3 Powerhouse Brand Community Programs That Every Marketer Should Know


Great companies have long been known for their great products. Going forward, however, the very best companies will also be known for the communities they build to bring like-minded customers together, drive engagement, and seal their loyalty for the long term. 


Know what the Holy Grail of marketing is? It’s not leads or conversions, bounce rates or net promoter scores. Rather, it’s creating the kind of engagement that goes beyond your products and gets customers excited, makes them feel like they’re a part of, and emotionally invested in, a community. It’s that sense of being part of something that keeps them coming back time and again, consuming your content, and telling everyone they know about you. Increasingly, the key to creating that level of engagement is building and nurturing communities that help turn regular customers into your very own brand ambassadors and brand loyalists.

When thoughtfully created, brand communities can be an incredibly effective way of growing brand awareness, driving loyalty, gaining insights, and building deeper customer relationships. And while there’s no single formula for what a successful brand community looks like, the best ones all have a few elements in common: They always give customers a compelling reason to join, ensure that doing so is worth their time, and make it easy for them to get their friends and family involved too.

Below we look at three examples of prominent brand communities and highlight some of the features that make them so successful.

Michaels Inspires Creativity

While arts and crafts retailer Michaels may be best known for its hot glue guns, paints, and beading supplies, for those in its Maker community, the brand is about so much more. At the center of that community is an array of in-person and online classes that are a source of knowledge, inspiration, and fun for more than 400,000 customers. 

Working with AnyRoad, Michaels has been able to refine and expand its brand community, reaping numerous benefits in the process. For customers, those benefits include increased access to a greater number of classes tailored to their interests. Meanwhile, for Michaels, the benefits spanned from harvesting a treasure trove of customer insights to expanding their brand reach and streamlining their operations and overhead.

LuluLemon Embraces #Thesweatlife

Athletic apparel store LuluLemon has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years thanks in large part to its community-based retail model. Built around a new member loyalty program, their model includes multiple experiential stores designed to ignite a community of people who are all committed to living #thesweatlife — a hashtag that has quickly come to embody a movement on social media. 

What makes LuluLemon’s experiential stores special is that they blend traditional retail with fitness studios for customers to work out in and fuel bars where they can purchase healthy snacks. Customers can also try out select items in their classes before deciding whether or not to buy. By creating a broad community of people who are committed to fitness, both online and in their experiential stores, LuluLemon has found a way to transform itself from a simple apparel retailer into a highly successful lifestyle brand.

LEGO Makes Customers’ Dreams a Reality

The only thing that kids (and quite a few adults for that matter) love more than building random stuff out of LEGOs is getting to build exactly what they want out of their LEGOs. Understanding this, the company developed the LEGO Ideas Community, an online forum where customers can submit their ideas for new LEGO sets. What makes it so effective is the fact that it empowers customers to get what they want while simultaneously helping to drive new production ideation. Plus, the forum allows customers to find and engage with other LEGO superfans.

Community > Products?

Great companies have long been known for their great products. Going forward, however, the very best companies will also be known for the communities they build to bring like-minded customers together, drive engagement, and seal their loyalty for the long term. 

To learn more about how to maximize your brand community, get in touch at [email protected].

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