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Banding Together: 5 Ways to Build a Brand Community

Everyone loves an easy Earn & Burn loyalty program, but many customers are looking for more. Step up to the plate by fostering a brand community with your loyalty program. Fostering a like-minded community increases the chance of discovering new brand advocates, as well as increasing their lifetime value. You can do this through a VIP or special interest group, by displaying leaderboards, or even rewarding customers’ activities in their daily lives. This article will break down these different methods and the various benefits that come from bringing your customers together. Building a community doesn’t have to be hard, and you can get creative with it!

What Are the Benefits of Creating a Community?

Before you start fostering a community, it’s important to know what’s in it for you, so here are some of the many benefits of bringing your customers together:

  • Complement your existing program: brand communities aren’t loyalty programs themselves, but rather add-ons to an existing loyalty program structure, such as Earn & Burn.
  • Add as many as you like: offer communities for each of your customer segments to go beyond transactions.
  • Bond with customers over interests: dedicate a community to a popular product, lifestyle, or hobby to foster an emotional connection with your customers.
  • Support brand building: associate your brand with a sense of belonging by attracting customers with specific interests.
  • Personalize the customer experience: small, targeted brand communities allow you to get to know customers better so you can provide offers that really resonate

Loyalty Communities

5 Ways to Build a Brand Community:

Not all brand communities are the same, so it’s important to choose the method that works best with your customer base and brand values. Here are 5 different ways you can bring your customers together around your brand:

1. Use a VIP group

Customers love to feel special, and adding a VIP option onto your existing program gives them that privilege. Whether you already offer tiers or not, a VIP group brings together your most loyal customers to show your appreciation. Features of a VIP group include: special experiences, early access, exclusive gifts, and personalization.

Fabletics offers a VIP membership tailored to customers’ preferences, from their favorite workout activities to styles, to personalize the customer experience, and increase retention.

Fabletics offers a VIP membership tailored to customers’ preferences, from their favorite workout activities to styles, to personalize the customer experience, and increase retention.

2. Target Special Interests

Show that you pay attention to your customers’ interest with a targeted group, dedicated to a popular product, lifestyle, or hobby. Members need to spend a certain amount of points to enter, and once they’re in, they get a bunch of different benefits and the ability to meet people who share this interest.

LuisaViaRoma offers the LVR Sneakers Club, an exclusive club within their loyalty program that offers access to the hottest sneaker drops.

LuisaViaRoma offers the LVR Sneakers Club, an exclusive club within their loyalty program that offers access to the hottest sneaker drops.

3. Promote Activity

Bring customers together through activity—whether it’s working out, volunteering for a charity, or sharing on social media—keeping them engaged outside of the buying cycle, in their daily lives.

German mountaineering product retailer Bergzeit has a loyalty program — powered by Antavo — that allows members to track their progress by integrating with Strava.

German mountaineering product retailer Bergzeit has a loyalty program — powered by Antavo — that allows members to track their progress by integrating with Strava.

4. Offer a Members-Only Chat Group

Offer a members-only chat group inside the loyalty HUB, where members can discuss new products, give reviews, and share industry secrets. You can also label each customer’s membership and involvement level with their profile. Not only does this bring together your customers around your product and mission, but it also allows you to see what your customers are talking about.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program offers a community page, where members of all expertise and membership levels can post questions and reply to each other. It has over 2 million posts, proving that customers love to engage with each other, boosting brand buzz.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program offers a community page, where members of all expertise and membership levels can post questions and reply to each other. It has over 2 million posts, proving that customers love to engage with each other, boosting brand buzz.

5. Create Leaderboards

Create leaderboards that track and compare member’s progress through the points they earn. Customers can ascend the board by performing more actions that garner them points, from buying products to giving reviews to even tracking their FitBit steps. Leaderboards encourage healthy competition between your customers and increase traffic to your brand.

World of Beer displays local and global leaderboards within their program, so members can stay involved to keep earning points.

World of Beer displays local and global leaderboards within their program, so members can stay involved to keep earning points.

Build Your Community Now

Whether you’re wishing to strengthen your brand identity, aiming to engage customers with specific values, or want to foster a sense of belonging among customers, a community is a perfect addition to your existing loyalty structure. Customers want to feel a part of something, and your community can do just that. We’re here to help you decide what kind of community is right for your brand. Also, here’s a comprehensive ebook to design the best possible reward system for them.

Tamas Oszi
Tamas Oszi
Tamas is a Loyalty Specialist at Antavo with a keen eye for loyalty and customer retention research and trends. He studied philosophy and has a strong background in journalism. Tamas is a true gamer at heart and has an impressive collection of cyberpunk books.