in 2011 that Coca-Cola created an official community on the network, made famous by a company action, that gave for the participants an exclusive “skin” (a screen template) to put on their profiles.
In recent years, this strategy has undergone some changes. With the creation and popularization of other social networks, such as Facebook, brands realized, more clearly, the value of communities. And so, they created pages to interact more directly with consumers and, in fact, create a relationship network.
In this way, brands generated more proximity to people, creating a sense of belonging and building a loyal audience. Consequently, they invested in another type of disclosure, known as Advocate Marketing. And that happened because consumers came to see the brand not only as a company, but as a social group of which they are a part.
A successful strategy
The creation of a brand community has been seen as such a powerful tool, that brands are investing in this strategy and extrapolating social networks. Thus, in addition to the official profiles and pages in social networks, companies are also creating their own channels of communication with consumers.
This is the case with Apple. We know that the iPhone is not so desired just for its features, isn’t it? There are several factors that fulfill the social imaginary and make this smartphone different from the others, bringing, even, a status of power for its users. And this is very beneficial for the company, so much so that it encourages this behavior.
To do this, one of the brand’s actions is to create networks, such as Apple’s Support Communities. In this way, it intends not only to solve consumers’ doubts about the functioning of the devices. The real goal is to connect brand users around the world and, thus, foster a sense of belonging.
In this sense, even companies that do not have their own space for discussions present the idea of a brand community by other means. Adidas, for example, calls people who are part of its community of Runners, that even has a culture with its own values.
Thus, we can see that the feeling of group and collectivity is increasingly present in consumers and, therefore, companies need to consider the brand communities in their branding strategies. And besides that, there are other trends that promise to stand out this year! To get to know them, just check out our e-book “Trends for 2020”.