Chris Fletcher

Community creates advocates, advocates create change

1,000 hospitality professionals and suppliers signed up to join an event this week. This in itself is nothing new, but this event was different; it was about challenging the status quo and doing things differently.

It was about the people who attended, nothing else.

But why is community so crucial to driving change and growing your own product or business?

Building a community around your product can be a game-changer for businesses, significantly altering their trajectory and unlocking numerous benefits. Whether you're a small startup or an established enterprise, fostering a strong community can drive brand loyalty, enhance customer engagement, fuel innovation, and ultimately contribute to sustainable growth.

At its core, building a community means creating a network of individuals who share a common interest or passion related to your product or brand. This community can consist of customers, enthusiasts, advocates, employees, and even partners, all connected by their affinity for what you offer. By nurturing this community, you're not just selling a product or service—you're cultivating relationships and building a loyal following.

One of the most evident advantages of a thriving community is increased brand loyalty. When customers feel a sense of belonging and connection to a brand's community, they are more likely to remain loyal and stick around for the long term. They become not just consumers but brand ambassadors, actively promoting your products or services to others within their network. This word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly powerful, as people tend to trust recommendations from their peers more than traditional advertising.

Moreover, a vibrant community can serve as a valuable source of feedback and insights. By engaging with your community, whether through online forums, social media groups, or in-person events, you gain direct access to valuable feedback about your products, services, and overall brand experience. This real-time feedback loop allows you to identify areas for improvement, uncover new opportunities, and tailor your offerings to better meet the needs and preferences of your audience.

Sarah from Trapeze, an important part of our community

Community-driven innovation is another significant benefit that can transform your business trajectory. When you involve your community in the product development process, you tap into a diverse pool of perspectives, ideas, and expertise. Your community members can offer valuable input, suggest new features or enhancements, and even co-create solutions with your team. This collaborative approach not only leads to better products but also fosters a sense of ownership and investment among community members.

Beyond driving brand loyalty and innovation, building a community can also create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among your customers. By facilitating connections and interactions between like-minded individuals, you're fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel valued and understood. This sense of community can be particularly powerful in niche markets or industries where enthusiasts crave connection and shared experiences.

Chris chatting to Conor Sheridan during Service

Furthermore, a strong community can act as a buffer during challenging times. Whether facing a crisis, negative publicity, or competitive threats, having a loyal community rallying behind your brand can help mitigate damage and preserve trust. Community members are more likely to stand by you, defend your reputation, and offer support when needed, providing a valuable safety net in turbulent times.

We will keep driving change and trying new ideas, as we want to serve the industry and ensure they are experiencing the true essence of hospitality, community.

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