Building brand communities
Encouraging engaged brand communities can be crucial. Creating and engaging in customer communities helps to define a unity amongst customers. It also offers the opportunity to learn and gain a mutual understanding.
Companies with engaged brand communities often experience a rise in brand advocates. They usually see a reduction in the number of complaints.
Here are some examples:
Slack is a US based internal communication platform. They grew from nothing to 750,000 customers in 3 years by building a customer community. They used it to ask for feedback and pose ideas for customers to comment on. They now get 18,000 suggestions a month from their customers!
Mutual insurer, LV=, has a community of 6,000 members and customers. They ask community members to take part in surveys and research. The aim is to help develop the company’s products and services to meet their needs.
Avios is part of International Airlines Group (IAG). They run customer reward schemes such as British Airways Executive Club. They created an online community of 400 Avios members called the Avios Advisory Hub. Teams across the business engage with the community to work co-creatively with them. The aim is to bring members even closer to the heart of decision-making. “We continue to listen to members through the online community, using it to improve the Customer Experience”.
Pearson/Edexcel is the largest awarding body in the UK. They offer the widest range of learning programmes. It ranges from academic qualifications to adult literacy and numeracy qualifications. The relationship between teachers and an awarding body is an unusual one. It thought of as authoritarian.
To change this, Pearson/Edexcel set up a Teaching Services team. The goal was to treat teachers as customers and colleagues. It provided the service and support that such a relationship demanded. Among many initiatives, Pearson/Edexcel has established a Facebook group. It has 550 members, who support each other in ways the company hadn’t thought possible.