In Doing So, The British Company Successfully Engaged Their Online Communities Despite a Traditional Offline Activity
A quick Google search for “examples of great online communities” will yield about 652,000,000 results. This gives you a glimpse of the popularity of online communities particularly at this moment in time. In fact, we can argue that due to the pandemic, interacting and engaging with fans on a personal level is as pivotal as ever in and earning and maintaining brand loyalty. Consumer behavior has forcibly shifted to “homebody” economies where the majority of households buy both essential and non-essential products via the internet. Service apps like Instacart, UberEATS, Postmates, and the like have taken off, not to mention that Amazon and Walmart online orders have increased exponentially.
This is a topic that covers all levels of the marketing and sales funnel, from the top of the funnel where we have prospective customers, to the middle of the funnel where we have customers who are in the “consideration” phase, to the bottom of the funnel, where consumers have closed to the deal, so to speak, and our goal from there is to create brand evangelists. Leveraging this rise in Internet usage and people’s need to connect with others from their homes, brands will do well to foster online communities that create authentic and engaging experiences. The reticence in re-engaging with an offline word through face-to-face interactions due to the very real risk of COVID-19 can be combated through online fan engagement.
Still, there are others who ardently miss the outside world and wish to reintegrate into society the way it was before March 2020.
In this post COVID world, how can companies build a brand community in an exciting and genuine way?
One such company created an online solution that engaged its current online community and propelled brand exposure. Cadbury, the British confectionery company, launched a digital Easter Egg scavenger hunt this year.
Per the Adweek article, the “customer experience team built the immersive platform for the virtual hunt. The campaign also comprises TV, video, social, digital and out of home.”
The reward for engaging in this hunt wasn’t merely the excitement of finding the digital eggs but also entering for a chance to win prizes. Those who found the eggs could upload the photos to a microsite and increase their chances to win a prize. It also allowed those who engaged to share their experience with friends, family, and the Cadbury online community.
Brands can no longer afford to sit idly buy and passively engaging with consumers merely by answering questions on social media platforms. By creating fun online experiences like Cadbury’s digital scavenger hunt, which was the perfect activity for Easter, they took a traditional offline experience and turned it around, thus fostering their brand community.