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Customer Engagement - Marking Your Mark With Brand Communities
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Customer Engagement - Marking Your Mark With Brand Communities

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Social media provides an outlet for customers and brands to honestly express themselves. And just as companies are embracing social media as part of their customer communications strategy, brand …

Social media provides an outlet for customers and brands to honestly express themselves. And just as companies are embracing social media as part of their customer communications strategy, brand communities are also gaining in both importance and popularity. These communities have grown alongside the uptick in consumer empowerment – they’re a place where intense brand loyalty is expressed and fostered, and where customers forge emotional connections with the brand. But what makes a brand community successful?

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  • 1. CUSTOMERENGAGEMENTMaking Your Markwith BrandCommunities Author: David Newberry, Group Marketing Officer
  • 2. MAKING YOURMARK WITHBRANDCOMMUNITIES Social media provides an outlet for customers and Organization brands to honestly express themselves. Brand Messaging Promise Brand Strategy Peers and Networks Customer communications strategy Brand Experiences Identity These communities have grown alongside the uptick in Individual consumer empowerment – they’re a place where intense brand loyalty is expressed and fostered, and where customers forge emotional connections with the brand.
  • 3. MAKING YOUR Regardless of communityMARK WITH type, a challenge often faced by all brand communities isBRAND that consumers can easily spot marketing strategyCOMMUNITIES attempts for profit, like sales coupons or sweepstakes. This is a turn-off in many cases Communities A solution is simply to take a more passive role, encouraging consumers to share their own ideas voluntarily. For instance, this is something Skittles did quite well when the company redesigned its corporate website to be more open-source.
  • 4. MAKING YOURMARK WITHBRANDCOMMUNITIES While it didn’t keep every single customer idea, Skittles ceded almost all control of its layout and presentation to consumers. Ultimately getting something from customers that has significant long term value in terms of how much future customers will identify with the brand’s presentation.
  • 5. MAKING YOUR The higher quality communication between customers reduces theMARK WITH level of uncertainty about the organization and its products.BRAND This in turn can lead to increasedCOMMUNITIES profits when it comes toTHE PROOF IS IN THE immediate purchase intention and the number of productsPUDDING (OR, THE purchased.CUSTOMER TESTIMONIAL) When all information is Brand shared Communities Maintaining a brand community that allows Companies can customers to know the experience organization more better results intimately through peer-to- peer conversations will work in the organization’s favor
  • 6. MAKING YOURMARK WITHBRAND Trust IntegrityCOMMUNITIESHONESTY IS A BRAND’SBEST FRIEND BRAND Openness Transparency The fact of the matter is that we’re all human, we all make mistakes – but it’s when those mistakes are covered up that consumers begin to get emotional and angry. The same is true with customer service. Things will go wrong Honesty sometimes, but what differentiates a company’s brand is how these incidents are dealt with. This can actually create stronger trust with the customer, reassuring them that the company will do right by them if something doesn’t go right.
  • 7. MAKING YOURMARK WITHBRANDCOMMUNITIES In the end, it’s the trust built between the brand and the consumer that solidifies the relationship and establishes a foundation for growth, and brand communities are an increasingly central part of this rapport. 7
  • 8. CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT NEXT You can read more about these trends and other upcoming topics for this series in our whitepaper, Customer Communications in the Digital Era, available for download hereVisit us at www.pb.com/software