Have we reached peak community?

Community feels omnipresent these days, as the most overused word in the brand lexicon. So how can brands meaningfully try to build their own? Natalia Christina, managing director at creative consultancy All Corners, offers up some ideas

Why are brands so obsessed with building community? One reason could be in how it’s positioned, which is in direct opposition to hyper-individualism of consumerism and the wider context of ‘permacrisis’ following the pandemic, which marked the beginning of the new era of disconnection.

Communities allow brands to build reciprocal, symbiotic relationships, which in turn creates trust beyond one-way interactions. We’ve spent the last decade building what now feel like slightly vacuous online ‘communities’ – aka following brands via social platforms, with ‘community managers’ trying to inject a sense of camaraderie via emojis and in-jokes. With social platforms supposedly in demise, it’s no wonder it all starts to feel a bit void of meaning. So what can brands do to build more meaningful spaces, beyond seeking to create engaged fandoms who will part with more cash?