- As you can see here, their community is hugely important to them - similarly to Astrid and Miyu it’s hosted onsite and it’s part of their very top nav. There is also the option to ‘start a conversation’ or ‘add a photo’ immediately there in the header as soon as you click on the link to the community
- They make it really obvious to their customers that they want their participation, with a clear ‘get started’ section that includes FAQs, guidelines and videos on how to introduce yourself, how to post etc
- They allow members to search content so you can immediately find people or who have asked the same questions, and they show trending groups so it’s super easy to find the people who have the same interests as you
- And it’s easy to see how well this is working for them - at the time I took this screenshot they had over 4 million members, 59 thousand of whom were online right then, and there were over 2.5 million posts
- Now obviously we can’t all be Sephora and build these sorts of loyal communities overnight, however there are lots of small things you could be doing to start off strong.
- So to finish off, I’d like to talk through four easy ways to start building a loyal customer community
- The first and most important thing, is to be really clear what you are building a community around. Define your brand values and ensure that they’re coming across really clearly
- That way, you give your community something to form and bond around and the instant knowledge that they’re going to be part of a bigger cause that they care about
- You can communicate your values and alignment via the content on your site like Astrid and Miyu, or you can include it in your loyalty program welcome emails like make up brand 100% Pure do.
- You can also work your values into your points and rewards strategy.
- For example, dog food brand Edgard and Cooper allows customers to redeem rewards in the form of donations to a dog shelter, or a tree planted in your name
- Beauty brand Pacifica Beauty has also incorporated their values into their points earning rules, allowing customers to earn points if they recycle make up packaging
- All of these brands are clearly demonstrating to their customers that they share their values and care about the same things, which in turn means that their members feel comfortable joining their communities in the knowledge that they will connect with like minded people
- Next, incentivising engagement and interaction. The old adage of if you build it they will come isn’t always as true as we might like in ecommerce. The truth is, if you want to build a community with a lot of engagement, you will likely have to do something to get the conversation going
- The good news is that it’s really easy to do this with your loyalty program. Simply offer customers points in return for social interaction - each time they follow your channels, like or share your content, or post their own content mentioning your own brand, reward them with points
- For example:
- As you can see here, brands like Zox, Pacifica Beauty and Astrid and Miyu all offer points in return for social likes and follows
- Not only are you giving members more ways to earn points that they can put towards their next purchase, but you’re giving them a great reason to interact with you in between purchases
- This means you can keep them close so you’re the first person they think of when they do decide it’s time to buy
- But it also means they’ll see all the great things that your other customers are buying and raving about, which might just push them to purchase far sooner
- You can also follow a similar line of thinking in growing your community - incentivizing community members to refer their friends or leave product reviews in return for points
- And finally, to create a really successful community, you have to create a feeling of exclusivity
- Customers should be continually made to feel that they are getting something in return for their loyalty and the energy that they’re putting into being part of your community
- There are several different ways to achieve this with your loyalty program
- The first is to introduce different tiers, allowing customers to unlock different communities as they move up through the tiers. For example, Ann Marie Skincare has a Collective Insider tribe that gives members who reach a certain threshold exclusive access to a private facebook group where they can discuss their skincare with others
- However, you can also create a feeling of exclusivity with the rewards that you offer your community. For example, you could offer your most valuable contributors the opportunity to test new products for you. Or you could offer community members early access to new product lines, or exclusive access to your sales before they go public
- For example, Lively and Vitabiotics members both get exclusive access to double points events that non-community members cannot access
- These are all ways to ensure that your community feel they’re really getting something in return for their engagement, and in turn this will guarantee you their continued attention and interaction
So to recap, more and more, today’s consumers are actively seeking out opportunities to shop with brands who align with their values. Brands who have communities of like-minded people. Brands that make them feel part of something bigger.
And there are multiple other ways that a loyal customer community can benefit your bottom line - from informing product direction to helping you acquire new customers more cost effectively.
How can you start building that brand community today? By communicating your brand values clearly at every stage of the customer journey, by incentivizing community engagement of every kind with points and rewards, and by creating an aspirational feeling of exclusivity that every customer wants to experience.
Slide 16: :
So those are our top tips for building a brand community that will drive revenue for your store while also cementing your customer relationships.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Bye for now.