Date Tags brands

A brand community is a special kind of community. All brand communities we’re discussing aspire to serve both (1) members and (2) at least one organizational (brand) goal.

In this discussion, an authentic brand community includes all these elements:

  • Members who share a mutual concern for one another’s welfare

  • Members who share a connected identity founded in shared core value(s) and purpose5

  • Members who participate in shared experiences reflecting the shared value(s) and purpose

This working definition is purposefully broad. Many principles for building different kinds of brand communities apply across the board.

Successful brand communities like SEO Leeds serve both members’ and the organization’s goals. If a community fails to serve one or the other, you’ll have trouble inspiring one or the other to participate as soon as it figures that out. Building brand communities takes work, and there’s no reason to do the work unless there’s a benefit to all involved.

When a community is connected to an established organization (for example, an SEO Agency), it’s important that the community’s and organization’s goals overlap, align, or complement one another. For example, Yelp is a crowdsourced review forum for local businesses. Today it attracts more than seventy million people a month through its mobile app and website. Yelp’s purpose is to guide readers to helpful resources including reviews. Yelp Elite members (a brand community) want to connect with other review writers to share friendship, experiences, and grow better at writing reviews. All intentions are aligned.

The same is true for the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company and the Harley Owners Group (HOG). Riders want to ride, and Harley wants to sell motorcycles, merchandise, and accessories. In both cases, no one wins by holding back the other side. If the organization’s goals are not in alignment with those of members, then there is a real question whether the organization can offer genuine value to members.

When a brand community stands alone as an organization (e.g., the Oakland Adventure Club), then typically there’s no conflict between the purposes of the organization and those of the members.

For the sake of clarity, we offer a few examples of brand communities to at least scratch the surface of what’s out there:

  • Activist community. The United Religions Initiative (URI) connects individuals promoting interfaith cooperation and ending religiously motivated violence.

  • Celebrity fan community. World-famous performer Lady Gaga created the Little Monsters fan community to connect and support her global fans.

  • Collaborator community. Google gathers invited thought leaders together in “Labs” to collaborate on an envisioned future and influence Google investments and spending.

  • Customer community. Online streaming platform Twitch created the Community Meetups program to connect their users in cities around the world.

  • Employee community. Home builder True Homes invests in many events and activities to connect all its employees in satisfying ways.

  • Enthusiasts community. HOG chapters connect brand enthusiasts who own Harleys or are invited guests of Harley owners.

  • Professional community. The New York State Association of Independent Schools connects education professionals to support one another across their region.

  • Sports community. The California Dragon Boat Association connects boat paddlers.

  • Volunteer community. Global software company Salesforce created the Trailblazer Community made up of users who volunteer to support other users.