What do Sephora, GoPro, and Lego have in common? A highly-engaged brand community. Let's learn from these brands and see what strategies they adopted to benefit their business successfully.
Branded communities – when built right – are a powerful element for any organization. With user engagement, organizations can sharpen their understanding of their customers, gain visibility, strengthen their reputation from peers review, etc. The power of community is real, as we already explained in this article.
Brand community building strategy depends on many nuances, but the most significant determinants are the product itself and the goals of the community.
Here are three examples of inspiring brands who nailed community building, using different strategies.
It all started back in 2010 with the launch of Beauty Talk. Sephora created a well-organized forum for users to ask questions, share feedback, and get best practices from other cosmetics enthusiasts. With millions of users' posts and replies, threaded stories about confidence, self-image, and personal experiences, Sephora created a highly-effective way to engage with the products and the community. From this successful idea, Sephora decided to move further into community building and launch an app entirely dedicated to it. The app, Beauty Insider, proposes five features for an open line of communication with experts and other beauty fans.
What we love 💜
The Insider community app delivers a more holistic and dynamic approach to beauty. It is thoughtful and intuitive to address the user's questions no matter where they are on their journey — in a comfortable way. Engagement is boosted through multiple channels - Groups, Conversations, and other features are enforcing the community spirit and contributing to creating a safe space, where people support and lift each other with personal stories, advice, and tips. Finally, it is curated for each user, making the experience even more authentic and increasing monetization chances.
"GoPro enables a global movement of self-expression that's resulting in some of the most compelling user-generated content ever created. The positive impact on our brand and business has been immeasurable. Now we're excited to start rewarding our customers for their content contributions with GoPro Awards." Nicholas Woodman, GoPro's founder and CEO.
GoPro joined the camera industry in 2002. 18 years later, they are the number one action camera in the market with almost no competitors and a massive community of users. From the very beginning, the company saw an opportunity in the market and oriented its marketing strategy to enable users to be the brand's very own advocates. Through multiple channels like their app, social media, or website, they encourage creativity, storytelling, and content sharing.
What we love 💜
Who could be the best product promoters if not the happy users themselves? A picture is worth a thousand words, meaning that the positive feedback and product demos open the door to new customers. They are now more than 6,000 GoPro-tagged youtube videos, and the number is growing. GoPro has fundamentally mastered User-Generated-Content's strategy by encouraging and incentivizing people to explore their creativity and turning them into brand advocates. GoPro encourages two-way interaction and makes the consumers feel proud of the way they use GoPro products.
Since 1958, Lego has perpetuated its history and brand with a consistent promise: constantly innovate, build, have fun. Early on, the brand knew how important Lego's consumers were for the brand and product, referring to them as the "other half of the toy." With that in mind, Lego launched its Lego Ideas initiative to leverage its massive fan base and develop it into an online community. This platform is the perfect example for co-creation and innovation: it enables fans to express their ideas (by designing and building) for new LEGO products, enter exciting contests, and vote for their favorite ideas. Since its creation in 2008, the community counts over a million users, more than 26,000 product ideas submitted, and twenty-eight sets produced.
What we love 💜
Lego built its strategy around one of its most powerful assets: the endless imagination of its users. By involving customers in the product development process, Lego gets to know its customers' expectations, encourages them to connect with like-minded peers and create a meaningful engagement with the brand.
All these companies share something in common - an active, passionate user base as a community that they benefit from in many ways. From Sephora's knowledge of their consumers to GoPro's authentic promotions and Lego's co-creation process, community building proves to be a crucial success factor of the flourishing brands.