A post by Simon Townsend
The people (or person) over at Brainpicker featured a column today on community. They ask, “What is community?” In the age of social media, and the new world of advertising, this is a great question to ask–especially as one builds out their brand. And it is important to go one step further and ask how you will build a community with your customers.
The thing that companies like Starbucks, Facebook, Google and Apple have done is to create products, and a brand that connects people, that gives them a sense of community. They don’t just offer a service or a product….they offer an experience. Researchers have determined that some people’s feelings toward Apple border on religious devotion (http://consumerist.com/2011/05/mri-shows-apple-stimulates-fans-brains-like-re….) There have been other studies that have linked brand loyalty with loyalty within a relationship.
08 JUNE, 2011
by Maria Popova
What borrowing sugar has to do with robust public life.
Last year, the wonderful Fifty People One Question offered a poetic glimpse of the soul of four communities, and last month the city of Grand Rapids demonstrated the goosebumps-inducing power of community. I’m relentlessly fascinated by cities and what it is that transforms them from shared urban space into thriving, lively communities full of shared humanity, vision and aspiration, so I was happy to take part in a think-tank event by nonprofit CEOs for Cities last fall, which assembled some of the country’s brightest minds in urban planning, design, policy, information technology and other facets of culture to dissect the elements of “robust public life” and how to best foster them in building successful, happy communities that attract and retain talent.
That’s exactly what this beautifully filmed short video explores, by asking people one simple but profound question: “What does ‘community’ mean to you?”
I’d love to be able to walk out and know everybody in my community.”
Something that kind of has a little bit of everything and access to everything, but still is quiet, so it’s not so quite so hustle-and-bustle.”
I like to pass other people who are walking their dogs early in the morning or late at night.”
A few universal needs seem to emerge: Walkability, a combination of private space and readily available entertainment, face-to-face interaction with neighbors and, more than anything, a sense of belonging.
What’s your ideal community?
As a business owner, by creating a powerful unique sense of community within your brand, through social media, through the experience of going to your restaurant, or shop, or buying your products, you are going to create that sense of loyalty, that sense of relationship with your consumers. So how you are creating a community? What are you offering beyond just a meal, a haircut, some music, a t-shirt? Can you create an experience in such a way that your business becomes more than just a mode of exchange, of profit or loss, can you create a business that is a community? And what would that community look like for you?
Posted by Simon Townsend