23 January 2009 5 Comments

The force of a brand community

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

brand-village-2brand-and-vilaageAn African adage says ‘it is because snakes do not move in group that is why a man kills them with ease’. The lesson in this adage is thought provoking. Even if men move in group and they are faced with snakes of different species, men will run. Particularly if they are not fully armed with necessary equipments that can help.

The prologue becomes necessary so we can understand the full implication of today’s discussion. It is necessary to sensitize individuals-personal brands, as well as corporate brands on the need to build a community that is strong and virile that can help promote brand’s message to a larger audience.

Let us look at a typical village setting and see how we can learn lesson that works for brands. A village particularly in Africa has ethos, values and structured system that helps it remain strong. The villagers always assume responsibility for one another’s child. When real parent are not around, the child may not be aware except for biological affinity between parent and kids. The child is properly clothed, cared for as well as protected. In a village, community there is closed affinity and each family head contributes to total well-being of others so they can have a great community. Each person has this communal spirit that has been built over the years with conversation, relationships. There is a high sense of communal responsibility to be a worthy ambassador, advocates for the community he/she represents.

Today, the essence of a brand community is becoming highly necessary. The reason is not far fetched; customers have too many choices with little time to make decisions on what to buy. To enjoy the benefit of a strong force, brand must forget the old 4 Ps of marketing and embrace what I called the 4 Cs. These are in my opinion the new trend.

1. Conversation: Love relationship needs constant communication that is two-ways. the old monologue makes marriage break. This becomes imperative in today’s total liberation world. Keep your lovers-customers- engaged in a two-way conversation or they will listen to others.

2. Community: when you build conversation, close relationship develop among all the concerned and vital information are shared on issue that will guarantee peaceful co-existence.

3. Collaboration:  A partnership ensues from the community. The level of team work becomes stronger and a close association that guides opinion sharing among others is made available.

4. Co-creation: after a long while, the relationship often produces offsprings that are jointly brought to life. Ideally each party is expected to be committed to nurture, protect, feed and put mechanism in place that will erase malfunction, failure or premature death of the products that they jointly produced.

My question today is does your brand has a community? Do you respect the opinion of your community or you just push your decision to them? Do you have quality conversation with your brand community? If not, do not be surprised if competitors take away your brand’s darling. I am looking forward to your feedbacks.

5 Responses to “The force of a brand community”

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