Does your organisation have a loyal brand community?
Without a brand community, things can get pretty lonely online.
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 algorithms, organisations aren’t 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
A Brand Community is Overrated, You Say?
Building and running an organisation is a daunting task.
You need to figure out how to finance your efforts and find people to help you reach your goals. Of course, you must also find ways to incentivise these people and ensure they work well together.
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 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 and Vulnerable
However, this lonely brand approach won’t work in the economy of algorithms.
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 social media algorithms will inevitably get too expansive in an economy where some get that love for free.
Trying to get favoured by search engine algorithms will inevitably get too expensive in an economy where brands with existing brand communities get those top positions much easier.
Trying to get favoured by the news media algorithms will inevitably get too expansive in an economy where some get that exposure for free.
This is all pretty simple. Yet rough.
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
Shared Engagement is Double Engagement
As people who organise others in different shapes or forms, we must humble ourselves.
In the age of algorithms, no brand can punch through the noise all by itself.
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 challenging enough.
Well, I hear you. It’s the nature of increasing competitive pressures. It’s the nature of increasing complexity 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 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
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