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3 ideas for driving community for your brand

We WaNnA BuiLd A cOmMuNiTy

Welcome to the club, so does everyone else.

And yet, no one seems to take the time and space to understand what that means. Community-building is a (non)word at this point.

Everyone wants to sell more products, but few want to do what it takes to cultivate trust and bond with the very customers that will yield more revenue and sales.

So, here are some examples and inspiration to consider what community looks like for other brands.

We’ll make this an ongoing series. Enjoy!

Behind-the-scenes content as a hook

Not sure if you keep up with the guys behind Carte Blanche, but seems like selling branded t-shirts and caps is a great business to be in.

One element that stands out with these guys is that they’re very online and understand how to invite you into their world, whether you’re a stranger, casual lurker, or diehard fan.

Reality is that talking about mundane stuff with the business is a great opportunity to invite people into your story, and it’s the case with Carte Blache.

This video feels well-thought-through without coming across as overly produced or staged.

It’s like a “just hanging with the homies” type of vibe.

Launching your own ‘zine

Did you know ON Running has a magazine? Me neither. But they’ve already made 4 issues and are still going strong.

I love this approach for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a pretty unsuspecting idea for a brand to make their own magazine?

“What would you talk about?” What WOULDN’T you talk about? The options are endless. Stories, interviews, good photos, guides, you name it.

  1. it opens up a new touchpoint to connect with your audience.

We’re all a little tired of digesting your content on Instagram, email campaigns, or landing pages. Maybe we want to hold a physical copy of your content.

Maybe we want to touch paper. This is a great opportunity to deploy that.

Your friendly neighborhood (customer) hike

Glossy recently pushed an article about what community looks like for brands and we thought there were some fun nuggets to consider for your own brands. The piece focuses on a few brands using hiking and walking as a touchpoint to connect with customers.

It’s fun to see how brands have used getting into nature or spending time outdoors as a leverage point for this.

One of our favorite examples is female-founded Hikerkind, a brand based out of NYC that regularly hosts walks and hikes in upstate New York with their customers and friends of the brand.

Notice how none of these examples involve selling you physical apparel products. Instead, they’re selling you on a vision for the brand by helping you feel included, as you belong. Because they know that when you feel that, you’ll be more inclined to put your dollars where your attention goes.

And that’s a benefit of community-building.