With only 4% of consumers trusting paid influencers, organizations need to rethink how they approach brand communities and build on the leverage that brand ambassadors can bring.

At Toast, we’ve worked on a model that helps brands build communities through a process we call the 3C model. At its heart, the model has three distinct stages with which you can work with your audiences in building stronger relationships with your brand.

The three stages are:

  • Curiosity
  • Connection
  • Community

At the Curiosity stage, your goal is to work on reach and make sure you are touching every single possible relevant person that your brand can help. You want to make them curious, wanting more, getting them closer to your content.

At the Connection stage, you are touching them at the heart. You are triggering emotion and fostering a deeper bond by informing, educating or entertaining them, reaching out to their core interests. This is where you are building a relationship with a definite segment your audience that you will want to nurture and leverage into actual future revenue or transaction.

The third stage, Community, is where you are bringing part of your segmented audience into a deeper relationship. These are your ambassadors, the people that talk about you to others, that are willing to help you, that want your brand to succeed. You are offering them exclusive content, you are making them feel special and valued, building loyalty.

Building communities like that can take many shapes and forms. And content is a key building block in making brand communities strong. Members of your brand community (which can be an exclusive newsletter, a gated section of your website, a platform that facilitate virtual or in-person gatherings, etc.) want to read, listen and watch content about your brand, they want to share that content and tell others about you, and if they are part of the creator economy, even want to create content about you.

In an article, Brandingmag dives deeper into the notion of brand communities, and explains how Lego and Dove have built a strong presence with their communities and how it is helping both brands.

If you are considering building brand communities, reach out to us, we can explore what type would be most appropriate for your organization and its business objectives.