Your products may not reflect your brand culture perfectly, but the brand communities do. The culture and spirit of a brand are closely connected to many brand communities. One common brand community type is social media, from which customers can receive the latest news, products, coupons, etc. Brand communities inspire the engagement of your customers as well as increase their loyalty, especially in this social media era.
Hence, we have summarized the 8 best online brand community examples. All of them performed well last year in online brand community construction. Hope you can learn the knack of building strong communities from these examples.
What is a Brand Community?
Unlike geographical communities, an online brand community is an internet system without geographical limitations. It is specially created for a certain group of customers of a brand. The most common form of online brand communities is social media, including brand forums, official accounts, brand blogs, etc. In the brand communities, business operators can share new products, sign jointly, design philosophy, discount activities, and so on. At the same time, customers can take a deep dive into this brand and share their feedback and suggestions.
The connecting ties of a brand’s community are usually the similar emotional resonance of the brand’s customers. It is not necessary to join a brand community if a customer just wants to buy a certain product from this brand. But if the customer is interested in the stunning design, the greenery theory, or other detailed information about this brand, she or he will take the initiative to join this community in most cases.
A brand community is not a platform that only helps brand operators share the advantages and selling points of their products. It also supports two-way emotional communication between sellers and customers. A high sense of participation and close communication can always draw the distance between customers and merchants closer. By doing so, brand communities can help you involve your customers and increase their brand loyalty.
8 Best Brand Communities Examples
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company sets a great example in terms of building brand communities. Disney connects its customers with various popular IPs, like Princess Elsa, Mickey, LinaBell, etc. These IPs include famous fairy tale characters, cartoon characters, and original cartoon figures. Disney is good at making these screen characters appear irregularly in various ways. Through repeated creation, the fans can pay attention to their favorite characters and make a good impression on the brand.
On social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, you can always see various IPs show off from time to time. The official account “Disney” often launches some interesting and creative topics through Disney classic characters. Like pushing warm greetings from Disney characters on Mother’s Day and occasionally sending a Disney character quotation.
On the YouTube platform, Disney has launched many series of programs that combine different ideas to make Disney’s screen image or story into a video collection, giving brand content a richer expression. For example, the Disney Channel has a collection of “telling Disney stories with emojis,” which has attracted the attention of many fans.
Besides, the most representative brand community construction method must be Disneyland. In Disneyland, there are many cartoon characters played by staff. You can take photos with them as a souvenir, or you may have the opportunity to interact with them. For many tourists, Disneyland is not only an amusement park but also a memorable fairy-tale world. More and more people like to have New Year’s Eve, birthdays, marriage proposals, and other important things at Disneyland.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that provides users with theme building, plan customization, and data encryption services for setting up and operating online stores. As one of the most successful e-commerce platforms in 2023, Shopify also has an outstanding style of building brand communities.
There is a specialized area called Shopify Community on the Shopify official website. In this area, customers can “join the conversation” and “find a community” according to their demands. Members of the Shopify Community can raise discussions with other users, connect and collaborate with other business owners, discover insightful conversations, and browse various blogs of Shopify or other merchants.
In the Shopify Community, customers can not only obtain the latest news about Shopify itself but also connect with other Shopify users to exchange experiences and strategies with each other.
When it comes to the brand community, we have to mention Starbucks. Starbucks has never been absent from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Before you build up your brand community, you may wish to refer to these interesting and successful strategies of Starbucks.
On the social media platform, Starbucks is keen to launch limited tasks and promotional activities. For example, the Starbucks autumn limited product, pumpkin latte. Starbucks once launched the Pumpkin Spice Latte Challenge to encourage customers to vote for their favorite city or complete corresponding tasks for their city. The city with the highest score can launch pumpkin lattes first. There are many other interactive activities and various coupon activities, most of which have high participation.
Starbucks has also been striving to build a brand image that is friendly and close to consumers. Starbucks’ Instagram homepage shows interesting pictures inside Starbucks and photos of fans around the world about Starbucks. Compared with the over-commercialized homepage composition of many brands, Starbucks’ move has greatly improved brand affinity.
In addition, Starbucks often cooperates with other brands and platforms for charity activities. This will undoubtedly enhance Starbucks’ brand image in the hearts of customers.
As a global cosmetics retail authority, Sephora has 2600 stores in 36 countries around the world, selling more than 250 brands of products. Its products include cosmetics, skin care products, perfume, bath products, shampoo, etc. Sephora’s loyalty and reward program, Beauty Insider, has over 17 million members worldwide, and their consumption accounts for 80% of Sephora’s total sales.
In Sephora Beauty Insider, there are three kinds of membership: Beauty Insider, VIB, and VIB Rouge.
- Beauty Insider is a junior member who can apply for free without purchasing any products;
- VIB is a member who needs to spend at least $350 per year to renew the membership for the next year;
- VIBRouge is similar to VIB members but requires an annual consumption of over $1000.
Sephora’s membership entitles customers to various savings, such as free standard shipping, seasonal savings events, end-of-year discounts, and so on. A higher membership level requires higher spending to maintain, but at the same time, you can also receive more promotional activities and higher discounts.
Social media content operations have become the main way for most brands to promote their brands. You can hardly imagine that you can’t find a big brand on social media. But Apple is an exception. Apple has created official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms for several years. Still, it was not until August 2017 that Apple first put a post on its official Instagram account.
But Apple certainly has a strategy for building brand communities. One representative Apple community is the Apple Support Community. In this community, members are encouraged to ask questions, find answers, and connect with Apple customers around the world. You can get the point when you raise a question, answer a question, get a “like ” of your question or comment, or attend telephone or offline community meetings.
Members can accumulate points through the above methods, and the membership level will be upgraded when the points reach a certain number of members. High-level members can enjoy Apple’s exclusive information push, join the guest lounge, attend community meetings, and enjoy other rights.
In other words, the more active members in the Apple Support Community can get a higher membership level, and the higher members can enjoy more participation and voice. This mechanism will undoubtedly enhance the user stickiness and consumer loyalty of the Apple brand.
Lego is one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world. It once got high marks in familiarity, loyalty, employee satisfaction, and corporate reputation in the esteemed Brand Strength Index proposed by Brand Finance. It also won the title of The World’s Most Loved Brand. Lego’s achievements are also inseparable from the Co-Creation community it founded.
The gameplay of the Lego Co-Creation community is very simple. After registering, users can upload their creative proposals, and then they can find people in the whole community who support their creativity and get their “Vote”. If it can reach 10,000 votes within one year, the Lego product and legal teams will intervene. If it is finally produced, it can be released on a global scale, and the sponsor can not only “leave his name” but also get a 1% sales dividend.
At present, the Lego creative community has submitted over 36,000 projects by more than 1.8 million registered members. Dozens of projects have been put on the market, including the Central Perk toy set from Friends, the Saturn 5 rocket set from NASA, and the tree house set.
Before the Harley brand was born, motorcycles were all produced by European car manufacturers and were very expensive. In 1903, the four founders of Harley designed a Harley motorcycle with the frame of a bicycle. Thus promoting the popularity of motorcycles around the world.
Since then, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have become synonymous with a “rebellion, freedom, and individuality” lifestyle.
In 1983, Harley founded the Harley Owners Club. Harley Owners Club often holds cycling activities: a group of car owners put on costumes with the Harley Eagle logo and ride on Harley motorcycles on long-distance highways, showing passers-by their “rebellious, free, and individual” lifestyle.
To build this community, Harley not only set up special web pages and organized biker activities but also published advertisements to strengthen Harley’s lifestyle. The activities carried out by the Harley Car Owners Club are very cool, and they all focus on the lifestyle that car owners believe in.
Lifestyle is the key here. All products closely related to an obvious lifestyle can easily build a brand community.
Airbnb is the abbreviation of AirBed and Breakfast (“Air-b-n-b “). It is a service-oriented website that connects tourists and homeowners with vacant rooms for rent. It is called” EBay in Housing” by TIME.
Airbnb’s business model is C2C; therefore, establishing friendly communication and mutual trust between tenants and homeowners is the key to completing the business. Airbnb’s platform itself has been built into a brand community for homeowners and tenants to communicate.
This brand community has two bright spots. First of all, to strengthen trust and emotional communication between homeowners and tenants, Airbnb supports direct connections to other social media. Users can bind their Facebook account to Airbnb and see their other friends. In this way, before tenants move in, they can check the background information of the owner on Facebook in advance and choose the right house to move in.
Another highlight is Airbnb’s storytelling strategy. The establishment of a brand community often relies on the emotional resonance of customers, and Airbnb creates an emotional connection by telling true stories.
Airbnb will dig up the life stories of homeowners and the travel stories of tenants and display these stories on the community homepage. The story can create vivid characters and make “people” the focus of this transaction.
During the transaction, the tenant can not only get the right to use the house but also gain a guide from the landlord full of stories and experiences. And the landlord may also meet interesting tourists from different cultures.
Recognition of brand culture has become an important factor for consumers to choose products, and this will be an intensifying trend. If you want to have a loyal fan base amid fierce product competition, it’s time to try building your brand community.
Brand Community Examples FAQs
What are the 3 elements of a brand community?
1. Consistency: present consistent images and messages to customers in each of your marketing channels;
2. Community: create your brand community and show how your brand behaves internally and externally;
3. Content: build engagement with customers by sharing good content about your brand.
What makes a successful brand community?
Membership, influence, integration, fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection. The four elements comprise a sense of community and can help you develop a successful brand community.
What is the most successful community in the world?
Jewish Community. Over the years, the Jewish community has had significant contributions and influence in various fields, including science, business, literature, the arts, and entertainment.
What do successful communities have in common?
A successful brand community usually has the following 4 elements: a strong brand story, collaboration among consumers, recognizable brand elements, and unique brand cultures.