Some people are introverted and independent, while other people are extroverted and heavily dependent. But whatever the case may be, we, as humans, are social beings who are designed to live in community with one another. Understanding this from a business perspective is monumentally significant.
The Power Of Community
In Matthew Lieberman’s book, Social, he outlines scientific findings that suggest the social pain people experience – a snide remark from a friend or verbal abuse from a spouse – is just as real as physical pain. This is because our need to connect with people is just as important as our fundamental need for food, water, and shelter.
“Different cultures have different beliefs about how important social connection and interdependence are to our lives,” Lieberman says in an interview. “In the West, we like to think of ourselves as relatively immune to sway of those around us while we each pursue our personal destiny. But I think this is a story we like to tell ourselves rather than what really happens.”
While the average person may be more independent than counterparts from previous generations, this has more to do with advances in technology than a biological change in how we relate to others.
“Across many studies of mammals, from the smallest rodents all the way to us humans, the data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed,” Lieberman continues.
From a business perspective, you can tap into this human desire for social connectivity by building a community around your brand. It’s not easy, but plenty of successful organizations have proven it’s effective.
2 Ways To Build Community Around Your Brand
Having a brand community simply means you have a group of like-minded customers who view your brand favorably and will support you, through thick and thin, while naturally spreading social proof and giving referrals to their peers. They feel like a part of your brand – not just a customer who spends money on your products.
How you choose to build your community is largely dependent on the niche you operate in and the products or services you sell, but here are two ways to get started.
1. User Involvement
In order for the user to feel a connection to your brand, and one another, they need to have some sort of involvement with the company. Giving them a say over some aspect of the projects taken on by the brand, regardless of how small or significant, helps them establish meaning.
SmartCash, a new decentralized cryptocurrency that’s taking the market by storm, is a good example. Part of what makes their brand unique is that they’re heavily focused on community building. One neat thing they do is give users the ability to create proposals and vote on them. These proposals are then funded by the community budget, which comes from mining rewards. As a result, users feel they have a say in how SmartCash grows and take an active role in it.
Can you find ways to get your customers or users involved in what you’re doing?
2. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs, like the ones you find at restaurants and retailers, are another example of how you can build community. The customers that participate in these programs feel like there’s a two-way relationship. They feel they’re being recognized. There’s also a lateral relationship between the different loyalty program members who share a tangible connection.
Loyalty programs are extremely simple to launch, but you need to be fully on board. A half-hearted effort will frustrate customers more than it’ll satisfy them. Do your research and find one that truly benefits everyone involved.
Invest In Sustainable Growth
There are plenty of ways to get a quick burst of sales. All you have to do is run a well-funded PPC ad campaign, or launch a trendy promotion. But if you want to build sustainable growth for your business, you must find a way to tap into the psyche of your target audience.
Building a community around your brand gives you an opportunity to add value and meaning. It lets you leverage Maslow’s hierarchy and reach people beyond a monetary transaction. It’ll take lots of time, effort, and money up front, but you’ll be rewarded for years to come.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.