People Build Brand Communities, Not Marketers (Elevate Connect)

Key Takeaways:

  • Brand communities are organic, meaningful ways for brands to gain traction with consumers. But organic is the key word. Marketers can support communities, but only people can build them.
  • 23andMe’s pop-up experience shows how service brands can develop engaging brand experiences that educate and entertain.
  • Food waste continues to be a significant environmental and financial burden in the US. As a result, some entrepreneurs are adopting Zero Waste stores, along with unique ways to market and sell to consumers.


Marketers Don’t Build Communities, People Do

Brand love isn’t something that a company can force. While marketers can take steps to increase brand affinity, when consumers fall in love, they do so independently. When it comes to building a brand community, a similar framework holds true. While building an online community centered around your core offering can help spread brand awareness, supplement customer service, and allow participants to share knowledge and product feedback. But as with anything marketing, brands need to put people as the highest priority.

In listing one of the biggest mistakes that companies make when creating a brand community, this Forbes article uses a camera company as an example. After abandoning their efforts to foster an online community, “the space mutated into a place for infrequent marketing campaign announcements; and what started out as a space for people, became just another broadcast mouthpiece for the brand.” This kind of unintended consequence kills the original community’s sentiment and function and can become a liability. The author goes on to advise companies on best practices related to brand community building and reminds us that the community thrives through quality conversations, and association with the brand, not marketing.


23and Me is helping People get to know their genes with pop-up experience in NYC

The discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid, better known as DNA, has a long and fascinating history. While the first discoveries related to DNA took place in the 1850s, it wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that DNA testing became commonplace. Since then, our ability to map and understand DNA has evolved even further, with DNA translation now being a much faster process. As a result, the benefits of the technology are no longer limited to a lab.

Now companies have emerged to use DNA as a way to give everyday people a better understanding of their genetic makeup. One of these brands, 23andMe, has set out to not only provide people with this information, but make it easier to understand what it all means. The company recently opened a pop-up that seeks to explain that, by knowing their genetic makeup, people can understand the part genes play in their daily lives and overall health.


Cheeto’s Restaurant Returns As The Flamin’ Hot Spot in Los Angeles

When many people think of New York City or Los Angeles, they think about food. While each city certainly has tremendous draws across the board, from culture to entertainment, both also serve as homes to some of the most unique dining experiences in the country. In both locations, trendsetting, adventurous “foodies” abound, which is exactly why snack brand Cheetos’ recent pop-up experiences were such a hit.

Last year in NYC, the company opened a Cheetos-themed restaurant to great avail. This year, Cheetos set its eyes on Los Angeles, but tweaked the concept to cater to LA’s love of their Flamin’ Hot flavor. The brand partnered with famed LA chef Roy Choi and created a three day pop-up restaurant that could only be attended through reservation. The pop-up created so much buzz that not only did reservations fill up in less than an hour, it had a wait list of 9,500 people. But those who didn’t make it into the activation weren’t totally left hanging; the brand gave them a smaller piece of the action by posting the recipes online.


Zero Waste stores pop up in the US, targeting shoppers tired of all the waste

The use of pop-up shops has become mainstream. And while the efficacy of pop-ups continues to be sound, brands should be wary. Like any trend, if the pop-up world becomes saturated, consumers will get bored. Instead of relying on a formulaic approach, brands should look to creative ways to execute pop-ups that step outside of what’s expected. Recently, a group of retailers combined pop-ups with a cause they believe in – eliminating food waste.

The Zero Waste endeavor was one that resonated with each company, as they considered the fact that food waste results in $18.2 billion a year in lost value in the United States. In addition to fighting for the cause, these brands are also pioneering creative ways to change the experience of how people shop.


Why the Four Seasons Launched an Event Series Outside its Hotels

In 2008, AirBnB disrupted the hospitality industry by providing travelers with an alluring alternative to hotels and motels. Not only did the company give consumers an option at a lower price point, it changed the game because it allowed people to “belong anywhere.” Giving travelers a novel way to experience travel and feel at home, even like there were a local, was unprecedented.

While this didn’t lead to the end of hotels, it did force hotels to change the way they approach the experience they provided to their guests. The Kimpton hotel made permanent changes, but not all hotels chose to renovate. In fact, The Four Seasons in Toronto opted for a “Pop-Down” inspired by the city. By creating an activation outside of their normal space, the brand engaged guests and media in a new way. Check out the full details of the experience here.


Top 27 Productivity Hacks of 2018

Promoting productivity with your teams is critical not only in planning and executing brand activations but staying sane. Balancing project demands with deadlines, last minute client requests, and logistical changes leaves no time for waste. Plus, ensuring productivity in your personal life will leave more time to pursue the things you love.

This list of productivity hacks contains 27 ways to help make staying productive a little easier. While many of the items on this list apply to all things in life, many relate specifically to the planning and execution of an event. One of the most memorable tips: how “save, save, save” can help keep you on track (especially when you’re building out your budgets).


Event Marketer’s Top Brand Experience Picks for Comic Con NYC

Comic Con has become a cultural phenomenon that seems to never run out of enthusiasts. It has played a large part in the mainstreaming of the concept of “cosplay” and has brought generations together over a mutual love of everything in the comic-verse. Naturally, brands see it as an ideal environment to interact and connect with consumers while they are living their passion.

And it’s certainly not just DC and Marvel who show up at these events. Brands of all types, from automotive to streaming, are at Comic Con, and looking to outdo each other to get consumer attention. Event Marketer was at the NYC event last month and listed their picks for the best brand experiences in attendance. A highlight for those of us who are 80s kids? Paramount has been kind enough to release a modern-day version of the cult classic Heathers, which premiers on October 25thSee how they brought Westerberg High to life for the NYC Comic Con audience.

Author: Elissa LiongElissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).


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