Recently I had asked the Luminary community for letters or emails of support for the expansion of our physical space. I was hopeful that we might receive at least twenty letters but what happened in the next 72 hours astounded me. I received over two hundred supportive letters about the community we’re building each day. Community building is a hot topic in business, but it’s rarely discussed beyond the ‘likes’ and to highlight how to develop and grow mission-driven communities that drive impact.
When you do a search on ‘community building’, you will find dozens of articles on how to build a brand, leverage the community, or create a brand through the power of community. Of course, there are also many how to guides about making a community profitable, getting more customers, and generating more business and brand awareness. According to an article by the Young Entrepreneur Council, there are many tactics for businesses to connect with their communities. One tactic includes partnering with other businesses. “Very often local businesses can strengthen their position and build community by partnering with others. This includes businesses that are complementary to your own and even competitors…when you partner with other business owners, everyone can benefit.” There is no shortage on ways to build a community but making them authentic is a much harder task.
Communities are essential as companies build their brands, especially as they look for more ways to interact with customers. “Every company is its own community. Each one also has a place in the bigger picture. They may support, supplement, build, augment, or maybe just co-exist with others. While a corporate "live and let die" attitude might have been acceptable in earlier eras, today's CEOs choose simple coexistence at their own (and their company's) peril. Fortunately, it is now good business sense to embrace corporate social responsibility and the need to build stronger community,” according to Kevin Daum in an article written for Inc. Magazine.
Building a community should be one of the main goals of every business. If you don’t have someone who trusts you and your brand, you are not going to sell anything. Community builds a true sense of purpose, an alignment in a shared mission, and creates an incredible network of support. There’s something very powerful when you see someone and recognize in them that they are in this together with you.