Marketers struggle to build meaningful, direct relationships with their consumers, yet it is more important than ever to build a coalition of dedicated consumers to sustain long-term loyalty and brand growth. CRMs quickly become database deserts, traditional loyalty programs are a dime a dozen and Facebook fan pages have become nothing more than advertising line items. Marketers are yearning to “take back” their consumer relationships and to build owned channels of engagement. Enter: brand communities.

Brand-owned online communities offer marketers an always-on channel to connect with consumers through personalized experiences and engaging interactions. “Community” presents the next evolution of relationship marketing. It offers the two-way experience exchange a CRM list lacks, the data ownership a social media company won’t offer, and the emotional connection that doesn’t exist in traditional points-based loyalty programs.

Does a brand community move the needle in consumer perception and action? Resoundingly, the answer is yes.

Our Vesta solution helps dozens of brands cultivate and engage with owned consumer communities. We surveyed more than 5,000 consumers across multiple brand communities to better understand the impact a brand community has on consumer loyalty, brand perception and purchase behaviors.

In our study we found:

  • Community drives new consumer acquisition. 82% of community members “strongly agree” they are more likely to recommend the brand to others since joining the community
  • Community heightens loyalty. 75% of community members “strongly agree” they feel more loyal to the brand since joining the community
  • Community enhances brand equity. 78% reported higher overall brand satisfaction and higher overall trust in the brand  
  • Community drives trial and purchase. 82% said they are more likely to purchase the brand since joining the community, with 59% saying they have already purchased more than one product within the brand portfolio since joining

Brand communities create a clear path for marketers to drive trial and awareness, repeat purchase and cut marketing costs, while also strengthening higher-order brand benefits like equity and trust. There is no doubt brand communities have quickly become an indispensable amplifier of the marketing stack. Read more in our eBook here.