No Brand Community for You

No brand can defeat the algorithms by themselves.

Is your brand alone?

Sometimes, you need to organise.

You need to get people working together towards a common goal. This is, of course, why we have organisations like businesses, institutions, and interest groups.

But in today’s age of the algorithms, organisations aren’t really succeeding in punching through the noise.

Today, organising a group of people isn’t enough.
You must engage people outside your organisation, too.

“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”

— Henry Ford

You do it yourself, right?

Building and running an organisation is a daunting task.

You need to figure out how to finance your efforts and you need to find people to help you reach your goals. Of course, you must also find ways to incentivise these people and then make sure that they’re working well together, too.

Typically, you must be prepared to fight each step of the way.
And the way might be very long.

Entrepreneurs typically start businesses because they think they can do something better.

People typically engage with causes because they believe that change otherwise just might not happen at all.

It’s us against them.
Expecting outside help is naive, right?

No wonder that businesses, institutions, and interest groups are typically going at it alone; they’re hardwired to get things done within the structure of their own universe.

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

— Reid Hoffman

A solitary brand is weak

However, in the economy of algorithms, this lonely brand approach won’t work.

Because you need people to share your message.
Because you need people to link to your stuff.
Because you need people to endorse your brand.

Trying to get favoured by the social media algorithms will inevitable get too expansive in an economy where some get that love for free.

Trying to get favoured by the search engine algorithms will inevitable get too expansive in an economy where some get those top positions for free.

Trying to get favoured by the news media algorithms will inevitable get too expansive in an economy where some get that exposure for free.

This is all pretty simple, really.

The algorithms are basing their output on what people will choose to do when they’re not incentivised by anyone else to do it.

And too many brands have zero true fans.

“Great things in business are never done by one person.
They’re done by a team of people.”

— Steve Jobs

Don’t go brand alone, go together

As people who organise other people in different shapes or forms, we must humble ourselves.

In the age of algorithms, no brand can punch through the noise all by themselves.

We need to engage people not only inside our organisations, but outside them, too. To succeed, we also need a community of volunteers.

A highly engaged brand community. No brand alone.

As if building an organisation wasn’t already tough enough, right?

Well, I hear you. It’s the nature of increasing competitive pressures. it’s the nature of increasing complexity all across the media landscape while our mental bandwidth stays the same.

It’s the nature of progress.

We don’t have to like it or celebrate it. We just have to deal with it, just like we deal with everything else. Only this time, we shouldn’t deal with it alone.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

— Helen Keller

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer. Shot on my way home to Stockholm after a weekend in Mora, Dalarna.


Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.
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