Scroll, tweet, click, tap, swipe. Social media is an endless buffet of information. Brands are trying harder and harder to cut through the clutter and get our attention. Ads are following us, popping up, bouncing in and interrupting our favorite YouTube video mid-punchline. With information overload and an increase in online communities, we are connected more than ever to anyone and everyone we want to reach, but we aren’t.
Social media has created a void.
We are yearning for more profound, authentic connections in our everyday lives — a true sense of community.
What online platforms have given us is the concept that our community is vast. No longer do we feel fulfilled by the informal connections with the individuals in our neighborhood. The mom at soccer practice doesn’t seem as engaging as the thought leader sharing principles of entrepreneurship online. We find ourselves bored by these daily interactions of frivolous small talk.
We want better content. We want to be awakened, enlightened, inspired or motivated. We seek communities of like-minded individuals that share our passion for foreign lands, exotic foods, entrepreneurship …. fill in the blank.
For the sh!t show that was 2020, it was also a chance to slow down, unplug and spend quality time with family and ourselves. Being at the brink of what felt like the world coming to an end, watching millions of people succumb to, or perish from, the invisible monster while grappling with the thought that we might die too, had an everlasting impact. Perhaps we paused and thought about what we really wanted out of life for the first time ever. We realized our time is limited and it is precious. We asked ourselves, “why am I watching this mind-numbing reality show of someone else stumbling through chaos when I could be learning a new language, how to play guitar, or share a laugh over zoom with my ailing father?”
Or maybe it was an innocuous question, “Why am I wasting money on the cheap vodka? “
We instead found joy in simple pleasures like the agave almond mint margarita mixer — some fancy items we found in our community of like-minded cocktail lovers. On February 29, 2020, Vine Pair said:
This cocktail trend was seriously a thing in 2020 – pre-mixed, canned, or bottled cocktails, exploded after the U.S. began to feel the pandemic’s effect, seeing 90.4 percent year-over-year growth in Nielsen-measured off-premise channels for the pandemic-impacted period ending June 27. Before Covid hit, year-over-year growth was just 21.5 percent for the 52-week period ending.
The crux of the matter – when we were deprived of the noise that was our everyday lives, we invested in ourselves and our surroundings. We realized that we yearn for authentic connections with like-minded individuals.
We seek community – a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
In some ways, the 2020 forced pause was akin to the moment in the movie Wall-e when the overweight passenger gets knocked off her mobile recliner. Without the blinding screen in front of her, she discovers the vibrant world around her. It doesn’t mean she forgot about all that great content and the connections that could be found online, but she is awakened. She realizes there is a world outside of the screen and she seeks to explore it, to make authentic connections.
The endless scroll is no longer fulfilling. We need community now more than ever.
Brands looking to cut through that clutter and reach their consumers need to focus on creating a community brand. Creating ways for your brand loyalists to authentically interact with other like-minded individuals who love your product, service, or tech software is the way to grow your brand.
How are you creating a community for your business? How are you creating a group of loyalists seeking to buy your fancy flavor of vodka? The solution is in community branding. Through intentional messaging and building authentic relationships with loyalists of your brand, then you bring more loyalists and cut through the clutter; you create a community brand. Contact us today to discover how we can help your community tell its story.