Brands must become architects of community. – Simon Mainwaring
A few weeks ago I attended an event centered around bloggers and how the community interacts with them. At this event, I met and fell in love with local Houstonian and lifestyle expert Nicole Kestenbaum. On her blog, Lipstick and Brunch, Nicole takes the experiences of the Houston lifestyle, as well as being a woman in her thirties without kiddos, and invites you to experience each mimosa and makeup brand she encounters right alongside her. I was graced by Nicole’s expertise at this event and I bring you a sneak peek into my newly enhanced insight.
Connections and Community
Much like my own clients, the team at Just Vibe Houston, and Nicole at Lipstick and Brunch – we all have a MISSION to connect. Connect with others in our industry, connect with our consumers and most importantly, connect with the community itself. Think about this for a minute – a lifestyle of making connections. To some this may seem specific to magazines, bloggers and the umbrella of PR outlets that serve our community. This is where you are mistaken.
Humans THRIVE on connection. Think about your favorite commercial. Your best friend. Your most beloved stories or books. The love for these things is all rooted in CONNECTIONS. Now think of a brand you recommend to your own community around you. I can guarantee it’s due to a connection of some kind – either to a person that represents that brand, a mission that you identify with or even a loyalty to a product because they’ve been trustworthy since day one. I urge you to bring this mission of connection with you back into your community.
Connections and Networking
In my networking experiences, I often find myself at a table with other “morning coffee lovers” that don’t always realize the need for human connection before discussing their “latest sale”. Isn’t this a turnoff? These networking events often lead to one-on-one coffee dates that can go one of two ways: a great connection with someone that is genuinely interested in knowing me AS A PART OF THE COMMUNITY and not just to sell me their services, or the opposite – the “this is what we do and why you should buy from us”. Not so much “the givers” or the ones I like to “play in the sandbox” with.
Stop Having an End Mission to Every Conversation
Pause and create a connection with your child’s teacher, the receptionist at the dental office, the followers on your business Facebook page. It’s NOT about your bottom line – professional OR personal. Every connection creates trust. Confidence in you turns into trust in your brand which in turn positively affects your bottom line. Sometimes that bottom line is simply a newly discovered connection you never realized you needed for you or your family, and sometimes that bottom line is monetary. Either way, you found a new trusted connection within YOUR community – how amazing, right?
So, let yourself be vulnerable, pause to have actual conversations and show interest in other humans as well as their story and stop being the person or brand that only reaches out to satisfy YOUR needs – much like the “one and done -what can you do for me?” event promoters. Your community will thank you.
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. ― Herman Melville