Brands with communities drive brand love

Insight

Brands with communities drive brand love

In the world of brands, communities are built through shared participation where we learn and gain inspiration from like minded people. These experiences exist in both the physical and digital space. For brands to win they need these places in order for their audience to engage and connect.

Evidence

Unsurprisingly Netflix has built a strong online community grounded in discovery based on shared interests. The surprising brand that has also achieved a strong sense of community is Apple.  It’s surprising because Apple has virtually no social presence (they have never tweeted or posted on facebook), yet creates a sense of belonging and participation through other channels.
In a category where People Power of all kinds is highly correlated with both brand love and the ability to charge a price premium, a sense of community is a highly effective weapon.

Implication

Brands tend to rely heavily on digital engagements because of the effortless ability to share content, so how does Apple achieve the top score without a social presence? Apple has mastered the curated experience which allows for greater control over their message. Their physical stores are beacons of shared experiences (what other retailer can say this?). They have created a frenzied following in anticipation of new product launches – taking water cooler talk to a crazed level of interest. Perhaps Apple knows better than to let their community take control of the conversation.