In Bryan Smeltzer's new Podcast, he discusses why defining your Culture and building your Community authentically leads to a Loyal customer base.
When you think of a brand Culture and Community, they do not seem tangible from the inside looking out. However, a brand must look at these anchors from both the inside and outside perspective.
This perspective is where many brands fall short of creating a loyal base of consumers who then become part of your brand lifestyle- your Community. A brand's Culture is earned over time and can not be purchased; it must always be authentic and why it takes so long to build. Once created, you must always nurture it to grow it. Plants do not grow without sunlight, water, and some TLC. A great analogy to building and growing your Community.
A brand culture should be tangible, living it out every day inside the four walls, and communicated outside to those who want to join your Lifestyle positioning. It is crucial to both explain and understand "who" you are, "what" you do, "why" you exist, and "how" you engage. Culture is one of the most important ingredients you can add to your brand formula. If your Community does not perceive your product as premium or authentic, they will not be loyal, nor will they pay a premium for the disconnect.
These two anchors are essential to your brand's health and will keep you running ideally for generations. Keep it authentic and consistent.
There are several keys to unlocking these two anchors;
Be Authentic; to build a community and have them stay loyal, repeat customers, you must remain authentic to who you are and what you do. If you have a disconnect from the branding, messaging, or product, you will inevitably lose followers, and your brand equity will be gone.
Be Consistent; do not say one thing, and do another. Enough said…
Be Proactive; ensure everyone inside and outside the brand understands your positioning and the Culture will take of itself. You can not BE a brand if you ARE not a brand. It is earned, even when you are paying for it! Continually engrained into the minds of those who have a passion for what you do and embraced by those who follow your company, both visually and verbally.
Be Committed; stay committed to your Foundational Principles, do not change, just adapt and evolve.
Be Visionary; all great Leaders have a passion for creating and executing against Visionary goals. This passion drives them to be Visionary Leaders, someone who others follow.
Being great is a choice. A long-term vision and commitment drive a consistent will to stay TRUE to your principles and positioning.
Genuine, authentic Visionaries are rare, but they a path for us to follow. For those daring enough to take on this Journey, they have led the way!