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An authentic brand community is more than just people buying your product or working alongside one another. This book articulates the critical roles of mutual concern, common values, and shared experiences in creating fiercely loyal customer and collaborator relationships.
Smart organizations know that creating communities is the key to unlocking unprecedented outcomes. But too many mistakenly rely on superficial transactional relationships as a foundation for community, when really people want something deeper. Carrie Melissa Jones and Charles Vogl argue that in an authentic and enriching community, members have mutual concern for one another, share personal values, and join together in meaningful shared experiences, whether online or off. On the deepest level, brands must help members grow into who they want to be.
Jones and Vogl present practices used by global brands like Yelp, Etsy, Twitch, Harley Davidson, Salesforce, Airbnb, Sephora, and others to connect in a meaningful way with the people critical for their success. They articulate how authentic communities can serve organizational goals in seven different areas: innovation, talent recruitment, customer retention, marketing, customer service, building transformational movements, and creating community forums. They also reveal principles to grow a new brand community to critical mass. This is the first comprehensive guide to a crucial differentiator that gives organizations access to untapped enthusiasm and engagement.
About the Author
Carrie Melissa Jones is the founder of Gather Community Consulting and the former COO and Founding Partner of CMX. Her work has helped build communities with Google, Patreon, the American Medical Association, Coursera, and DoSomething.org. In 2016, Salesforce named her one of three experts to follow in community management.
Charles Vogl is an executive advisor and a regular guest lecturer at Yale School of Management and Yale Leadership Institute. His work is used to support operations within firms including Google, Airbnb, Twitch and Meetup. He is the author of the award-winning The Art of Community.
“Brands looking to create or tap into their true communities need to know that it’s a journey. If you don’t know your way, you’ll need a wise guide, and you will find none better than Vogl and Jones.”
—Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, Director of Creator Development, Twitch
“In an increasingly lonely world, Building Brand Communities provides a well-lit path to authentic community. The book brims with easily relatable anecdotes from organizations on the front lines of innovation. In the media world, you are only as good as the user communities you build. It’s not easy. But if you follow the lessons imparted by Charles and Carrie in this noteworthy book, you can be very good indeed.”
—Eric Schurenberg, CEO, Fast Company and Inc.
“For too long, we’ve used the term ‘brand community’ as a lazy shorthand for ‘customers.’ Jones and Vogl provide fresh insight into the powerful ways that brands can authentically connect us.”
—Ben Casnocha, coauthor (with Reid Hoffman) of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Start-up of You
“Building Brand Communities is powerfully insightful and by far the most practical guide on building authentic community that we’ve found. We’re excited to invest the shared wisdom into practices that drive employee health and well-being worldwide!”
—Newton Cheng, Global Health and Performance Lead, Google
“In today’s business world, building community is a vital skill. With this book, Carrie and Charles provide all the tools to build your uniquely powerful community or movement.”
—Amy Nelson, founder and CEO, The Riveter