8 Great Brand Community Examples [2024]

Ever wondered how brands like Starbucks, Sephora, and Airbnb have such a dedicated following? It’s all thanks to their thriving brand communities.
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Ever wondered how brands like Starbucks, Sephora, and Airbnb have such a dedicated following? It’s all thanks to their thriving brand communities.

These brand community examples are not just about promoting products but about fostering customer loyalty and driving engagement through shared values and experiences. Let’s dive in and find out how they've become successful.

What we will explore together:

  • Defining what brand community is and the three elements that make a brand community successful
  • Introducing 8 great examples of brand communities--from physical stores to online communities. We have big brands from Starbucks, Apple, and Sephora, to SaaS platforms like Notion, Bubble, and Disco.
  • Successful brand communities provide numerous benefits, including fostering a sense of belonging, providing expert help, exclusive access to events or products, aiding in customer retention, and promoting brand growth.

What is a Brand Community?

According to Disco, an industry expert and community platform, we defined brand community as a group of customers who engage with a brand and each other, sharing values and experiences, and fostering a sense of belonging. It's like a tight-knit group that's all about a particular brand.

Picture this: a group of coffee lovers discussing their favorite Starbucks drinks, sharing tips for earning rewards, and bonding over a shared love for the brand. This is a prime example of a great brand community. These communities give fans a place to share and engage, helping to spread the love for the brand even further.

Members and the companies they are built around both receive tangible benefits from them. These benefits contribute to the success and growth of both parties. Engaging with your brand community strengthens relationships and builds trust, driving brand loyalty.

What makes a Strong Brand Community?

A robust brand community is constructed on the foundation of genuine passion and enthusiasm for your brand, amplified by the efforts of brand advocates. It's crucial to provide a compelling incentive for members to join, ensure their engagement is rewarding and meaningful, and facilitate an environment that encourages them to share their experiences and contribute to the community's growth.

3 Elements of a Brand Community

Shared Values

This is the "cornerstone" of any brand community.

Shared values are the common beliefs and principles that unite members. They create a sense of belonging and identity within the community. Shared values can range from sustainability for eco-friendly brands to innovation for tech companies. They are important because they connect individuals on a deeper level and foster a sense of unity and loyalty towards the brand.

Example: Airbnb's Community Standards

Airbnb is a prime example of a brand community that thrives on shared values. Their Community Standards foster a sense of belonging and trust among hosts and guests. These standards are built on the pillars of safety, security, fairness, authenticity, and reliability, setting consistent expectations for behavior within the community.

Airbnb's commitment to upholding these standards ensures the safety of stays, experiences, and interactions, reinforcing the sense of a global community where anyone can truly belong.

Active Engagement

Active engagement refers to the consistent interaction between community members and the brand. This can be facilitated through social media discussions, forums, and events in an all-in-one community platform like Disco where members can share experiences, ideas, and feedback.

Active engagement is crucial as it keeps the community vibrant and dynamic. It also helps the brand to understand its customers better, leading to improved products and services.

Example: Thrive Learning Community by Disco

The Thrive Learning Community by Disco stands as an excellent example of a brand community that harnesses active engagement to thrive. This community is a vibrant space where members engage in dynamic discussions, share experiences, and offer feedback. The community itself is built and powered by Disco, empowering its users to create transformative learning experiences using the powerful Disco platform.

Mutual Support

In a brand community, members support each other and the brand. This can be through helping out fellow members, advocating for the brand, or contributing to the community's growth. Mutual support is vital as it creates a positive and supportive environment. It boosts member satisfaction and strengthens the relationship between the community and the brand, leading to increased brand loyalty and advocacy.

Artists engaging in a collaborative project on Behance

8 Great Examples of Successful Online Brand Communities

1. Physical Communities: Starbucks Community Stores

Starbucks, a global coffee giant, has been fostering community connections through its unique concept of community stores. These stores are strategically located in under-served neighborhoods, aiming to provide not just quality coffee but also job opportunities and community spaces.

Guangzhou, China – First Signing Store in China

Since the first community store opened in Harlem, New York, in 2011, the initiative has grown to include over 100 locations worldwide. Each store is unique, reflecting the local culture and community it serves. Activities such as job training programs, youth events, and community service projects are common occurrences, providing a space for local residents to connect, learn, and grow.

Why They Are Successful

The success of Starbucks' community stores can be attributed to their commitment to creating a positive social impact. These stores go beyond serving coffee; they catalyze change and development within their communities. Starbucks invests in these neighborhoods by providing job opportunities and partnering with local minority-owned businesses.

Furthermore, each store is designed to be a hub for community engagement, with spaces for public events, meetings, and workshops. This focus on community development, coupled with Starbucks' well-loved brand and quality products, has allowed the community store initiative to flourish.

2. Online Marketplace: Airbnb Support Community

The Airbnb Support Community is an innovative online marketplace that serves as a hub for hosts and guests alike. Its design is intuitive and user-friendly, facilitating easy navigation and interaction. It's a space where hosts can share their experiences, offer advice, and provide support to each other. Guests, on the other hand, can find travel tips, learn about different locations, and get help from experienced travelers or hosts.

The primary goal of the Airbnb Support Community is to foster a sense of belonging and trust among its users. It aims to create a platform where users can share resources, travel stories, and user-generated content, all while bonding over shared experiences. It's designed to be more than just a platform for booking accommodations; it's a place where people can connect, learn, and grow.

Why They Are Successful

The success of Airbnb's online brand community can be attributed to its focus on user engagement and mutual support. It encourages active participation, where members can ask questions, share their experiences, and help each other out. This sense of community and support not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to Airbnb's overall brand loyalty and growth.

3. Social Networking Platform: Dribbble's Learning Community

Dribbble, a renowned platform for designers, has built a vibrant learning community using the Disco platform. The primary objective of this community is to offer a space for designers to learn, share, and grow. It's a place where members can engage in dynamic discussions, share their experiences, and offer feedback. The community itself is built using the powerful Disco platform, which streamlines member onboarding, personalizes experiences, and fosters real-time collaboration.

Why They Are Successful

The success of Dribbble's learning community can be attributed to its active engagement and the robust platform provided by Disco. The community is a vibrant space where members engage in dynamic discussions, share experiences, and offer feedback. This active engagement, facilitated by Disco's integrated platform, keeps the community vibrant and dynamic, fostering a sense of belonging among its members and driving the community's success.

4. Tech Giant: Apple's Brand Community

Apple's brand community, hosted on its official website, is an exemplary model of a successful online brand community. This community is primarily a support forum where Apple users worldwide come together to share their experiences, ask questions, and offer solutions.

The objective of this community is to provide a platform for Apple users and loyal customers to engage with each other, enhance their product usage experience, and foster a sense of belonging among Apple product enthusiasts.

The community thrives on the active engagement of its members. They interact by posting questions, providing answers, sharing tips and tricks, discussing Apple products, and even offering feedback on software updates. Apple's brand community is a hub of knowledge exchange where users can find quick and reliable solutions to their problems, making it an invaluable resource for Apple users worldwide.

Why They Are Successful

The success of Apple's brand community can be attributed to its focus on fostering a sense of unity among Apple users. The platform encourages active participation and mutual support, which not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to Apple's overall brand loyalty and growth.

Furthermore, the community serves as an excellent customer service tool, allowing Apple to address user issues promptly and efficiently, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and trust in the brand.

5. E-Commerce: Sephora's Beauty Insider Community

Sephora's Beauty Insider Community is a vibrant virtual gathering place for beauty enthusiasts from all walks of life. The primary objective of this community is to create a platform for beauty lovers to share tips, get inspired, and engage while shopping.

It's a space where members can discuss their favorite products, share makeup tutorials, and offer skincare advice. The community fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among makeup lovers, allowing them to connect over shared interests and experiences.

The success of Sephora's brand community can be attributed to its community-building element, active engagement, and the robust platform it provides for its members. The community thrives on member interactions through posts, discussions, and shared tutorials.

6. No-Code Tool: Bubble's Online Forums

Bubble's Online Forum is one of the online brand community examples that offers support and fosters collaboration among users of the Bubble no-code development platform. The primary objective of this community is to create a space for users to share their experiences, ask questions, and offer solutions, thereby enhancing their overall experience with the Bubble platform.

It's a vibrant space where members can engage in dynamic discussions, share their experiences with the platform, and offer feedback. The community activities range from troubleshooting and sharing development tips and tricks to discussing new features and updates.

Why They Are Successful

Its success can be attributed to its focus on active engagement and mutual support. It encourages a culture of knowledge-sharing and problem-solving, where members can ask questions, offer solutions, and help each other out. This sense of community and support not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to Bubble's overall user satisfaction and growth.

7. Workspace Tool: Notion's Online Community

Notion's Online Community is a thriving digital space for users of the all-in-one workspace tool. The primary objective of this community is to provide a platform where users can share their experiences, ask questions, and offer solutions, thereby enhancing their overall experience with Notion. Notion's community growth story is closely tied to the company's user-centric approach.

They have implemented a growth loop strategy, where every new user adds value to the community, which in turn attracts more users. This self-perpetuating loop has significantly contributed to the expansion of Notion's user base.

Why They Are Successful

It encourages a culture of knowledge-sharing and problem-solving, where members can ask questions, offer solutions, and help each other out. This sense of community and support not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to Notion's overall user satisfaction and growth. Today, Notion's online community stands as a testament to the power of user engagement in driving brand loyalty and growth.

8. The Thrive Learning Community by Disco

Thrive is a dynamic digital space that aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences among community managers, leaders, and operators. Its primary objectives are to provide a platform for learning, growth, and engagement with the world's top online communities, and to showcase the capabilities of Disco's integrated platform in fostering active participation and driving community success.

The community activities in Thrive Learning Community range from dynamic discussions and sharing of experiences to offering feedback and ideas. The members engage in meaningful interactions, creating a vibrant and active community.

If you are a community manager, leader, or operator for any type of community, we invite you to join the Thrive Learning Community by Disco. It's an opportunity to learn, grow, and engage with the world's top online communities and also to experience firsthand how Disco's integrated platform can foster active engagement and drive community success.

Why They Are Successful

The success of the Thrive Learning Community by Disco can be attributed to the active engagement it encourages among its members and the robust platform provided by Disco. This combination keeps the community vibrant and dynamic, fostering a sense of belonging among its members and driving the community's success.

Overview: How to Build Your Own Brand Community

Building a thriving community starts with a clear understanding of your brand's core values and mission. These values will serve as the foundation of your community, uniting members through shared beliefs and principles. It's essential to communicate these values clearly and consistently to your audience, fostering a sense of identity and belonging within the community.

The next step is to choose the right platform for your brand community. This could be a social media group, an online forum, or a dedicated community platform like Disco. The platform should facilitate easy interaction among community members and with the brand, encouraging active engagement and participation. It's also crucial to create engaging and relevant content that resonates with your audience, sparking discussions and fostering a sense of camaraderie among members.

Building a brand community is not a one-time effort but a continuous process. It requires consistent engagement, active listening to your members' feedback, and adapting to their needs and preferences. With time, patience, and the right strategies, you can build a thriving brand community that drives customer loyalty and fuels your brand's growth.

For a step-by-step guide, here are 8 actionable steps on how to build a thriving brand community.

How Community Engagement Fuels Growth

Curious about how community engagement can fuel business growth? Well, a strong brand community building fosters a sense of belonging among customers. It gives them quick access to expert help, makes them feel a part of something larger, and offers access to exclusive events and discounts. This creates lifelong customers who share ideas, generate hype about the brand, and contribute to its growth, making brand communities thrive.

Supercharge Your Learning Community

A step-by-step guide to build and grow a thriving learning community.

The Learning Community Playbook by Disco

DISCO - The Most Trusted Software of the World's Biggest Brands

Disco stands as a powerful tool in the world of brand community building, earning its place as the most trusted software among the world's top communities and brands.

With its streamlined member onboarding, personalized experiences, and community-focused features like real-time collaboration and cohort-based learning, Disco provides the perfect platform to foster vibrant and engaged communities. It's not just about the technical capabilities; Disco brings people together, facilitating shared experiences and values that are the bedrock of any successful brand community.

In 2023, Disco's commitment to excellence was recognized when it bagged two prestigious awards, elevating its status to an award-winning software for online communities. This recognition serves as a testament to Disco's unwavering dedication to providing the best possible platform for community engagement and growth.

With Disco, you're not just choosing a platform; you're choosing a partner committed to helping you build a thriving, successful community. Start your 14-day free trial today, or take a product tour without signing up!

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The Learning Community Playbook by Disco

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