Be it a professional or personal success; a community is definitely required. But why? Why you can’t succeed fighting alone? Do we really need a community?

Before we move forward, let us understand a community first.

What do we mean by a Community?

A community is a complex net or a group of people with overlapping or common interests who share similar cultural values and characteristics in the same geographical place. A community also refers to an individual’s identity and receives benefits and support when required.

But how is this definition applicable to a business? Let us break down this definition into 4 sections and check if the definition can be associated with any business:

  1. Common interests and same characteristics: Usually, when a brand does the marketing of its products and services, it always defines its target audience. A target audience is a well-defined group of people sharing the same interest, demography, shopping or search behaviour, which is expected to engage with ads or promotions in a similar way.
  2. Same location: An offline business has a community of its customers who regularly visit the store. They purchase the product but sharing feedback is usually difficult in case of face-to-face interaction. But it is very easy for a company to create an online community and receive feedback and appreciation very often. The community is mostly built on the social media platforms and not necessarily the same audience will be in all the social media sites.
  3. Identity: How a community can contribute towards building an identity of a brand? In fact, we must ask – What is a brand? It’s not just the logo or the name. A brand is your customer’s perception of your products and services. What do they think about your products? What are they talking about your product on other platforms as a community? If there is no community, then any marketing activity of a brand awareness program is prone to fail.
  4. Support: Not all companies enjoy good times. Few companies want others to know how good their product is? But due to less fund or low marketing budgets, they fail to reach masses. In such a case, an online community can play a vital role by promoting product features and sharing positive feedback with other community members.

Now, you must have understood why communities are essential for a brand’s success.

If not, let’s look at the overall importance of a community to a business:

  • Earn Trust: Apple is able to sell its expensive iPhones because of its community, or we can say its tribe. Its customers trust the brand and the value of products released by the brand. Without trust, selling a product or service is a fallacy. No one will buy a product if the brand does not earn trust.
  • Building a Large Family: A family fights for you even if you are wrong or if you made a mistake. Same way, a community helps you by rubbishing any accusation or rumour against your brand.
  • Creating a Network: A community can consist of followers, fans, customers, reporter and investors of a business. A small company can get benefited by maintaining continuous interaction and giving it back to the community. This way, interested members can become customers or a lead.
  • Brand Awareness: Companies spend millions on advertising to reach the audience. However, a community does your brand marketing for free. They initiate discussions in the group, share opinions on products and services, compare and review services. This process is also called as Brand advocacy, where a community elevates a brand value by initiating word-of-mouth marketing for a brand.
  • Sharing Ideas: Any feedback shared on a community page is an idea to move forward. Complains, issues or flaw in products and services could provide an opportunity to look through the customer’s point of view. It can help in sharing ideas to the research and development team for improving products further.
  • Increases Brand Visibility: A community doesn’t let your brand go out of sight and out of mind. It keeps sharing and talking about you on different platforms.

Now at least, you must have been convinced that your business needs an active community. Just letting the audience join the group should not be your only target. It would be best if you fed them with enough content and communication so that their passion and trust don’t fade over time. You must make good use of your community by creating a channel to receive inputs and asking for more ideas to improve your products and services. In return, you can offer them rewards or discounts for finding their valuable time and sharing their ideas with you. After all, they are who you want to serve – Your Big Brand Family.

You can have a similar community on ONPASSIVE’s back-office (GoFounders), which is very active in sharing ideas and proactively looks into supporting other members who want to succeed on this awesome platform.