Community: The Missing Piece of the Growth Puzzle

Contrary to what the gurus tell you, and what too many ecom business owners often believe, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for growth, known only to a select few high priests of digital marketing. There are no magic campaigns or audiences or even creatives that will take your brand from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. 

But let’s say you have an awesome product, quick fulfilment, your customer service people are shit-hot and your marketing is generating interest in your offer. Growth should just happen, right? Those are essentially all of the main things. 

But it won’t. 

And if it does, it won’t happen quickly. 

And if it does, it won’t be sustainable. 

Offering Something More Than a Product

If you’re operating in a competitive marketplace, where people have other options besides your product, you need to offer something more, something to give them a personal connection with your brand. The ideal situation is not to be selling products to customers, but a relationship with your brand. This is how you guarantee lifetime values and sustain growth beyond finding more and more new audiences to sell to once and never hear from again.

Gymshark is the oft-touted example of how effective community management helped grow a brand from some dude’s garage into a global superstar. But affiliate marketing is only one particle of your community strategy – and sometimes it’s not even an essential one. 

It’s not about having a trustpilot, a blog or customer reviews on all your products either. These are just essential tools for demonstrating social proof. What’s so often missing is that crucial X factor that keeps customers coming back, telling their friends about you and posting about you on their social media accounts. 

Let’s say you sell lemonade. You might have a few things that separate you from your competitors – maybe it’s cloudy, maybe your production methods are eco-friendly or you use half the sugar for the same taste. Okay, but the high price point and waiting for deliveries will begin to bite after a while, especially when a similar thing is available for next to nothing in the supermarket. People lose interest.

Read More: How to Use a Facebook Group to Grow Your Business

How do we stop this drop off?

How do we maintain these customers so we can focus on growing into new audiences? 

The thing is, this isn’t offering anything new. Even if all the criteria mentioned above are met. Your customers don’t feel any connection to your brand, just a short-lived delight in your product. So why not talk to them? Why not make yourself a hub for lemonade connoisseurs?

Celebrate your customers – post about them on your social feeds, ask for their own content to use in ads, poll them on what they want to see. A switch from bottles to cans? New flavours? Which flavours? If you need models – ask your customers! Everyone has an opportunity to get involved and feel that they contributed to your brand’s success. Offer a prize for whoever can write the best or funniest description of your hero product and post it on the website. 

Read More: How to Use Social Media For Increasing Brand Awareness

You could make them feel like they are members of an elite club. Offer memberships for discounts or exclusive early product launches, present your product as the real deal, the one for the connoisseurs or the hardcore

Creating customers who feel like they own a bit of your brand doesn’t make them entitled or ungrateful but loyal and obsessed. They want the latest offering every time. They want to keep up, to show off, to be hooked up to the community and have their say on what they want you to do next. These customers will voluntarily sell your brand for you

Whether you create a community of loyalists like Apple, a community of hobbyists, like Gymshark, or a community of cheerleaders like Snag Tights, you’re ensuring the survival and vitality of your brand. 

Want to learn more about sustainable growth and how we can help build your brand into a genuine powerhouse? 

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Additional Resources

eCommerce Titans Podcast

eCommerce Titans by Dim Niko is the industry-leading podcast that brings together the cutting edge growth strategy, tips, and approaches of 8-9 figure eCommerce Entrepreneurs, Founders, CMOs and CEOs.

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