Think about how a community influences purchase decisions.
- It establishes and reinforces social norms within a peer group (e.g. ‘people like me drink coffee like this’). If those social norms involve you or your products, you win.
- It shapes the environment to encourage the behavior (e.g. ‘I can find better information on home-roasting coffee beans here than on Google’ or ‘It’s easier to buy in bulk or through subscription here’). If the community makes the behavior easier, the behavior will happen more often.
- It increases the perceived value of the product (e.g. ‘I didn’t know this coffee was organic or home-roasted by an independent retailer, I’m going to buy it more frequently’). If the community encourages people to better understand the value, they might buy more of it or remain as a customer for longer.
- It rewards the buyer and incentivizes further purchases (e.g. ‘by buying this coffee I can find a peer group of people who love coffee as much as me’). People are rewarded for their purchases.
If your community is designed to increase sales and you’re not doing one of the above, then what are you doing?