Upside co-op | The Power of Community

The Power of Community

Traditional private brands with ‘sophisticated’ marketing engines have succeeded at one thing: they built a giant megaphone.

Traditional Brand Communication

Building a giant megaphone has been good enough for companies in the past, but increased awareness is not the same thing as brand loyalty. Society is no longer ok with allowing large companies to monopolize their screen time with generic ads and stories. Consumers don’t want to be yelled at from the proverbial pulpit of consumer brands anymore, they want to be part of the brand. It’s time to narrow the gap between brands and their communities. 

A Growing Movement

Customer reach, loyalty, and retention are inherently limited through traditional organizational structures. The classic corporation is by definition separate from its customers and even its own employees. This divide is clearly made manifest in the ‘relationship’ a brand has with its customers. Current brand/community relationships feel calculated, contrived, and transactional. Equity is highly concentrated among founders and VCs, with zero opportunities for regular customers to participate in ownership. 

In contrast, DAOs are built by the community for the community. The flat organizational structure allows all to become stakeholders and participate in the upside. The boundaries between company and community are dissolved, establishing true collaborative relationships between brands and customers. Brands no longer need to use the giant microphone, but instead can engage with their customers and allow the community to spread the message. 

DAOs have the potential to become super organisms. Made up of thousands of members, it can grow, evolve, and adapt according to current needs instead of becoming progressively ossified like so many brands of old. Joining a DAO offers a sense of belonging, purpose, and the ability to contribute in an open and flexible environment. Brands, in turn, gain valuable insights in real time as they interact & build with the community as equals rather than shouting from a soapbox. 

Community as a ‘Department’

The rewards of building a vibrant community cannot be overstated. Beyond the obvious benefits of having strong customer relationships, a connected community can enhance and even replace various jobs and departments within a company:

  • Customer Service - allowing the community to interact with each other will naturally reduce the need for customer service. 

  • R&D - who better to learn from than passionate customers who are eager to share their knowledge and ideas?

  • Marketing - an engaged community does the talking for you, and can even build and execute on their own marketing campaigns. UGC forms organically as community members interact and share experiences.

  • HR - as large communities form, top performers and leaders will naturally emerge, all of whom are passionate and excited about the brand. This is an incredible opportunity to attract and hire top talent, or at the very least, amplify their voices. 

The current dynamic is fading. Individuals want to be heard and want to participate in organic, living movements. Providing purpose and opportunity speaks louder than any microphone.