Cultivate A Community, Build A Brand

Building your brand - it's all about building a community, says digital marketing magazine CMS Wire.

Nurturing a community of active users can not only accelerate the brand development but also help to spread the word via digital channels - and with today's consumer being so digitally switched-on, the community is more important than ever for brands.

Businesses have more power than ever to connect with the consumer using digital tools to build their networks; exploiting email communications, social networking updates and digital content.

The rule applies to just about any industry, says CMS Wire. Take GoPro, for example - the high-definition action camera manufacturer. The firm has become an industry leader, and much of its success came from building a grass-roots marketing campaign using user-generated content. The company noticed that one user-created video had 600,000 page views on YouTube and took the step of uploading user videos daily.

Now GoPro uploads more than 6,000 videos per day to its YouTube channel and website. So successful has the campaign become that some GoPro experts think the company should relaunch as a media company in future.

The firm has its community to thank for this success; for producing action sports content and helping it build the brand.

The camera company isn't the only firm harnessing the power of the digital community. Fashion retailers and consumer goods companies regularly harness social media content too, using it to bring their community together via digital marketing.

Another example is a small US burrito shop called La Parilla. We're not talking about the same scale as GoPro, but community cultivation works at all levels. The shop focuses on loyalty programmes, email communications and contests which are run across digital media. To compete in a contest, the contestants must post proof of their participation on the shop's Facebook page - integrating perfectly with social media.

Such techniques are perfect for building a community, and the contests have become legendary in their local area. Content from the contests is used as pictures in the store or displayed across the company's social networks, helping to generate excitement for the brand and maintain visibility.

Be it a global community such as GoPro or a smaller community like the burrito shop, these brands have one thing in common: cultivation of their community. That's what makes the brands stronger than others who let the opportunity to engage slip through their fingers.