The creation of brand community is one of the primary tools in the establishment of brand loyalty.
Date: 10/27/2020 7:41:33 AM ( 6 mon ) ... viewed 37 times
The creation of brand community is one of the primary tools in the establishment of brand loyalty. Brand awareness and segmenting would have been impossible without the existance of the brand community that embodies the mission and the major ideas of the brand. The researches show that the ability of the brand community to not only serve the additional promotional platform but to be a potential initial step for the beginning of the creative activity is of great importance.
The Penguin Random House group is one of the biggest general-interest book publishers founded in 1927. Its primary goal is providing the best versatile reading samples of the classic and contemporary literature. Its brand community Figment.com conveyed the Random House will to share the inspiration or gain it for the creation of the personal fiction.
Figment currently numbers more than 300,000 members. It was founded in 2010 by Dana Goodyear and Jacob Lewis. The members are primarily represented by the teenagers (13-20); however, the site policy appeals to every age group. Figment does not have an age barrier entry and promotes the two key purposes: a) popularizing the love for reading; b) sharing and writing personal fictions. In addition, the community emphasizes its practical nature and provides the efficient niche for the potential writers.
The brand community culture is well-built and friendly. It uses the wide-scale system of open-ended surveys that fully complies with Baldus, Voorhees, and Calantone research on the brand community engagement, which welcomes participation of its every member (980). Those attributed to the community are called “Figgies”. The interests of the community are as versatile as the production of the Random House overall. The culture implies sharing the writing passion, ability to constructively criticise and creativity. The interests of the community do not appeal to the literature only despite their initial goal of writing and sharing. The community forums involve numerous topics between the members (“General” block), discussions of mass-media (“From Gaga to Godfather”), improvement and feedback section (“Suggestion box”) and others.
The literature block consists of the different discussion boards aimed at the assistance and cooperation. Apart from the cooperative section with the useful recommendations and practical sources, the role-play and critique-requesting blocks can be found.
The Random House is well-integrated within the Figment network. However, its promotion is not aggressive and does not aim at the client engagement within the brand advertising. Recommended reading block has the tool for searching the books in the client’s category of interest. Moreover, it contains the feedback boards from the community members on the particular authors that were published in the Random House. Accordingly, such sort of promotion results not only in the author’s fan base growth, but the eventual brand loyalty owing to the friendly community and useful tools. The brand validation is provided on the non-apparent scale when the senior community members recommend the brand products to the newcomers without the direct purpose.
Figment does not promote the auxiliary brands within the community. No additional brands are provided through the Random House, though the indirect advertising deserves attention. Kindle, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram links are placed on the community Internet pages to emphasize the keen cooperation and the complimentary nature of the Figment. While the Kindle advertising is definitely an extension of the Random House promotion, the latter four merely provide the potential for the community growth and invitation of the new members, e.g. the community might provide a contest winner with a prize from Kindle Books. A free book published by the Random House serves a double purpose as it promotes the brand and the auxiliary device brand. Similarly, the opinion-sharing sector of the community forums excessively uses Instagram for sharing themed photos or spreading the invitations online. These details might be stated as the double promotion for more than the initial brand.
Currently, Figment is included in various tops of the best brand communities in the world along with SAP (SCN), HOG (Harley Davidson), Playstation Community (Sony), Lugnet (Lego), etc. (Hong). The community is highly praised for the diversity, creativity, friendliness and overall exciting atmosphere of participation. The participation of every member is emphasized and provided in the community policy (“Figment Terms”). The research on the Figment sites provides the efficiency and the accuracy of the mark.
To conclude, Figment is created is accordance with the key principles of the efficient brand community: a) diversity; b) creativity; c) non-aggressive brand promotion; d) high brand loyalty rate. The additional advantage of the community can be attributed not to the increasing interest in writing of the young people, but to the participative friendly atmosphere of the discussion boards and recommendation lists. The sectors of the community are well-arranged and provide numerous topics outside the key idea of writing and sharing that makes Figment a social network more than a brand site. Figment succeeded not only in the establishment of the highly-loyal Random House brand community, but also in developing a platform for the starting writers in their aspiration to study and improve. Accordingly, Figment community reached higher goals than it intended to.
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