Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Building a Brand Community

Guy Kawasaki posted this story, in which he talks about building brand communities. He means online brand communities, places where people converse, engage, connect. The whole article is short and great. Find the link at the end of this post.

What I think is interesting is how much these truths hold true for any branded experience. Whether it's a retail store, a hotel, a product or service brand, Kawasaki's 1o tips are another way of discussing branded customer experience.

  1. Focus on your customer’s needs.
  2. Foster many-to-many relationships.
  3. Think local.
  4. Don’t create “more.”
  5. Foster peer celebrity.
  6. Say “hey.”
  7. Let your advocates advocate.
  8. Don’t merely moderate.
  9. Keep it simple. J
  10. Observe the 1-9-90 rule.
The last rule on his list "Observe the 1-9-90 Rule" relates to creators, readers and browsers of online content. Think about that in terms of fans, regulars, and passersby of your physical brand location and it's the same thing. 1% will be fans and they will be vociferous in their support, 9% may become regulars, coming and going as it fits their schedule and the other 90% may just pass by, but they may have heard what you are all about if your brand is clear and you take care to be intentional about how it is delivered at every moment of truth.

I love #4 too - "Don't create more". Just because it's out there doesn't mean you need to add it to your brand experience. What does your customer want? How will you provide that better than anyone else, and in a more memorable way?


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