No Brand Community for You

No brand can defeat the algorithms by themselves.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer


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 naïve, 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

Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing art­icles with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tions and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. You might also con­sider my PR ser­vices or speak­ing engage­ments.

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

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has



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