Our world is experiencing an identity crises. The disingenuous nature of marketing and social media have left this generation sensitive to inauthenticity. There’s been a movement of forward thinking brands that have engaged their customers as the cultural voice of their company. They use social media like a rock star to cultivate and grow their community of brand followers. They’ve thought that what consumers want is to engage with their favorite brands as though those brands are people. The good thing about this is that these companies are thinking about how to be more human (or to appear more human). What they’ve missed is that people just want to connect with other people. The Internet-of-isolation has left an emotional hole that brands are trying to tap into. What they should focus on is the humanity that is the cultural DNA of the company. Forward thinking brands have started peeking out from behind their logo. That’s good because I think company branding is incidental to the vision being carried out by the team. I say, let’s stop using the logo as a shield and instead reveal the humanity behind the machine, in all its raw glory. Team members impart the secret sauce of their personality, training and experience toward the vision of the company. Consumers want to feel a connection with other people, passionate team members, as they work towards a great vision.
Brand community has to do with team members and customers getting behind a vision and desiring to move it forward together.