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People don’t buy products. They buy feelings.

One sweater is more or less the same as another, but the feelings we get when we buy a certain sweater versus another one are what builds customer community.

In this episode, we hear from Connor Curran, CEO at Local Laundry, about building a community based on authentic, genuine human relationships with customers.

Join us as we discuss:

    • Why community is based on long-term interaction, not transactional relationships
    • How to scale community without losing intimacy
    • The role of feelings in community building
    • How to be a for-profit business that prioritizes giving back

NowBrandsTalk-Customer-Relationship-Building-Quote-Connor-Curran

Why community is based on long-term interaction, not transactional relationships

Dig into your audience's statistics. Learn your customer base inside and out through demographics, analytics, and outreach—step into their lives as much as you can.

Community is built on trust and familiarity. That doesn't always mean drawn out conversations with each customer — we all know that isn’t possible one-hundred percent of the time — it’s about making conscious efforts to understand who your customers are.

Learn how Ada CX can help you leverage interactions data to continuously improve CX.

Connection doesn't have to be all-consuming 

Through automation, surveys, forms, and strong data gathering techniques, you can get a sketch of someone's life. 

And with that sketch, you can find pain points and what they’re looking for to address those gaps.

“The thing that makes a community — and many people seem to forget — is that we're all in this together. We all want the same things.” said Connor. In the baseline of humankind, this is true. With data you can narrow it down.

You need to…

  • Be sincere
  • Make sure you have solid information gathering systems
  • Use what you learn for the benefit of customers and stakeholders

NowBrandsTalk-Brand-Sentiment-Quote-Connor-Curran

The role of feelings in community building

From clothes shopping to software applications, feelings run the show. 

We all know that feeling of shrugging into a jacket or sweater that makes us feel confident, stylish, or comfortable. It makes the day seem brighter and puts a pep in our step when we’re looking our best.

How does your brand make people feel?

Ask yourself what you want your customers to feel when interacting with your company, services, or product. Nail down what makes your brand different from other brands.  

Why would someone walk an extra mile to get to your (metaphorical) store instead of going to the one right down the street from their house? 

If you don’t have a clear answer, ask them. Turn to the data or pick up the phone and find out why people choose you. Gather testimonials—what’s the theme?

Search for it. 

Use what you learn to improve. 

Take what’s working and run with it.

For-profit businesses can prioritize giving back

For-profit does not equal soulless entity. Not today. Companies are rising to the call of people searching for brands they can get behind ethically and morally. Brands they feel comfortable buying from. Products they’re eager to share with friends and family. 

As a business, Connor said, “our main goal is to make money in order to give back and to continue to grow. But that doesn't mean that we can't build community.”

The greatest gift a brand can give its consumers is quality, tied up with a big ribbon of honesty. 

That type of gift comes with a willingness to prioritize giving back to your community by providing trusted services, listening, and solving problems.

NowBrandsTalk-Community-Building-Quote-Connor-Curran

Scaling community without losing intimacy

Even in larger enterprises, if your product is strong, you can curate a community of deep connections among your customers. People who care about the same product and values, and have the same taste, will come together — and bond — over that connection. 

Your brand has the option to support those like-minded people and encourage them to discuss products, services, etc. — they may even give you ideas for improvements as well as signal what they love most about working with you or buying from you.

You can gauge your community potential by answering key questions such as:

  • What's our mission?
  • Where are our customers connecting already? 
  • How are our customers connecting, if at all?
  • What does a successful community look like for us?

You may be surprised at what you learn.

Episode takeaways

  • Build authentic relationships with customers and stakeholders.
  • Make sincere investments into stakeholder relationships.
  • Live your values and use them to make decisions—that's what your customers and stakeholders are going to align with.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website or search for Now Brands Talk in your favorite podcast player.