Community building is becoming more popular among brands nowadays. Big brands try to build community online to retain their customers and engage with them in a different way.
We have seen many community building strategies that literally changed the whole company around.
Some of the community building efforts were more successful than others, so let’s take a look at those successful ones.
Kitty and Vibe, a bikini brand
The bikini brand with cute reversible innovative swimsuits has built a community that is dynamic, meaningful, and fun.
It drives brand growth by tying online and offline engagement programs into a cohesive and unique customer-centric experience. Here’s how:
- Spotify Playlists: Customers can follow Kitty and Vibe on Spotify and get access to highly-curated playlists for “vibes” that go with their “Kitty” swimwear.
- Instagram Product Feedback: they source all new designs for Kitty swimwear directly from Kitty and Vibe’s Instagram community. Customers vote on everything from style to patterns and colors — making the products all the more personal.
- Instagram Shop and Website: Bringing community members from Instagram to their website, Kitty and Vibe puts user-generated content on their website’s homepage and makes the images shoppable.
- Community Model Program: Inclusivity is at Kitty’s core: touch-up-free model policy to additionally having a community-sourced modeling program. Qualifications needed to model? To be “comfortable in front of a camera and be any age, style, and size.
- Pool Parties: Customers can put on their Kitty swimsuit and meet fellow community members face-to-face at body-positivity pool parties. Kitty calls the events “Parties for EveryBOOTY.”
Lego Ideas community
Lego’s community is an excellent example of community-based marketing, which manifests in the form of a web platform called Lego Ideas.
The platform allows community members to share visual ideas for new products and proudly present creations they’ve made using Lego. Members can then vote and comment on specific ideas. They enable members to:
- Submit ideas for new lego sets
- Participate in contests
- Simply share your recent lego activity and engage with others
- Discover which community creations made it to the stores
Frigi parents’ group
Frugi – a sustainable childrenswear brand – has a community of passionate parents that share ideas and photos of their family through both a dedicated Facebook group and a brand new advocacy program.
Frugi’s Facebook group is filled with passionate customers having conversations and sharing their favorite moments.
The advocacy program is a more structured system that motivates customers to share stories, refer friends, and complete activities for specific rewards.
The Playstation Community has done an exceptional job at providing an online space for gamers to connect.
Users can zone in on their specific interests, whether by game, interests, or the type of support they need, and it’s clear to see how the network caters to the pillars of feedback, advocacy, and support.
The community is closely tied to Playstation’s linked social media channels, on YouTube and Twitter, and users are also able to experience content being generated both by brands, and users themselves.
User-generated content creation is one of the great strengths of the community and with new features on the PS4 console that enable users to upload in-game clips directly online, this is only going to increase and continue to grow the strength of the community.
Their approach provides the virtually unlimited capability and scale in user-generated content, that both entertains and adds value at awareness building, and purchase-point consumer touchpoints.
Harley Owners Group (Harley-Davidson)
HOG is a special community. Harley-Davidson enthusiasts share more than their loyalty to a brand. For them, it represents a way of life, a culture, and it can be found all over the world.
Since the 1980s, Harley-Davidson has been diligently building a brand community based on shared lifestyle, taste, and ethos. HOG was born as a way for the brand’s highly passionate consumers to connect and engage online.
With more than 1 million active members, the strength of the community lies in the openness and highly impassioned members it tries to foster and serve. As a result, HOG acts as a connector for enthusiasts around the world.
My Starbucks Idea (Starbucks)
My Starbucks Idea works on the same principle as the old customer “suggestion box” for the global coffee chain’s 150,000+ members.
In the last six years, suggestions from My Starbucks Idea community members have led to the implementation of nearly 300 innovations – from digital tipping, and peach green tea lemonade, to the hugely popular ability to enjoy free Wi-Fi.
Alex Wheeler,VP of global digital marketing for Starbucks, said that “our passionate customers and partners have been sharing their ideas with us on My Starbucks Idea, and we have listened and acted upon many amazing innovations that we have received from this online community.”
A real asset for the brand’s continued progression is its actual implementation and follow-through of popular ideas.
It shows that the brand listens to consumers, which inspires ever greater levels of innovation and ideas.
Gymshark is one of the fastest-growing fitness apparel brands in the world, and its incredible growth is largely fueled by the strong community they have built around its brand.
Using their Gymshark Central blog as a hub, they make it easy for new and returning customers to dive into their community without having to do any heavy lifting.
With articles loaded with tips, tutorials, and exercises, their blog is jam-packed with health and fitness-related information that has positioned them as their members’ go-to source for anything health and fitness related.
This makes it easy for customers to decide to purchase their products as a way of strengthening their connection with the fitness community.
Gymshark’s strong value-add marketing strategy is also evident through its team of athletes. With a huge social following, each athlete is handpicked to represent the brand to their own communities.
This gives them the chance to individually engage with their own loyal fans on a personal level as a reflection of the Gymshark brand.
Featuring special sales as well as live classes, demonstrations, and appearances from Gymshark athletes, these are highly-anticipated events that have community members waiting for hours for the doors to open in the hopes of scooping up some exclusive gear and meeting up with other Gymshark fans.
By growing their community both on-and-offline, Gymshark is a prime example of what it means to build a brand experience customers can’t wait to be a part of.
These were some of the successful community building activities to get inspired from. Remember to engage with your community group members and build more meaningful connections.