This I believe: Without a community, you are nothing. Whether you want to lead, be supported, funded, partner, advocate, or otherwise make an impact on behalf of a cause or company: You need to recognize and respect the community members you seek to serve and engage. This is why your community brand matters.
What is your community brand?
Your community brand is a critical dimension of your personal or corporate brand. It’s the essence, activities, and outcomes associated with your intention to connect with, captivate, and then activate the people who can help you or your organization realize your goals. It’s the image and reputation that you’re known for (or wish to be known for) in their space.
Why does your community brand matter?
I’ll say it again: If you’re passionate about a cause and you want to translate that passion into action and results, you need the community at your side. No matter what drives you, you get nowhere without captivating and activating a community. No growth, no gain, no traction is possible without gaining visibility among the people you want to recognize and respect you.
And here’s a point that I can’t overemphasize: While doing well by doing good is a proven driver of business success, your community goal isn’t solely to make money. A community brand fundamentally positions you in service to others.
- It’s about leading.
- It’s about doing.
- It’s about deep, meaningful engagement.
- It’s about embracing the multiple dimensions of individuals to support the goals you’re passionate about.
Community brands vs. other types of brands
To understand a community brand, it’s important to compare it to other types of brands you’re familiar with.
Like a Good Neighbor – Corporate Brands
For companies, products, and services, a brand can be described as the particular personality or values that appeal to various target consumers. Logo, colors, and marketing messaging are brand communication elements, but a business brand actually rests on the total customer experience it delivers.
The Best and Worst Companies to Work For—Employer Brands
Every city has its “Best Places To Work” awards. And every company is on Glassdoor. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there remains stiff competition for the best workers. Whether a company is awesome or awful, the news will get around. And just like commercial brands, employer brands live and die on actual experience, not what a company says it is.
The Rise of the Influencer—Personal Brands
Strengths, traits, skills, and messages reflect the personalities and power of individuals who curate their images online. Social media platforms have enabled people to craft personal brands, which can be worth millions of dollars from sponsorships. Followers often know these influencers only through their online content—there’s often limited-to- no authentic, two-way engagement.
Creating the Change You Want to See—Community Brands
In contrast to the purely self-enriching nature of these other types of brands, the community brand is engaged in making change or building a movement for the benefit of others. The intention of the community brand sets it apart. Its focus is on discerning unmet needs and serving others.
Above all, your community brand influences your corporate, employer, or personal brand, not the other way around.
Creating, building, and sustaining a successful community brand
The goal of a community brand is to join with the people in communities—neighborhoods, associations, interest groups, etc.—to create positive, social change. To that end, the success of your community brand depends on your ability to gather intelligence on the often disparate and competing needs of people in the community.
At Stratiscope, we use and teach a proprietary method called Groundtruthing™ to find out what really matters to community leaders and the people who live and work in a neighborhood.
Your strong community brand will serve you well as you pursue any number of goals. It will lend credibility as you seek to connect with or positively impact a local neighborhood. It can help you attract, rally, and lead a group of experts, a government, the media, institutions, policymakers, or any other population you wish to engage.
The passion and know-how that stands behind your community brand will create a powerful force for strategically engaging and empower other people. Together you can effectively take the specific actions that lead to the outcomes you desire.
By answering just eight questions you can be on your way to a stronger, better-defined community brand that will advance your community activation goals. Get started now—request your FREE community brand audit.
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