Part I: Benefits of Building a Community Around Your Brand
Most small businesses understand that it’s important to have a strong brand. But the benefits of building a community around your brand aren’t always apparent. In this first of a two-part series, we share insights into why it matters and how a strong brand community can distinguish your business in a crowded marketplace.
1. Brand Advocates
One of the main benefits of building a strong brand community is that it creates advocates. These are loyal consumers who serve as foot soldiers on a mission to buy your products and services and sing their praises to others. They hang on every new product announcement and line up in advance to buy. They’re marketers and salespeople all rolled into one, with a little PR on the side. And once you’ve created a brand advocate, you have a fiercely loyal consumer on your side.
Best Big Brand Advocate Example:
No one will deny that Apple has some of the best brand advocates around. If you don’t think so, simply wait until the next iPhone launches. There’s buzz on social media, interviews with consumers outside the local Apple store and nearly every office break room is a show and tell site—a phenomenon made possible by passionate brand advocates.
2. Brand Reputation
A strong brand community is a boon for your business’ reputation. It can pave the way for new product launches, expansion into new markets—even a successful IPO. When your brand community is strong, you have the wind at your back. Suppliers and vendors see you as established. Lenders and investors will know who you are, and your brand reputation will precede you wherever you choose to do business.
Best Big Brand Use of Brand Reputation Example:
Amazon built its brand and reputation on a relentlessly effective model of supplying every consumer demand. And it continues to leverage this brand reputation whenever it opens a new distribution center. Cities compete for the business and citizens line up to fill jobs and create brighter futures for themselves. All due to the fact that the brand reputation is known far and wide.
3. Brand Synergy
When you have a strong brand community, you increase your business’ ability to interact effectively with its surroundings. Your business and leadership will be looked upon for insights, guidance and partnership and employees will be recognized for their association with a strong and robust brand. Brand synergy puts your business at the intersection of potential and possibility—an enviable position no matter which way you you’re headed.
Best Big Brand Synergy Example:
The NFL brand continually evolves to meet the needs of a changing marketplace. Whether it’s supporting efforts to keep kids and neighborhoods safe through its partnership with the United Way or fighting breast cancer through awareness efforts, the brand connects meaningfully on many different levels.
You may not be running Apple, Amazon or the NFL, however, these brands provide great examples of what benefits can be gained from building a strong brand community. And the benefits are more than worth pursuing.