TCHI Magazine #4: Booming communities
Humans. If you follow the news it becomes easy to believe that we’re the type of creatures who will always find differences amongst ourselves, and then love to pick a fight over them. But then you discover something like The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (which makes the case for freedom of religion and equal treatment under the law), with thousands, if not millions, of active Pastafarians and you realise: humans actually like to look for common ground.
We’ll always find others to connect with. Whether it’s over something as essential as, say, the environment, or something that’s seemingly small and insignificant, such as love for a certain lipstick or toy. And when we do find that common ground, we build an engaging community around it.
The power of people coming together on a shared subject is incredible. Businesses have known this for some time and have put it to good use. Sephora has one of the world’s best brand communities designed around a common love for beauty products, resulting in a thriving business.
Lego also built an incredible brand community with Lego Ideas. Lego enthusiasts of all ages (literally!) are offered the opportunity to put their design ideas forward. Other enthusiasts vote on their favorite options and give feedback. The most popular designs are put into production and the designer is rewarded with a percentage of the product sales. It’s a brilliant move: Lego gets free design ideas and a ton of valuable consumer data. On top of that it keeps its community actively engaged and feeling relevant.
“The power of people coming together on a shared subject is incredible…”
Another example is the crowd sourcing campaign by a Canadian community in September 2019. They raised 3 million Canadian dollars for the British Columbia Parks Foundation to buy nearly 2,000 acres in Princess Louisa Inlet to save it from being bought by forestry companies and developers. Likewise, tiny NGO’s (Nongovernmental organizations) such as Because We Carry have a huge impact on the lives of stranded immigrants in Lesbos, because of the many individuals that support its cause.
It turns out that truly no man is an island. And for that matter, no brand or cause is either. For anything to flourish, a community, whether that’s on or offline, is its necessary fertile soil. Haven’t found yours yet? No worries. If The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster proves anything, it’s that no matter how niche, we will all fit in somewhere.