Don’t Drift From The Sweet Spot
Among the hardest things when developing a brand community is not going too far in any single direction.
You have to juggle three competing priorities.
1) What organisations want (increased loyalty, call deflection, knowledge sharing, etc..).
2) What communities can do (give members influence, support, belonging, a place to explore a topic).
3) What members want (solve problems, self-improvement, have fun, validation etc..)
As you can see in this framework here, it’s critical not to drift too far in any one direction.
If you start to pursue engagement at the expense of what your organisation needs, you wind up in the engagement trap. This might satisfy your ego but will probably leave you unemployed.
If you don’t research your audience and understand what they truly desire, you will create a ghost town.
And if you’re not creating a place where members can truly engage at a peer to peer level, you’re probably creating a CINO – community in name only (or a mirage community).
I’ve written in-depth about this here, but it’s helpful to remember that you will never be able to satisfy anyone completely. It’s always about juggling competing needs to stay in the sweet spot.