The internet offers a huge range of possibilities for many different types of companies. Some companies are simply utilizing the internet, while others have built their business model on the internet. The great thing about the internet is that you can now get your company and brand out to people quicker than ever. One way of doing this is through online communities. These can either be the entire business or the way to get your customers more engaged. Companies can be set up that are entirely based off online communities.
The first way to use the internet is to find an idea that connects like minded people. A great example of this a website called Figment where people, primarily between the ages of 13-18, can go to discuss fiction ideas for books or short stories. It is a great way for people to get their own stories out in front of others and is fantastic for ideation of new stories and ideas. It gives people a way to collaborate during the early phases of story creation in a way that has not been done before. This is an example of an entirely online business.
The other way to use the internet as a way to establish communities, is giving brand enthusiasts a chance to interact with one another. Harley Davidson is a very powerful brand with customers who are often what you might call brand ambassadors. Harley Davidson has become more than simply a brand, it is also a lifestyle. They set up a website called HOG where owners of Harleys can meet to discuss anything and everything. Harley Davidson can also push promotional materials or publicize future events on this platform. By realizing that they already had a dedicated following, and then giving Harley owners a chance to connect, they have created an even more excited community.
Seth great post and great identification of a part of business today that draws in so many customers. The sense of community alone attracts consumers. Community is also another way that you can market your product or service. The best kind of ambassadors for your brand is an everyday customer that fits a few stereotypes. Prospective customers look to their friends first for advice when buying and are most likely to listen to someone they know personally who will talk positively about your brand. The sense of community is a new idea in business today but has become a staple for most business models due to its popularity among consumers and the ability to draw other future customers in. Again, great post Seth!