Build Brand Communities – The new Brand Mantra in Today’s Online World

In a marketing landscape largely dominated by Online Media and with classic advertising budgets for TV and print advertisements decreasing, most brands try to build Online Brand Communities. But can the “virtual” world deliver what the real world does not seem to be able to provide; Unlimited access to a brand’s follower and consumer base?

In their 2009 Harvard Business Review article “Getting Brand Communities Right” Susan Fournier and Lara Lee clarified the 7 Myths of Brand Communities.

Myth # 1        A brand community is a marketing strategy

Reality           A brand community is a business strategy

Myth # 2        A brand community exists to serve the business

Reality           A brand community exists to serve the people in it

Myth # 3        Build the brand, and the community will follow

Reality           Engineer the community, and the brand will be strong(er)

Myth # 4        Brand communities should be love-fests for faithful brand advocates

Reality           Smart companies embrace the conflicts that make communities thrive

Myth # 5        Opinion leaders build strong communities

Reality           Communities are strongest when everyone plays a role

Myth # 6        Online social networks are the key to a community strategy

Reality           Online networks are just one tool, not a community strategy

Myth # 7        Successful brand communities are tightly managed and controlled

Reality           Of and by the people, communities defy managerial control

Download the full HBR article here:

Click to access HDBrand%20Community.pdf

Enjoy the reading – it’s worthwhile!

Mark Schumacher, BSL Professor


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