THE ONLY COMPLETE SOLUTION FOR A SUCCESSFUL BRAND OWNED COMMUNITY
Brand owned communities are complex beasts typically made up of thousands of individuals all with their own motivations, views and perspectives on life. But with that number of individuals, there’s also vast potential too, with thousands of customer discussing your product and effectively working for your company. However, creating, managing and growing a brand owned community isn’t easy. From our experience, we’ve identified a set of five key elements, namely methodology, consultancy, business integration, community management and the appropriate platform, that must be right for a community to generate long-term value and deliver the desired benefits for a company.
We’ve combined these elements to create our solution. However, we must stress, it’s not a one size fits all approach, so we spend most of the sales process listening to our clients and hearing about their specific business so we can tailor our delivered solution to their needs, but we do believe that these elements have to be in place to some degree to create success.
Below we explain more about these five key elements:
- METHODOLOGY – a set of core principles that produces a positive, healthy community with engaged members
- CONSULTANCY – discussion and advice to ensure that the community works and matches the business aims
- BUSINESS INTEGRATION – internal and external integration so that the community can provide maximum value and grow
- COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT – experienced staff, training and techniques to meet the needs of individual members and to help build relationships
- PLATFORM – a comprehensive platform with a full set of features designed for effective community management
1. AWARD WINNING METHODOLOGY
Our methodology, developed by Vincent Boon, influences every element of our solution, from the design of our platform, to the questions we ask during consultation, to the processes we help you create for integration, even right down to how our community managers engage with members on a day-to-day basis. At first glance, the principles might sound deceptively simple , but they’re not, in reality it takes bravery and trust to follow them – and years to learn how to apply them effectively.
Look to encourage and reinforce positive behaviour. Give praise both privately and publically. Frequently express joy and happiness. Use relentless positivity to create a contagiously positive environment. Create a thoughtful community with a positive upward spiral.
Give members the space, information and resources to help themselves and each other. Create happiness by making the path to their goal interesting and rewarding. Give back – don’t exploit, aim for the level of mutual respect that you would expect in a personal friendship.
Create a culture of transparency and openness between the brand and the community. Always explain decisions and reasons in detail. Always seek to inform and say why. Treat members as intelligent adults to generate mutual respect, appreciation and forgiveness.
Seek to enrich members’ lives through their participation in the community. Encourage belonging, appreciation, respect and care. Focus on the internal rewards, but strengthen these through recognition and tokens of genuine appreciation from the brand.
Educate don’t moderate. Teach members the behaviour we wish to see and how to be a valued and respected member of the community. Forgive easily and encourage, be constructive rather than punish. Actively shape individual behaviour in favour of the common good.
Communicate often and openly. Treat members as individuals with honesty and respect. Talk don’t shout, be confident don’t bully, be conversational not formal, be active not passive. Make communicating enjoyable, fun and pleasurable in order to build lasting relationships.
2. STRUCTURED COMMUNITY CONSULTANCY
Our consultancy process is focused on reaching a shared understanding of your community and how it will benefit your customers and your business, as well as ensuring that your community supports the aims of your business and fits into your field. This high level approach ensures that we’re all on the same page during the later stages of the process and will help us to decide if a community approach is a suitable solution for your business. If we honestly don’t think that we can make a community approach work for you, we’ll tell you at an early stage in the consultancy process.
What is the aim of your business and will a brand owned community fit with this? What is the shared vision of the community?
Who will run the community and how will they manage members? Who are the intended community members and how do we bring them into the community? How do we keep the community and brand engaged?
How will your community work with your industry and technology? How will the content of the community contribute to your field?
Is there a clear role for the community in your customer service? Do we understand what can and can’t be solved by the community? How will the community interact with other service channels?
MARKETING / ACQUISITION
What is the community’s role in the marketing strategy? How will the community work with other market channels?
How should the platform be configured at a basic level? How do we see members experiencing the platform? What modules are needed to deliver the community?
How will the community contribute to product and service development? What role should the community play in the delivery function?
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE/ USER JOURNEYS
How does the community fit with your overall customer experience? How will customers interact and benefit from the community?
3. BUSINESS INTERGRATION
This is the complex getting-your-hands-dirty bit, the point where we work closely with your relevant teams to ensure that the community actually delivers value and is really integrated into your business. Without the processes, in this element of the solution, the potential of the community will never be reached and the community will remain isolated from the business functions that would benefit from the involvement of customers. For the core customer service, marketing/acquisition and product tracts, each process is carefully developed with stakeholders to ensure that your current procedures are taken into consideration and that all new processes match your needs.
What processes can we use to ensure that any customer service issues are dealt with and that the best answers are flagged? How can we maximise the value of the community for other customer service channels?
INTERNAL / EXTERNAL EDUCATION
How do we educate internal and external stakeholders so they can benefit from the community? Do we need to do any additional work with key members of management? What training resources are needed?
MARKETING / ACQUISITION
How can we integrate the community into the marketing process so that the community grows and that the members act as a marketing resource? And if appropriate, how/when should we add the member get member structure and PR role?
How can we create a process to react to product suggestions and ideas for improvement from the community? Who needs to be involved in this? How can the company use the community to test and refine its products/services?
Where does the community/community content need to be signposted? How should we do this? What standards do we need to create for talking about the community?
4. COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
Our community management team uses a very different approach to others in the field. The Standing on Giants methodology focuses on education and positivity so we constantly work towards engaged members to grow their role within the community. Through private messages and relationship building, we aim to strengthen the bonds between members and to shape their behaviour so they better support the collective role of the community.
Standing on Giants provides a full range of services, depending on your needs, from a full community management team with a dedicated community manager, to support for practical training, recruiting, and direct mentoring. We often recommend that our experienced team should manage the community for the first year to ensure its establishment and success.
Who should be in the community team? How should it be structured and integrated? What support is needed for recruitment, positioning, etc.?
What strategies do we need for long term growth and development? How can we expand the role of the community through community management to add value?
How do we cultivate highly engaged users? What content and projects should we create? How do we align and educate members on making the most effective use of the community?
What training or mentoring is needed for the team? How can other experienced Standing on Giants community members contribute to its success?
How should the community team report performance? What key performance indicators suit the company and what are the priorities reflected in them?
SETUP AND SHAPING
How should the community team set up and run the community? What other settings do we need for reporting, etc.?
Because our fully-featured platform has been developed and tested by community managers, it’s designed to be easy to use for both community members and managers.
Hosted on highly secure cloud infrastructure, the Standing on Giants platform has been thoroughly tested to meet the security needs of the banking and insurance industries. Set-up, customisation, technical integration and platform management are conducted by our skilled technical team, which allows our clients to gain the full benefits of the community without the need to add to their own IT infrastructure and teams. Whether you need a quickly deployed out-of-the-box solution with minimal customisation or a highly-customised platform with made-to-order features and a single sign on to a legacy system, the Standing on Giants tech team is here to get it done. And because we only work with a few select clients, we are able to respond to tickets and constantly update the platform with monthly development sprints.
The Standing on Giants platform is designed to support our methodology and our associated community management techniques.
CORE PLATFORM MODULES
The integrated, intuitive heart of your brand owned community – a structured space where members share opinions, discuss and help one another. The forum is not just a branded environment where members interact with your company, but it’s also a place that creates deep discussions, peer relationships, social status and individual recognition. Easy to use, the community forum is designed to combine the needs of the community, community managers and the brand.
Your community members are full of ideas for improvements, upgrades, new products, new services, new features… ideas that could revolutionise your business and create profits. With the Ideas Exchange, these suggestions can be captured, rated for popularity, and developed through discussion. Members know that they are being listened to, and feel encouraged as the status of their idea progresses
The community Knowledge Base transforms member generated content into a valuable resource that reflects the unique understanding and customer perspective that the members have. It contains tools to allow you to collaborate, collate, rate, and curate community knowledge – it easily organizes pieces of content to create value for your brand, help customers get the best experience with your product, and maximize SEO.
COMMUNITY & COMPANY BLOG
Our blog module not only offers a place for the company itself to create relevant and timely content but allows approved community members to create posts on their personal blog as well as submitting posts for the company. It offers a rich combination of text, images, video to make blog posts attractive to potential customers and so that posts can contribute to a lively community
ANALYTICS & REPORTING
Fast, easy-to-use and comprehensive reporting designed with the needs of community managers in mind. From detailed community level stats to post, and individual user level reporting – all the information you need at your fingertips
Comprehensive REST API for easy integration, system scalability and rapid APP development. With full support from our expert technical team.
Take a flexible approach to users with community groups, determining who sees what and what they are able to do in the community. Ideal for communities that mix employees and customers.
Expand the community by encouraging members to share content on social media and by making use of full social media integration. Supports all popular networks both personal and professional.
Our control panel has every option required to configure and develop your community. It’s tidy interface uses collapsible section to hide options until you need them. All actions are logged for convenience.
Whether it’s a social sign-on, sign-on for one of the common CRMs or a complex legacy system we can develop a single sign-on solution to integrate the platform into your existing solution.
Create engagement and motivation through a wide variety of gamification and reward features. Encourage members to participate and develop their role in the community with features that support our methodology.
ADVANCED COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
Interaction with members is at the heart of the community manager’s job so it makes sense to give them the best tools to develop relationships and educate members – that’s why our platform has an advanced community management suite built by a team that really understands the needs of the role
STILL GOT QUESTIONS? STILL READING?
Our solution is customised to the exact needs of each client and creating a community is a collaborative process. Talk to us today and start developing your community and your customer relationship