One of the great things about the holidays is that almost everyone celebrates them. We come together to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or other traditions. By participating in the celebration of one of these traditions, we enjoy a unique spirit of community and togetherness.
It’s enough to make even a hard-boiled data analytics jockey like me stop and reflect.
What if a brand could create that sense of community and togetherness with its customers? How might that impact satisfaction, loyalty and repeat sales?
The conventional wisdom behind marketing’s entrance into social media is to encourage customers to become more fully engaged with a brand…to create a community of loyal customers. While it is still unclear how, and if, social media achieves these goals, it’s clear that the desire to “belong” to a community is significant. Maslow puts the need to belong just above our basic needs for food/shelter and safety.
So the next logical question is, “How do we motivate customers to want to belong to our brand community?” A common theme in many of our IdeaMap® studies is that customers want a greater level of control over their experience. This was confirmed in a recent study conducted by Pitney Bowes: “…consumers are more likely to stay engaged (with) companies that offer them a level of control over concrete customer service initiatives rather than those that focus solely on brand-building and web community experiences.” The study also found that an important way to encourage repeat business was to allow customers to have, “…a say in the company’s development of products and services,” (The Customer Dance: When to Lead, When to Follow).
As we celebrate the holidays this year, I think it might be worth pondering — “How can we create a greater sense of belonging to a community for our customers in the new year?”