Focus 02: Building Brand Loyalty: Community

This week in our daily bite sized snippets we explore BUILDING BRAND LOYALTY.

Today’s topic is: COMMUNITY

Brands and retailers who acted compassionately and projected a positive message throughout the pandemic are on a strong footing from which to build recovery. We explore how maintaining this momentum and direction is key to building brand loyalty.

As many communities were brought closer together during coronavirus, consumers want brands to be community-minded, whether it’s benevolence within the community where they live, global communities or a community which the brand has created, to reinforce a sense of belonging and being part of something.

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Community is being part of something. When consumers are part of a brands community it’s by choice. They like what a brand is about whether it’s their product, offers, service or ethos. A brand or retailers community could be defined as a group of consumers who are advocates of the brand, or it could be more tangible such as a membership scheme or loyalty club. But brands who have the strongest communities are where consumers have an emotional attachment, whether it’s loving what the brand stands for or the products and services they offer.

Already a prominent topic before coronavirus, consumers now have a greater sense of community. Many will have discovered new things around them, feel closer to their neighbours and have a greater association with where they live. On a local level, they will have witnessed, and may have been part of volunteer efforts where people have shared their time, expertise and knowledge to support others. On a wider scale, consumers will have seen big brands and organisations providing essential equipment and supplies to health organisations, supporting charities to help vulnerable people or providing online tutorials and services for free to help fill peoples time during lockdown.

With difficult times ahead for many, consumers will now more than ever appreciate brands and retailers who genuinely support communities, whether it is the one where they live or a community created by the brand.

Community means different things to different people, but ultimately consumers want to feel part of something that they love, associate with or aspire to.

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Every brand and retailer will need to take a different approach based on their sector, product offer and physical space, but there are a number of things that brands and retailers can do now to either become an integral part of their consumers communities, build upon existing communities or create new ones.

  • Define what community means to your brand and your consumers
  • Review your current approach and whether you have a community or contribute to a community, that your consumers want to be part of.
  • Going forward, explore whether you should support an existing community, build upon one you already have or create a new one.
  • Establish what your community needs and what you can wholeheartedly offer, whether it’s financial support, expertise, product, people or space.
  • Explore the best way to communicate and engage with consumers in your community, so they are well-informed, feel part of it and want to be associated with it.
  • Consider partnerships, shared spaces or collaborations with complementary brands and create shared experiences – community spirit is often stronger when organisations work together.
  • Explore using the physical space you have for community initiatives, bringing like-minded people together for engaging experiences.
  • Consider multiple community activities and initiatives that could be local or global as part of an ongoing strategy – purely providing support often creates a sense of community.
  • Most importantly, ensure that your community strategy is real and not carried out purely as a PR exercise. Taking this approach will inadvertently build brand loyalty.

Using our insights into consumer behaviour and understanding of how to create meaningful brand communities, we can help you to define and implement your community strategy, whether it’s idea generation, branding, communications or creation of physical space.

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As your consumers find themselves living in a changed world, what can you do now to project your positive brand values, demonstrate your commitment to what’s important to them and earn their loyalty.

Get in touch if you would like to arrange a virtual workshop with our founding Directors Adrian & Jenny to see how can help you work through your opportunities, or download the full document HERE

Lucy

Lucy Moore

8th July 2020