A community of like-minds is a powerful thing.
Because a sense of community creates engagement. Engaged communities create action. And that action spreads, through the very communities that create it.
A core group bound together by a sense of belonging, of being part of something, is an essential component of everything that has ever spread.
From the inside out, ideas have spread for centuries from advocates who cared enough to get involved, then spread what it means to belong, attracting others.
The communities we belong to define who we are as individuals.
What it means to come from San Diego or to move to New York. To drink a can of Coke, to attend Church, to attend a Trump rally. What it means to shop at the local Farmer’s Market, to attend a certain University, to wear a certain Brand of Sneaker.
The spread of ideas and their associated perceptions of value through communities is a fundamental process behind the formation and growth of society.
The channels through which communities are engaged are however ever-changing.
From the organic word-of-mouth of early civilization, to the mass consumerism of the Television era, to the open media age we are now embarking upon, the communities available for us to become a part of continue to manifest themselves in new and peculiar ways.
The social-mobile revolution is forever re-shaping the way in which content is created and distributed.
We must however think beyond social and mobile.
Social and mobile are simply the catalysts.
Catalysts that are in fact, perhaps counter-intuitively, taking us back to where it all began.
Away from a world of captive audiences held hostage by mass media giants and the manufactured brands that feed them. Back to a world defined by open communities where the contribution, validation, shaping and spreading of a community’s core is an organic process.
Marketing is the art of creating moments that spread.
The power of word-of-mouth has for centuries enabled moments to spread organically beyond one’s immediate sphere of influence.
The difference in today’s hyper-connected world is that the potential reach of these moments is infinite; and they can be created by anyone at any time. Real-time, authentic, visual content is produced within communities at phenomenal scale, all of the time. And each community now has the ability to spread this content within and beyond their direct sphere of influence with ease.
As individuals faced with content overload, we’re increasingly searching for meaningful experiences shared by people we can relate to. People from the communities we belong to, or communities we’d like to belong to.
Just like a bonfire on a beach promises warmth, good company and good times; in a world where the individual once again has the power to decide which communities they join, authenticity, traceability and consistenly delivering upon one’s promise of value has never been so important.
Today’s leaders must build a core that radiates.
A core built upon what your community represents, what it means to belong, the action that creates and the value that represents.
Show me, don’t tell me.
Show me who you are, how you operate. Show me what’s inside, what you love.
Show me how people like me derive value from what your community represents.
Show me where that value comes from, the people and the process behind it – right back to the origin.
Show me what it means to belong.
Because the future of marketing (and indeed the future of business) is about people – and the things that people care about.
A self-generating core should sit at the heart of your brand’s marketing. This can no longer be bought, it must be built.
Not getting the action you hoped for?
Build a better bonfire.