THE CLARUS Blog

New Data: How Much Does Community Matter When Building Brand Loyalty?

A sense of community is a powerful feeling for people sharing any common bond. And the same is true for brand communities.  

If your brand instills a sense of community and exclusivity for your customers, chances are they will wind up being your best customers and strongest advocates.  

According to our recently released 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study: What Are the True Drivers of Loyalty in the Minds of Consumers?, 22% of respondents say a strong sense of community triggers long-term loyalty. 

Why is community so important for brands and how can your brand create it for your best customers? 

 

Why a Brand Community is So Powerful

A brand community is perhaps the ultimate form of customer loyalty because it goes beyond the transaction.  

it’s a deeply committed group of consumers that is emotionally invested, something that goes beyond transactional loyalty. 

Its members are emotionally connected to your brand and want to talk to others who share the same feelings. Being part of a brand community can be a way of life for many consumers. 

Members know everything about your brand through products and content and tell their families and friends about you. A brand community creates strong emotional connections and your customers feel like they’re part of an exclusive club. When you create a sense of community and exclusivity for your best customers, they will be loyal to your brand for the long run. 

 

Ways to Build Your Brand Community 

Besides loyalty programs becoming more important for brands to engage their best customers, members also want to feel like they’re part of a special brand community. 

Building a brand community is a wonderful way to create lasting customer loyalty. You can define goals for your brand community and offer customers multiple ways to engage. 

Our study shows that bringing consumers together creates loyalty. Some of the ways consumers like to engage with brands to get that sense of community include:  

  • Thirty-four percent of shoppers said they would like to join online groups. 
  • Thirty-two percent want to attend in-person events. 
  • And 18% want to receive regular brand-related content. 

Give your customers a reason to engage like a simple discussion topic. Consumers want to experience your brand every way they can and, if you offer them places to engage beyond making purchases, they will gladly participate. 

 

Brands That Instill a Strong Sense of Community

Lululemon has created a unique brand community since it launched its premium loyalty program toward the end of 2018. 

With their $128 annual membership, members receive a pair of pants or shorts with a special logo on them. This alone builds a sense of community and exclusivity. 

Besides the free pair of yoga pants, members receive free workout classes, access to curated events, and select product releases, along with passes for members’ families and friends. 

For lululemon loyalty program members, they are truly (and literally!) living the brand. Experiential benefits, like the ones lululemon offers, elevate member experiences across the board because the program provides the best elements of the brand. 

That sense of community is instilled in lululemon’s loyalty program members once they join. This goes a long way toward building lifelong brand advocates. 

Sephora has a strong brand community and its Beauty Insider loyalty program focuses on experiential benefits. Beauty Insider has created a devoted group of members that engage with the brand regularly and with each other. 

Harley-Davidson is another brand that truly has a community around the world. Harley-Davidson owners like nothing more than to talk to other people who own Harleys and ride with them, creating lifelong experiences.  

 

A Brand Community Can Take Consumers to the Greatest Places

Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something special and, if your brand conveys that to consumers, they will rally around you and create a lasting, fulfilling community. 

When you have a thriving brand community, give your customers reasons to engage and they will. This creates an ongoing sense of community for your customers because your brand is on their minds every day. 

This is the ultimate achievement for any brand. 

To download the 2022 Data Study, click here.

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