One of my favorite regular blog subjects is how to use community-based strategies to build brands. In fact, I’m putting the finishing touches on a new book entitled The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World which will be out this August and covers exactly that topic.
How does a community-based brand strategy work? Simple.
Rather than staying behind the curtain and developing a brand strategy inside your organization for your brand community, you step out from behind the curtain and develop the strategy with your brand community.
Many traditional executives will have a hard time with this approach. First, it means the organization will need to publicly admit it does not have all the answers already. Some folks (especially executives, in my experience) just have a hard time admitting they don’t know everything.
Second, it means ceding some control over the direction of your brand to people in the communities that care about it. The truth is that you probably already have lost absolute control of your brand because of the impact of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other user-controlled media. Some folks just aren’t ready to accept that fact yet.
If you are considering opening up your brand strategy to help from people outside the organization, how do you sell the approach to hesitant executives? Why is this new model not just good philosophy, but also good business?
Here are the five key benefits of a community-based brand strategy: