Customer communities are commonly found among many reputable lifestyle brands. Brands that embrace and harness these communities enjoy a high level of customer loyalty, which drives long-term profitability.
Brands like Apple, Oprah, Harley-Davidson, Ikea and Southwest Airlines have made their competition irrelevant through brand communities they have helped nurture over the years. But why do brand communities form? And what can we learn about them?
Psychologist Jenny Lee, a brand consultant at The Cult Branding Company, explores the social and psychological motivators that fuel the development of brand communities in a compelling new white paper.
The white paper titled, “Why We Join: A Sociological and Psychological Analysis of Brand Communities,” along with an illustrative presentation can be downloaded freely here.
Here are seven steps to take in order to create a cult brand:
- Determine how customers are emotionally connected with your brand
- Determine what your brand symbolizes in the minds of your best customers
- Support the community so that it reinforces psychological attraction customers have towards your brand
- Whenever possible create a space where your customers can meet and interact with one another – either in person or online
- Sponsor social events that reflect your brand’s mission
- Set up conditions for a fun, playful environment where friendships can be made
- Don’t control community. Instead participate as a co-creator