[Webinar] Ruggable’s community-focused strategy & the future of marketing

Thu Sep 17 2020
Terilyn Walker

Last week, our Senior Marketing Strategist Madison Smith had a candid conversation with Ruggable’s Associate Director of Influencer and Partnerships, Dmitri Cherner. The two experts talked about our latest ebook Brand community and the future of marketing in order to:

  • Define what brand community means and the value it brings to an organization
  • Break down the structure of a brand community and the new customer journey
  • Reveal how industry experts engage their brand communities to unlock value 

If you missed it, watch the webinar below and continue reading for key takeaways.

Takeaway 1: Genuine relationships are the key to an engaged community.

At AspireIQ, we define brand community as “a group of people — like-minded customers, creatives, professionals, experts, employees, and supporters — who share a passion tied to a brand.” This connection is two-way. The community is invested in the brand beyond what it simply sells, snd  brands that take the opportunity to truly listen to their communities can improve their products and services based on the feedback from the people who matter most.

Dmitri states that For Ruggable, “Our ultimate goal is creating a sense of belonging for our fans and getting them excited to contribute, so it’s essential we take care of them as best we can.” This means truly celebrating your fans by having 1:1 conversations, thanking them, resharing their content, and more. For example, some brands such as Instant Pot create Facebook groups where dedicated fans of the brand can come together to discuss common interests. In return, these fans will feel a sense of belonging and a deeper connection to the brand, leading us to takeaway number two. 

Takeaway 2: Community has the power to boost brand awareness, loyalty, and sales. 

At Ruggable, community contributes to a plethora of organizational goals. Most namely, customer feedback. Dmitri relies on the feedback of customers for product innovation. The customer is happy because they feel heard by the brand when their feedback is incorporated into future products, and the brand has direct access to invaluable feedback that helps them continuously improve their offerings.

But the value of community doesn’t end there. Brand community can:

  • Boost brand awareness by creating brand advocates.
  • Inject authenticity into your content and help you resonate with your audience. 
  • Increase affinity and engagement by encouraging more advocates to share their love for your brand.
  • Create evergreen relationships with consumers to encourage retention.
  • And all of this will ultimately contribute to an increase in sales.

Takeaway 3: Community members aren’t just limited to influencers and customers.

Many might think that customers and influencers are the easiest people to target when it comes to building out a brand community. However, there is a wide variety of people who can contribute to brand building in unique ways. From your own employees, creators, and industry experts, the possibilities are endless.

Dmitri explains that Ruggable relies on industry experts, interior designers and real estate agents, to “speak directly to future customers through their own personal experiences, which are super powerful and encouraged.” Ruggable also leverages employees in their campaigns in addition to influencers, customers, and professional photographers. The most important thing to note here is that follower count is not a factor. Dmitri and Madison both agree that a person’s passion for the brand outweighs vanity metrics. 

Dmitri goes on to say, “Our most valued community members actually aren’t defined by their day jobs or how many followers they have; they’re defined by their passion for the brand and product. We’ve chosen to invest in the people that really believe the product makes a difference in theirs and their family’s lives. Without them, we wouldn’t be anywhere we are today.”

Takeaway 4: In order to engage with your community, meet them where they are

The act of making a purchase is inherently transactional. Someone spends money, while a brand provides a service or product in return. However, when the goal is to create loyal fans, you have to treat your audience as partners rather than customers. And to continue to engage with them as partners, you have to encourage them to do things like:

  • Following your brand on social
  • Leave product reviews and provide feedback
  • Create and share their own content featuring your product in their everyday lives
  • Attend branded events
  • Or join your loyalty program

The most important part is understanding where your community is, and meeting them there. 

For Ruggable, this means creating campaigns tailored to the interests of their community, for example the brand ran a campaign featuring Ruggable users and their WFH “co-workers”, aka their pets. Another featured Ruggable employees filming themselves sharing new routines they’ve embarked on to keep things fresh at home and another focused on Ruggale’s mask project which donated non-medical masks for essential workers to show support. 

Since working with AspireIQ to prioritize community, Ruggable has generated

  • 3,590 posts
  • 13K Pieces of content
  • 25.3M impressions
  • 228K New IG followers

Dmitri states that “They’re honestly not paying me to say this, I just really think AspireIQ is the best platform for project management and I’ve demo’ed a lot of platforms out there.”

To read the full repost, download Brand Community and the future of marketing. Then, keep the conversation going with Madison and Dmitri by joining our Slack group, The Coffee shop