by Shawn M. Miller
What if you could ignite a reboot and repair in your culture? Today, consumer culture is overwhelmed and divided by a distrust in companies. This results in companies believing they need to coerce and convince customers, making marketing expensive and ineffective. Let’s discuss the restoration and growth of brands through the branded community.
The cycle continues within each business.
• Employees don’t trust employers.
• Employers believe they have to control and cajole employees. And so, talent is hard to find and good employees are hard to retain.
• Supply chains are hammered with heavy handed tactics and laden with controls to combat lack of trust.
• Stakeholders struggle to get paid and manage combative companies.
Result = rising costs, stress, and negative company cultures
The overall result is a pervasive business climate of Us vs. Them. “Combat” with customers, employees, vendors, and stakeholders. This is unhealthy, unpleasant and unsustainable for the business and everyone dependent on the business. We all feel this, we all see it, and we’re all upset about it. But what can we do? While ethics and corporate governance are valuable there is another way to change this combative mindset through a tactical shift away from Us vs. Them, to a We Culture of community organized around a shared passion for your market.
For quickest impact, I’ll begin with marketing and your relationship to your greatest asset, your customers. By community, I don’t mean everyone following you on social media. My definition of a community is when the participants are empowered with ownership and engaged in real action for mutual benefit. There can be no command and control from a central source at your company. The community is also not strictly limited to the specific scope of your company but is passionate about the context in which you operate. Attempts to control will cause failure or limited success.
Don’t think On/Off Switch, think Volume Knob
Your job is to turn up to 11 the natural passion of your customers, employees, and stakeholders. You will need to champion this culture shift internally. This is not light-weight work, but it’s possible, and you can do it! In order to build this community you’ll need a brand advocacy strategy. Here are some benefits of building a strong advocate community.
The New Face of Your Brand
Your brand community will be organized around shared passion and you’ll ensure a positive culture for restoration through content co-creation vs. combat. What will your community co-create? Whatever they want!
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you lose control; you never had control. That was an illusion. Your marketing department has been trying to understand and communicate ‘what they want’ all along. The difference is now you’ll simply allow customers to reveal it!
This is where the business magic happens and where you’ll get the resources you’ll need.
This will create the finest pull marketing program you could dream of, as your engaged community will invite participation in a more influential way than you ever could. The result will be customers, employees, and stakeholders driving an authentic brand advocacy movement which fuels sustainable growth at almost no cost: A self-feeding and highly efficient community driven by a wave of authentic engagement and attraction. This influence grows exponentially and will quickly out pace even the finest 1-to-many campaigns.
The result to your business will be an ignition of passion, a release of pent up energy, about the market in which you serve and the purpose for which you exist. This cultural shift will trigger a reboot and repair to the combative mentality with consumers, employee relations and talent attraction, and supply chain struggles.
This is an opportunity for your company to be a cornerstone of change in the greater community in which you live, work, and play. Take it!
If you’d like to learn more about building an advocate community and transforming your business pick up my book “The New Face of Your Brand” available on Amazon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn M. Miller is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Advisor with over 20 years of international business experience specializing in marketing, customer service and training. As Chief Experience Officer at Smync; Shawn is leading development of User Experience on both the brand and the customer side of Smync hosted Social Brand Advocate Communities. Connect with Shawn on LinkedIn, on Twitter @ShawnMMiller, or on Snapchat (theshawnmmiller).