In today's interconnected world, building a strong community is vital for businesses to thrive. The power of community lies in its ability to foster loyalty, engagement, and support among customers, ultimately driving growth and success.
A community stretches far beyond the neighborhood you live in. Simply put, it’s a group of individuals who share common interests, values, goals, or geographic proximity and come together to form a social unit. It is characterized by a sense of belonging, mutual support, and interaction among its members. Communities can be formed around various contexts, such as residential neighborhoods, workplaces, online platforms, hobbies, or shared identities. They provide a space for individuals to connect, collaborate, and engage in meaningful interactions, often fostering a sense of shared purpose and collective identity. Communities can exist both offline and online, and they play a vital role in shaping individuals' social connections, well-being, and sense of belonging. Building a community around your business is important for its success. In this blog post, we will explore four outstanding examples of companies that have successfully created and nurtured vibrant communities: Peleton, Nike, Online MedEd, and Crayon.
Why It’s Important for Businesses to Create Community
Creating a community around a company yields numerous benefits. It fosters customer loyalty, increasing repeat business and positive recommendations. Engagement levels soar as customers actively participate in discussions, provide feedback, and offer valuable insights. Communities also serve as a support system, with customers assisting one another and the company providing timely assistance. Brand advocacy thrives as enthusiastic community members become advocates, amplifying the brand's reach. Valuable feedback and insights are gathered, driving product refinement and informed decision-making. Collaborative innovation and a competitive advantage emerge, leveraging the collective creativity and expertise of the community.
“Tapping into the power of community around your business, product,
Examples of Brands Successfully Building Community
Here are four businesses that stand out to us who are doing a great job at creating and promoting a community around their brand.
Peloton: Building a Fitness Community
Peloton has revolutionized the fitness industry by combining cutting-edge technology with a sense of community. At its core, Peloton offers online live classes and instructor engagement, enabling users to feel connected and motivated throughout their fitness journeys where ever they are. During COVID-19, Peloton took advantage of the worldwide quarantine by leveraging our only option to access group fitness. Their audience grew exponentially almost overnight. Today Peloton has over 2 million connected fitness subscribers, with an annual retention rate of over 92%. With their virtual connectivity and robust social features, Peloton is able to create an immersive experience where users can interact attend virtual fitness and wellness classes with fellow members, offer encouragement, and share achievements. Peloton's community has transformed lives, fostering a sense of belonging and support.
Nike: Empowering Athletes Worldwide
Nike, a global leader in sports apparel and equipment, understands the power of building a global community of athletes. Through initiatives like the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps, Nike actively engages its customers and empowers them to achieve their fitness goals while fostering a sense of community that fulfills the human need to socialize. Their apps promote a sense of community through their
- usefulness – the app clearly communicates its benefits.
- ease of use – an intuitive interface and onboarding process are key factors.
- playfulness – the user experience is exciting and interesting.
- interpersonal influence – the app fulfills the basic need to socialize.
Nike has built a community that thrives on challenges, virtual events, and interactive features that encourage members to connect, share their accomplishments, and inspire one another.
OnlineMedEd: Revolutionizing Medical Education
OnlineMedEd has disrupted the traditional medical education landscape by providing a comprehensive platform for students and professionals. Beyond offering high-quality educational content, OnlineMedEd has successfully created a supportive community where medical students and practitioners can connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. Through forums, study groups, and interactive features, OnlineMedEd facilitates a collaborative learning environment that complements traditional education.
Crayon: Uniting Competitive Intelligence Professionals
Crayon, a competitive intelligence company, recognizes the importance of fostering a community among professionals in the field. By providing a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration, Crayon unites competitive intelligence professionals and empowers them to stay ahead of the curve. Through industry events, webinars, and collaborative tools, Crayon enables professionals to connect, exchange insights, and gain a competitive advantage. Success stories from companies leveraging Crayon's community demonstrate the value of collective intelligence in driving business growth and informed decision-making.
Related Reading: Market Like a Human: Authenticity Is Key
The Challenges Businesses Who Don’t Create Community Face
Businesses that fail to build a community as part of their brand may face several challenges and missed opportunities:
- Lack of Customer Loyalty: Without a sense of community, customers are less likely to develop a strong attachment to the brand. This can lead to lower customer loyalty and a higher likelihood of customers switching to competitors or being easily swayed by promotional offers.
- Reduced Customer Engagement: Building a community encourages active participation and engagement from customers. Without a community, businesses may struggle to foster meaningful interactions, receive feedback, and keep customers engaged in their brand.
- Limited Word-of-Mouth Marketing: A strong community often generates positive word-of-mouth recommendations, which can significantly impact brand awareness and customer acquisition. Businesses without a community miss out on this valuable form of organic marketing and may find it challenging to attract new customers through word-of-mouth.
- Inadequate Customer Support: A community can serve as a support system where customers can seek assistance, share experiences, and find solutions to their problems. Without a community, businesses may struggle to provide timely and effective customer support, leading to customer dissatisfaction and negative perceptions of the brand.
- Missed Opportunities for Innovation: Communities provide a platform for customers to share ideas, insights, and suggestions. Without a community, businesses may miss out on valuable feedback that could inform product development, service enhancements, and innovative solutions to customer needs.
- Weakened Brand Identity: Communities often contribute to the formation of a strong brand identity. Without a community, businesses may struggle to differentiate themselves from competitors, establish a unique brand personality, and create an emotional connection with their target audience.
- Vulnerability to Competitive Pressure: Building a community can create a barrier to entry for competitors. Without a community, businesses may find themselves more susceptible to competitive pressures, as customers may not have strong loyalty or emotional ties to the brand.
Building a community is an essential aspect of modern marketing and customer relationship management, enabling businesses to forge lasting connections with their audience and thrive in a competitive marketplace.
To learn more about the importance of creating a community and other important pillars of more human marketing, check out Market Like A Human, written by HIVE’s Founder and CEO, Dustin Brackett.