Marketing Priorities for 2010: Part 3 of 3

In my final post about marketing priorities for 2010, I add to the long standing priorities of adding value and listening a relatively new charge: foster community among customers and other interested people. The capability to create a community around a brand has been enhanced greatly through social media networking tools. Actually, communities have formed around brands long before a Facebook fan page or Twitter account made it possible for people to digitally connect with companies. The difference is the ease with which one can signal his or her relationship with a brand by making the decision to join a community.

Fostering community is related to the other two priorities I identified previously, adding value and listening. Marketer-created brand communities is a vehicle for adding value. It enables consumers to extend their relationship with a brand and interact with people who have shared interests. Community makes it possible for marketers to have more listening opportunities. Whether it be customers talking with company representatives directly or listening to communities in the broader social media space, a brand that works to build brand community will be better off than brands that operate in a reactive communication mode with their customers.

The three priorities I have discussed in recent posts share a common recognition: companies might legally own brands, but in reality they are caretakers of brands. Customers and other stakeholders shape brands through their perceptions, attitudes, and actions toward a brand. I hope 2010 is the best year ever for your brand!

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